Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts headlined the 2022 Zionist Federation of Australia Biennial Conference on Sunday 30 October 2022.
The Biennial Conference brought Jewish leaders, professionals and state representatives to Melbourne from around Australia to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the Jewish community and the State of Israel.
Ahead of the conference, ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “After two years of online conferences, it is exciting that the event will be held in person. The program drills down into some of the key issues the Australian Jewish community holds dear. It’s a program and a conference focused on making even brighter the future of the community and Australia’s relations with Israel.”
Tim Watts spoke about the Australia–Israel relationship, in his capacity as Assistant Foreign Minister. Also speaking was Israeli Ambassador to Australia Amir Maimon. Each of the keynote speakers answered questions after their speeches.
The conference included two panel discussions and a workshop session. The first panel examined Israel Programs into the Future, with Tracie Olcha (CEO of Australian Jewish Funders), Dr Ron Weiser AM (board member of Y2i and Milli Phillips Foundation) and Dr David Graham (a consultant demographer to the JCA). The panel looked at funding models, to ensure the sustainability of these vitally important investments into our community’s future.
The second panel explored Zionist voices in progressive spaces. Deborah Stone (Editor of +61J), Jasmine Munn-McDonnell (PhD candidate, Adelaide University) and Prof Phillip Mendes (Monash University) discussed the challenges and opportunities for Zionists in academia, the progressive media and the arts.
The final major component of the ZFA conference was an interactive workshop of group discussions. Attendees explored a range of topics touching on issues regarding diaspora affairs and Israel, presenting an opportunity to suggest and discuss ideas to help build the future of the Australian Jewish community.