31. Josie Lacey OAM

100 Women of Influence

A Romanian child refugee fleeing from Nazi Europe and arriving in Australia in 1939 could be the beginning of a major Holocaust inspired movie, but this is the true story of Josie Lacey OAM.

Josie remembers her early years here as a ‘reffo’, encountering another kind of persecution called ignorance.

And this is what shaped her and motivated her with her communal interfaith work. Josie has never been afraid to speak up about injustice and has been active in social justice, anti racism and women’s causes for over 50 years.

She also understood the importance of our Jewish State and the need to support those who were building a strong secure homeland for Jews all over the world. Amongst many other top positions in the community, she is an Executive Member of the NSW Board of Deputies and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

As a young mother she was a founding member of her WIZO group in Chatswood. Through her passion and leadership the group raised much needed funds to send to WIZO projects in Israel. She headed the Public Relations Portfolio on the NSW Executive and soon was elevated to President, serving from 1981 to 1985.

During this time she went against popular opinion to support the production of WIZO’s “Fiddler on the Roof “. She was vindicated when the show was a resounding communal and fundraising success.

In 1992 Josie was awarded an OAM for Services to community relations and the Jewish Community. To this day her interfaith work continues and her ties to WIZO are valuable to younger generations as a mentor and historian.



100 Women of Influence

75 lisa kudrow

74. Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow is an American actor, best known for her role in the television sitcom ‘Friends.’ Her portrayal of ‘Phoebe Buffay’ in ‘Friends’ not only ...
Read More →
74 kate hudson

73. Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson is a talented actress, best-known for her role as ‘Penny Lane’ in the Hollywood movie ‘Almost Famous’ which earned her an ‘Academy Award’ ...
Read More →
72 gloria steinham2

72. Gloria Steinem

Gloria Marie Steinem was born in 1934, the daughter of Ruth and Leo Steinem. She is an American feminist journalist and social political activist who ...
Read More →
71 faye schulman

71. Faye Schulman

Faye Schulman (born 1919) is a Jewish partisan photographer, and the only such photographer to photograph their struggle in Eastern Europe during the Second World ...
Read More →
70 vitka kempner

70. Vitka Kempner

Vitka was born in 1920 in Poland to observant Jewish parents.  Vitka was 19 when the Germans invaded Poland and fled to Lithuania.  When Lithuania ...
Read More →
69 friedman betty

69. Betty Friedan

Bettye Naomi Goldstein was born in 1921 in Illinois to Harry and Miriam Goldstein, whose Jewish families came from Russia and Hungary.  Harry owned a ...
Read More →
68 rosalind franklin

68. Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Rosalind was an English Chemist and X-Ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA. Born in 1920 in ...
Read More →
67 safra catz

67. Safra Catz

An American billionaire banker and technology executive,Catz was born in Holon Israel but moved to USA at the age of 6.  She is married and ...
Read More →
66 elza levin

66. Elza Levin

A true WIZO woman, an Eshet Chayil, a woman who has given most of her adult life to a cause she has believed in so ...
Read More →
65 ali mcgraw

65. Elizabeth Alice McGraw

Ali was born in 1939 to a Jewish mother Frances, and father Richard McGraw. Her grandparents were emigrants from Budapest. McGraw’s mother chose not to ...
Read More →
judy carr

64. Judy Feld Carr

Nothing in Judy Feld Carr’s background would suggest that this Canadian woman would rescue more than 3500 Syrian Jews between 1975 and 2000. A mother ...
Read More →
63 deborah lipstadt

63. Deborah Lipstadt

Deborah was born in 1947 to Miriam and Erwin Lipstadt. She is an American historian and author and writes predominantly about Holocaust Denial and antisemitism ...
Read More →

Stay Connected With WIZO NSW