Message from Ian Poyser, Head of Middle School and Assistant Principal – Pastoral Care – April 2018

Yesterday saw the Commemoration of ANZAC day with the Dawn Service, the March and a series of sporting games across the day. A solemn day for some but a moving tribute to those who fought to keep Australia safe.

At Bialik, we had our own ANZAC Service the day before with separate assemblies for the Primary, Middle and Senior Schools. Sally Stevens, our Head of History, along with a group of students from across Middle and Senior Schools presented a very detailed PowerPoint outlining some defining moments in the latter part of World War 1.

What some of you may not know is that there is a Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia (VAJEX) which has its own ANZAC Day service. I have been to this service for the last six years and have found it to be a very moving occasion with some outstanding speakers such as Tim Costello. It is made even more moving with the Greg Sher Awards being presented to students from each of the Jewish Schools by Greg’s parents, Felix and Yvonne. This year, Bialik students Rikki Meyerson and Andy Gordon will be receiving the award at the VAJEX ceremony, which will be held at Glen Eira Town Hall at 10:30 am on Sunday 29 April. Here are Gary Velleman’s comments about Rikki and Andy:

Rikki Meyerson
“Rikki is a steadfast and dependable member of her cohort and a budding future leader of both Bialik and the community at large. She is already affecting great positive change through her previous commitments to Year 9 leadership, Year 10 Hadracha, Year 11 Buildings Bridges and her current leadership role within Habonim. Rikki stands strong for what she believes in, fostering a positive impact on her peers through her strong interpersonal relationships. Rikki has recently been inducted into the Mazkirut of 5887 and we look forward to the impact she will have on our community.”

Andy Gordon
“Andy is a dedicated, driven and passionate student within his Year level and upholds a strong moral compass. He has shown initiative and is never afraid to speak his mind when it comes to the wellbeing of those around him. His participation in the Building Bridges program, as well has his constant engagement with the world around him shows how much he cares and how much he wishes to leave a positive mark. I am excited to see where Andy’s drive and dedication leads him on his leadership journey and he begins his time as a Mazkir in 5778.”

Rikki and Andy are deserving students of this wonderful award. Greg Sher fought and died for his country and I am delighted that his parents, Felix and Yvonne will be presenting the awards to our worthy students.

If you’d like to know more about Private Greg Sher, please scroll down to the eulogy below, which details his life and honourable death.

Ian Poyser
Assistant Principal-Pastoral Care
Head of Middle School


Greg Sher’s eulogy from the Defence Force of Australia:

Private Gregory Michael Sher was killed in a rocket attack in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, early last Sunday evening Australian time.

Private Sher was a member of the Sydney-based 1st Commando Regiment and at the time of the attack was with a Special Operations Task Group element that had deployed from Tarin Kowt to a provincial patrol base.

Private Sher was 30 years old and leaves behind his parents, two brothers and his partner, who are currently receiving support from Defence.

Private Sher was born in South Africa in 1978 and moved to Australia with his family in 1986. He joined the Army in 1998 as an Army Reserve infantryman and deployed to East Timor in 2002. In 2004 he completed the commando selection course and joined the 1st Commando Regiment, going on to complete the suite of Special Forces courses required to become a qualified commando.

For his service in East Timor, Private Sher received the Australian Active Service Medal, the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor Medal and the Infantry Combat Badge. Private Sher has also been awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the NATO Medal with ISAF Clasp, the Australian Defence Medal and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private (PTE) Gregory Michael Sher during operations in Afghanistan.

PTE Sher was serving with the Special Operations Task Group when he was killed by a rocket attack in Oruzgan Province, on Sunday 4 January 2009. 30 year old PTE Sher was from the Sydney-based 1st Commando Regiment.

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