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Philanthropic and media identity given AO

03 Mar 2020

Philanthropic and media identity given AO Image

Recently departed CEO of the Pratt Foundation, Southbank’s Sam Lipski was earlier this year made an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia.

The former journalist and commentator was given the distinguished honour, limited to just 140 people nationally each year, for “distinguished service to the community through the promotion of strategic philanthropy, to education, and to Australia-Israel relations”.

Mr Lipski’s 21-year tenure as chief executive of the Pratt Foundation, headquartered on Southbank Boulevard, ended in December.

Visy chair Anthony Pratt paid tribute at the time to “his magnificent work on behalf of the foundation’s philanthropic activities in Australia, Israel and internationally”.

A long-time advisor to business heavyweight and Visy founder Richard Pratt, Mr Lipski has kept ties with the foundation, where he remains involved as an advisor.

His AO also recognised a host of other philanthropic endeavours, including as founding director of Australian Jewish Funders (2008-2018) and Australia-Israel Scientific Exchange Foundation (1999-2010) and as the former chair of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University.

His extensive CV also includes six years as the president of the State Library of Victoria (2000-2006) and the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Let My People Go, co-written with Professor Suzanne Rutland Rutland, which detailed the struggle of Soviet Jews during the Cold War.

Mr Lipski’s career started in the mid-1960s as a journalist when he joined the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra and would become the first political commentator to appear nightly on network television.

Later that decade he was appointed Washington correspondent at The Australian before returning to Melbourne in 1973 to become the Australian correspondent for the Washington Post.

Later he would become a columnist for The Australian, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and take up senior roles in television with Channel 9 and the ABC before becoming editor-in-chief of The Australian Jewish News.

Upon receiving an honorary degree from Monash University in 2008, then vice-chancellor Richard Larkins said Mr Lipski was “one of the outstanding Australians of his generation” •

 

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