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Australia Day Honours for our Maccabi Members

Posted: 07-Feb-2019 by Maccabi VIC

On behalf of the Board of Maccabi Victoria and all of Maccabi Victoria, we would like to congratulate the following Maccabi Victoria Hall of Fame Members on their wonderful respective achievements in this year’s Australia Day Honours. It is very fitting that their outstanding services to our community be acknowledged. Maccabi Victoria is proud to be associated with them and we are thrilled that their efforts have been recognised. You are a credit to our community. 

Joseph Aarons AM

VETERAN lawn bowls administrator Joe Aarons has been recognised as an AM for his significant service to the sport, particularly at national and international level. 

Aarons is no stranger to having prestigious honours bestowed on him, with the Maccabi Victoria hall of fame member awarded an OAM on The Queen’s Birthday in 2006 for his service to the Jewish community through the Maccabi movement.

Aarons was “really surprised and elated” when he received the news of his most recent honour and he identified Keith Rubinstein as the person who sparked his passion for the sport.

The highlight of his career came in 2012 when he became the first Jewish person and the second Australian to be voted in as president of World Bowls, the sport’s governing body.  “Being Jewish and invited to the Maccabiah Games as president of the world bowls, yes that was a highlight,” Aarons reflected.

Aarons previously had senior roles at  Bowls Australia, Maccabi Ajax Lawn Bowls Club, Bowls Victoria, MCC Kew Sports Club and Caulfield Park Sports Club.


Peter Cohen AM

For significant service to hockey, and to the Jewish community of St Kilda. 

International Hockey Federation: Honorary Secretary General, 2001-2011, Past Vice-President, Past Honorary Legal Advisor, Member of Honour, since 2012.

St Kilda Hebrew Congregation: Member, Board of Management, 1976-2015, President, 2011-2012, and 1986-1988, Honorary Solicitor, 1976-2012.

Cranbourne Country Club and Cranbourne Golf Club: President, Cranbourne Country Club, 1998-2013, Honorary Solicitor, 1976-2013, 

Maccabi Victoria Hall of Fame: Member, since 2000, 

Awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, 1998.

“I feel this is for a wider group of people – my family and colleagues are a big part of it,” he said. He told J-Wire it is humbling because he did not get involved in hockey or the synagogue to be publicly recognized. “It is very nice to get another award and I appreciate it,” said Peter Cohen.


David Grace AM

PROMINENT Jewish barrister David Grace has been honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to criminal law, and to the community through pro-bono contributions to sporting bodies.

Grace, a Queen’s Councel solicitor in Victoria and Western Australia since 1994 and 1996 respectively, is widely recognised as one of Australia’s finest criminal lawyers and advocates.

With over 40 years of experience, Grace has held a number of significant positions, including a recently concluded 15-year stint as Co-Chair, National Criminal Law Committee, Law Council of Australia.

Boasting a long list of achievements, Grace believes there is one that stands out for him.

Reflecting on his honour, Grace said, “I have always been of the opinion that if one has the skills, ability and expertise to contribute to the betterment of society then one should do so”.

Grace has been fortunate over his career to combine two of his passions, with his contribution to local, state and national sport a strong element of his AM recognition.

He has acted as an Arbitrator on the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2000 and has been a constant presence on the Australian Olympic Committee.

His passion for athletics saw him take on a number of roles with Athletics Australia, which culminated in life membership last year.

Since 2004, Grace has also been involved with AFL club West Coast Eagles as their Honorary General Counsel.

At community level, his involvement and contribution to the Maccabi organisation has been extensive, earning him life membership in 2018.


Leonard Hyman Levy OAM

ACTIVE community member and pharmaceutical professional Leonard Levy has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the pharmacy profession.

Levy’s contribution spans decades and has been multifaceted, as evidenced by his long and decorated resume.

The Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has been a common beneficiary of Levy’s service and expertise.

Levy, an honorary life member, was a councillor between 1990-1999, honorary treasurer and a past chair on a number of committees including the Continuing Pharmacy Education, Victorian Pharmacy Self-Care, Legislation, Ethics and Membership, Methadone Committee for Pharmacists and Drugs and Harm Minimisation Committee.

Among the highlights of his career has been the privilege, “to be a leading member of a team which developed and conducted courses for the education of pharmacists who supply Methadone to Heroin addicts”.

Among his many honours collected over his career, Levy received the Pharmacy Society of Australia (Victorian Branch) Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his decade-long contribution as a state committee member.

Away from his profession, Levy has been an active member and servant of a range of organisations in the Jewish and broader community.

The St Kilda Hebrew Congregation are richer for his multiple stints as president, vice-president and board member over the years. 

Other organisations who have benefited from his involvement both past and present, 3rd St Kilda Scout Group, Jewish Museum of Australia, Courage to Care, Maccabi Australia, Yavneh College, and Rotary Club of St Kilda.


We would also like to congratulate the following Maccabi Members for being acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to Maccabi and their community in Western Australia.


Joan Hillman OAM

Joanhas always embodied the volunteering spirit. Back in Glasgow, Scotland, Hillman began volunteering at age 13 for the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade, helping to promote the personal and social development of young people.

After arriving in Perth in the early 1980s, Hillman began volunteering with Maccabi in 1989. “I got involved in Maccabi in Perth, and being the person that I am, I like to get involved in the whole show, which is why I got involved in Maccabi Australia, which included attending three Maccabiah Games,” said Hillman, who is now a life member of Maccabi Australia and sits on its board of governors.

For her service to sports administration, Hillman has been awarded with an Order of Australia Medal. 


Colin Rockman OAM

CONNECTING through sport with Perth’s vibrant Jewish community runs in Colin Rockman’s veins.

The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recipient began playing sport for Maccabi WA in the 1950s, and in 2016 he was inducted into the organisation’s Hall of Fame.

In between he won administration awards, served two terms as president, chaired the Maccabi Trust, became a life member, and sponsored countless Maccabi WA events.

Rockman currently leads a Jewish seniors group called Living in Retirement, whose 50 members meet weekly at the Maccabi WA headquarters in Yokine.

He chaired the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) Council of Presidents in 2007/8 and is a life member and a former president of West Perth Football Club.

Outside of sport, Rockman co-founded the WA Motor Industry Foundation, held leadership roles with local Rotary and Apex clubs, and he currently volunteers as a justice of the peace, and is the Perth Jewish representative on the Council of Christians and Jews of Western Australia (CCJWA).

Rockman said he “humbly accepts” the OAM honour.


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