The Rona Tranby Trust


The Rona Tranby Trust was established as a result of a bequest from Thomas Paul Rona who died tragically with his wife Eva in a car accident in September 1987.

The Rona’s were holocaust survivors who lost many family members in the Nazi camps. Both were committed social justice activists, taking a keen role in raising awareness of the Holocaust within the non-Jewish community. As members of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies they were active in promoting inter-ethnic harmony.

In setting up the Rona Tranby Award, it was agreed that parallels between Aboriginal and Jewish history gave a compelling logic to link these different communities. Both peoples share important values and priorities and have suffered persecution, dispossession of lands and attempted genocide.

The original concept of the Award was to utilize the expertise that had been cultivated within the Jewish community in the recording of the oral history of Holocaust survivors. Such knowledge could benefit and assist the Aboriginal community in recording the oral history of their Elders. As the Foundation has developed other members of the wider community have contributed significantly to various Rona Tranby projects such as Professor Heather Goodall who has recorded the oral history of Aunty Isabel Flick and Kevin Cook.

The Deed of Trust was finalised at a public ceremony at Tranby Aboriginal College on September 2nd 1991 in the presence of the Minister assisting the Premier on Aboriginal and Ethnic Affairs, Paul Zammit. The awards have to date supported 8 varied and valuable projects throughout Australia.

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Read about The Rona Tranby Trust’s Australian Light Horse Centenary Project.