Zyngier, Dr David
Thursday, 30 November 2023
Mr BURNS (Macnamara) (09:33): I rise with sadness to acknowledge the passing of Dr David Zyngier this past weekend. David was a sitting councillor in the city of Glen Eira and a passionate advocate for social justice, education and our community. David’s passing came as a great shock to all of us. David was the son of Holocaust survivors from Poland, and he was the first in his family to complete high school and attend university. He graduated from Monash University, where he later returned as an academic and as an educator.
David was a well-respected member of our Jewish community. We didn’t always agree on things—in fact, we often didn’t agree on things—but I respected his intellect and his willingness to tackle difficult issues. He was a leader in the youth movement Hashomer Hatzair, a principal of the King David School, an active member of his synagogue, a member of the Jewish Climate Network and a fierce advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights in our community. He was elected as the councillor for Camden Ward in the city of Glen Eira just a few years ago, and he quickly became a passionate advocate for climate action and public services on the council. He co-founded the Glen Eira Emergency Climate Action Network and helped to develop the council’s target of achieving net zero council emissions by 2025.
David and I belonged to different political parties. Indeed, not only did he not vote for me but he actively campaigned against me at the last election. He was a proud member of the Greens. But, before he drifted into that journey, David actually launched my campaign, in 2014, when I was a candidate in the state election. He was a friend. I think he probably had sympathy for both our parties, but in the end he made the decision, he stuck with it and he was proud of that association.
David was respectful, kind and compassionate. He was an active member of our community and he always sought to represent people in the best way he knew how. He came into my office frequently. He would sit down and, as we had a cup of tea, he would try and convince me of what actions needed to happen, usually on a council matter. He would push for things like greater bike paths, greater active citizenship and, obviously, climate action as well. He joined our campaign in the referendum and was a big part of the Macnamara for Yes campaign, even though he was unwell at the time.
Throughout his life he committed himself to research, to education, to activism and to community life. He was a good man, he was a smart man, he was a community man and he enriched our community by all of his efforts. To his wife, Suzanne, and his children, Romy, Talia and Joel, I send my deepest condolences. I also send my condolences to the Greens and the broader Greens community. As we say in the Jewish tradition, may his memory be a blessing.