57. 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.

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 Strathfield. 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!

In1992 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.

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