Kathy Kaplan OAM
Kathy was a secondary Maths/English teacher who spent most of her teaching career in North Queensland working with Aboriginal and Islander adolescents. Since having her three children, Kathy has, as a single mum, spent the better part of her professional life working in the fields of educational management and fundraising.
The daughter of a holocaust survivor, Kathy is a self-professed learning-junkie who must have drunk the spirit of volunteerism with her mother’s milk.
A four-time breast cancer survivor, Kathy has been a passionate presenter advocating for breast cancer research and has supported young single mums facing their breast cancer journeys. She has had the sad privilege of sitting with five such women during their last moments.
A past president of Temple Beth Israel, Kathy is now an active participant in the school tour teams there, at the Jewish Museum of Australia and with the Jewish Christian Muslim Association. Kathy also volunteers as a team member preparing the dead for burial. Her involvement with Beit Rafael includes packing and delivering 'Shabbos [Sabbath] Boxes' to Jewish patients in Hospital.
Presented with the Good Shepherd's inaugural Audacious Women's Award at Parliament House in 2012, Kathy has also been the runner up of both the Brainlink Women of Achievement and the Dame Phyllis Frost Awards in 2008.
On Australia Day 2011, Kathy was awarded an Order of Australia Medal with a double citation for what the Governor-General described as her pioneering work in the area of domestic violence and also for her work in the Jewish community.
In October 2015, Kathy was honoured with the prestigious Ron Castan Humanitarian Award for lifetime achievement and, earlier this year, her portrait was hung in MacRobertson Girls' High School's portrait gallery as a scholar of note.
Kathy is the Founder of impact, a volunteer-led and driven charity making a difference to Victorian women and children fleeing extreme violence at home.