“Giving back to the community is at the heart of my family, and my husband John and I, and our children and grandchildren, don’t do it for the accolades. We know that we have been very fortunate in life and we feel a strong obligation to give back, to contribute, and to help others less fortunate to build fulfilling lives.”
Mrs Gandel dedicated the award to “all those trying to help those in need” and said it was recognition for all the causes and organisations I have been supporting from arts and culture to medical research, indigenous programs to building social cohesion, inclusion, funding and supporting for both the Jewish and general community.
Her work began decades ago when she single-handedly ran an op shop at the Chadstone Shopping Centre for over a decade generating some $1.6 million dollars in sales for the Jewish Museum of Australia and Vision Australia.
She and her husband established Gandel Philanthropy over 40 years ago which has distributed over $100 million to charitable causes since its formation.
Her interest in early childhood development forged some ground-breaking projects,most notablythe much-loved and multi-sensory Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum.
The couple decided to fund the DNA Sequencing machine at the Monash Health Precinct in 2006, helping to seed the growth of genomics.
In 2008, she supported the Royal Women’s Hospital to purchase a state-of-the-art MRI machine to help revolutionise the care provided to women and newborn babies.
Mrs Gandel’s love ofall things Japaneseis also well-known, especially tea drinking, lacquer and porcelain and was instrumental setting-up the Pauline Gandel Gallery of Japanese Art at the NGV in 2012, regarded today as the most important collection of Japanese art in Australia.