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Marie Bashir Inspires Budding Young Scientists at Technion Australia Cocktails

Photography by Giselle Haber.

Professor the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO was the honoured guest at a cocktail party held by Technion Australia at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Lag B’Omer. Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, awarded Professor Bashir an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) in 2016 and community members were delighted to see it presented to her by Technion Australia President, Dr. Ruth Ratner at the event.

Left: Dr Ruth Ratner, and Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO

Right: Dr Ruth Ratner, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Hilary May Black

The Honorary Doctorate was awarded to Professor Bashir for her “significant contribution to psychiatry and mental health; in tribute to your public service and leadership in building understanding between peoples of all backgrounds; and for your support and friendship to the Jewish People, Israel and the Technion”. Professor Bashir became Technion Australia’s Patron in 2015.

Dr. Ratner also launched the “Technion Australia Marie Bashir Scholarship Fund”, open to all Australian students to undertake courses or exchange programs at Technion, and particularly to assist those from indigenous or disadvantaged backgrounds, causes close to Professor Bashir’s heart.

The event celebrated the unprecedented selection of 5 Australian students, out of 60 world-wide, to attend SciTech, Technion’s prestigious International Summer Science Camp in July 2017. Hannah Whitmont from Moriah College was the thrilled winner of the Technion Australia 2017 SciTech Scholarship. She will be joined at SciTech by Moriah College school mates Matthew Blau, Leila Freedman, and Jaime Levine and Masada College student, Olivia Chen.

Left: Leila Freedman, Jaime Levine, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Hannah Whitmont

Right: Matthew Blau, Jaime Levine, Hannah Whitmont, Leila Freedman

Left: Hannah Whitmont, Dr Ruth Ratner

Right: Norton Whitmont, Eric Slobedman, Kaley and Hannah Whitmont, Jenny Slobedman, Stevie and Theo Whitmont

Left: Jaime and Kevin Levine, and Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO

Right: Kevin, Jaime and Sheryl Levine

Left: Ramona and Leila Freedman

Right: Robbie, Matthew and Lauren Blau

Dr Ratner says, “It’s wonderful to see the students’ excitement about this very special opportunity to travel to Israel and work with Technion academics on valuable research projects. They particularly loved meeting Professor Bashir. Her Honorary Doctorate from Technion and many other achievements are a real inspiration to them.”

Erika Strazdins, winner of the 2016 Australia-Israel UNSW Medical Students Elective Award, spoke about her exchange semester at the Technion undertaking melanoma research with Technion’s world-class researchers as a “life changing experience” and says she strongly encourages other students to study at Technion.

Special Guest, Noa Bentor from the International School at Technion, was on hand to tell guests about the exciting new Gap Year program at Technion, specifically catering for the Australian academic year. The program offers a blend of academic studies in science and engineering, leadership development workshops, Hebrew language classes, volunteering, cultural experiences and unforgettable discovery tours. Unique to the program is a series of visits to some of Israel’s leading high-tech laboratories and start-ups.

The Jewish News reported on the event here.

For more information about SciTech, Technion Australia’s scholarship program and the new Technion Gap Year program contact Technion Australia’s Executive Director, Hilary May Black at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .