Congratulations Anneke Deutsch OAM

King’s Birthday Honours 2023 | J-Wire


Anneke DEUTSCH, Daylesford VIC 3460

For service to the community through a range of roles.

Matrix Guild of Victoria

  • Housing Convenor, and Housing and Aged Care Spokeswoman, since 2015.
  • Committee Member, c2007-2018.
  • President, 2018.
  • Past Secretary.

Older Women in Cohousing Inc (WINC)

  • Co-Founder and President, since 2016.

Hepburn Renewable Energy Association/Sustainable Hepburn Association (later know as Hepburn Community Wind Park Co-operative Ltd)

  • Community Organiser, Solar Panel Bulk Buy Project.
  • Founding Member, c2005.

Additional roles

  • Member, LGBTI Aged Care Advisory Committee, Hepburn Health Service, since 2012.
  • Member, Organising Committee, National Lesbian Cultural Celebration and Conference in Daylesford, 1998.
  • Volunteer and/or Organiser, Women’s Ball and LesFest, ChillOut Festival, Daylesford, 1990s.
  • Panellist, The Making Homes series, MPavillion – Architecture Commission.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past, when a woman could not get a bank loan on her own without a man to sign for her and a father could be granted custody of his children simply because their mother was a lesbian.

“In the past I had to be closeted if I wanted to keep my job” Anneke Deutsch told J-Wire.

While these days life is more open and accepting for lesbians, the largest marginalised group in Australia are still older women.

Anneke Deutsch founded Matrix Guild of Victoria in 1972 as a charity to help older lesbians. She is proud that WINC –  older women in Cohousing – has bought land in rural Victoria where it is hoped they will be able to build 32 dwellings.

She explained that cohousing can mean common facilities like community gardens and a different range of mixed tenure, a different way of giving ownership to women of limited means.

[Official record]

“Activist for Life and Enlightenment” by Geoff Allshorn

Geoff Allshorn writes about the life of Holocaust Survivor and humanist Halina Strnad:

“As a cultural Jew and Holocaust survivor, she wrote to a Jewish community newspaper some decades ago calling for the inclusion of an LGBT Jewish group within formal Jewish community networks; one of her last attempts at activism came early this year when she offered to participate (as a longtime supporter and ally of LGBT rights) within a Rainbow Humanist group marching in Melbourne’s Pride March – an offer which sadly was ultimately unable to be taken up due to understandable caution over public transmission concerns regarding COVID in crowded spaces.”

AJN June 11 1999 Letters Halina Strnad
Australian Jewish News
June 11 1999 page 16

I WRITE to express my dismay at the JCCV’s decision to reject the Aleph gay group as an affiliate member.

As a consequence of prejudice and intolerance, Jews, gypsies and homosexuals were persecuted and, during the Holocaust, slaughtered wholesale.

Deemed ‘undesirable elements’ and separated only by barbed wire in extermination camps, these groups of people were brutally eliminated because in some ways they were not quite like the majority.

As a former undesirable Jewish ‘element’ but a survivor, I hoped that more than any other attitude, tolerance would be imprinted on the collective Jewish psyche.

Halina Strnad
Box Hill South



Woman of Valor (אשת חיל) – Mobile Film Festival Women’s Empowerment

From the Mobile Film Festival (1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film – Women’s Empowerment):

As a secular straight student at Jewish University, I have witnessed the struggle of the Orthodox Jewish LGBTQ community to gain recognition from the University. The natural tension between tradition and innovation arouses my curiosity, especially when there are those who suppose that some of our biblical heroes loved their same sex, like David and Jonathan. I wanted to touch on this ongoing conflict between faith and self expression. Is there another way by which we can live and let live?

Directed by: Lara Vosburgh
Country: United States of America