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Jo Gostin OAM Immediate Past President of WIZO Australia was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day for more than four decades of service to the Jewish Community.

Jo has had a very long association with WIZO beginning her volunteer work with the organisation in 1969 when she became President of a new WIZO group, WIZO Ziona. Over time she joined the State Executive and took on a number of executive roles such as Vice President and Honorary Secretary.  Her ability was recognized in Victoria when she was elected President of WIZO Victoria in 1989.

She served in this role with distinction and brought her passion for social justice to the fore when she actively participated in the campaign to help Soviet Jewry gain permission to leave the former Soviet Union and settle in Israel. She also promoted the absorption of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who were liberated from Ethiopia in Operation Solomon and settled in Israel in the 1990s.

Jo led WIZO Victoria in all regular fundraising and educational activities. She served as a role model for Jewish women in Victoria who were happy to support her and join the organisation. She represented WIZO most ably on the executive of various communal bodies such as the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Zionist Federation of Australia. In 2004 Jo was elected as President of WIZO Australia.

Jo is an excellent example of a migrant who arrived in Australia as a child and has become head of a Jewish Womens Organisation with some 5000 members around Australia. She is extremely well respected by the world leaders of WIZO in Israel and brought great credit to Australia in her endeavours to help underprivileged children in our projects in Israel.

She has also been a delegate at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Zionist Federation of Australia and the Vice President of the Zionist Council and the Womens Division of the United Israel Appeal.

Kol Hakavod Jo.

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