International Holocaust Remembrance Day – 27 January 2021

Australia’s first national event bringing together local Holocaust Survivors and dignitaries to inspire Australians to be a light in the darkness.

For the first time a national coalition of Holocaust organisations will join forces to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January 2021 at 7pm, AEDT.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre of Melbourne, Sydney Jewish Museum, Adelaide Holocaust Museum, Queensland Holocaust Museum, Holocaust Institute of WA and Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants have joined forces to deliver a nationwide virtual event to commemorate this global day of remembrance.

The Australian theme for this memorable event; Be a Light in the Darkness, encourages Australians to reflect on the depth that humanity can sink to, but also how individuals and communities resisted that darkness in the past and the ways in which we can ‘be a light’, today and in the years ahead.

The following notable speakers will be providing their perspective on the topic: Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison MP; The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP; Senator The Hon. Penny Wong; The Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG; Holocaust Survivor Olga Horak OAM; Gideon Reisner, CEO of Stand Up; and Mr. John Gandel AC, Chair of Gandel Foundation and ambassador for universal Holocaust education in Australia. They will deliver inspiring messages which focus on remembrance of the Holocaust with a view to the current human rights landscape and hope for the future.

The most powerful part of this event will include Holocaust survivors from NSW, SA, VIC, ACT, TAS, WA and QLD participating in a unique candle lighting ceremony, that will feature the survivor symbolically passing the light to future generations of their family, to ensure that the memory of the 6 million murdered in the Holocaust, are never forgotten.

Jayne Josem, CEO of the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) in Melbourne says, “Commemorating the tragic events of the Holocaust is absolutely paramount as its lessons are frighteningly relevant and real today. We are so proud to be part of this groundbreaking event, uniting Holocaust survivors, inspiring thought leaders, community members and museums across Australia.”

The event will remind individuals to reflect on the past and heed the action to shine their own ‘light’ on intolerance and injustices that continue to be prevalent in society.

Gandel Foundation, one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds, provided generous financial and in-kind support to enable this special commemoration to come to fruition. The Gandel family have been a long-standing ambassador and advocate for Holocaust education in Australia, including through the world-class Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators. Thanks also to the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Multicultural Affairs, who also kindly provided financial support to JHC for this event.