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4 min read
Generations of change: How the Einfeld family is continuing a compassionate legacy
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 10/8/2023
Hailing from a family of allied health workers, the values of social justice and compassion played an important role in Sophie and Georgia Einfeld’s upbringing, across multiple generations.
“Our grandmother (Maadi) and grandfather (John) were regular givers and had strong values of compassion, justice and civic responsibility,” Sophie explains.
“They lived a modest life and supported their community in Sydney through fundraising and volunteering. John was a lawyer and community leader and Maadi was an artist and supported his work, running an open house often full of locals and friends.
“They were amazing people and both believed in creating paths to opportunity.”
When their beloved grandmother Maadi passed away in Sydney in 2022, Sophie and Georgia’s family decided to turn the inheritance into a Named Fund at Australian Communities Foundation.
“We wanted to create a lasting legacy to honour our grandparents’ own commitment to supporting community through fundraising and volunteering,” Sophie explains.
“That meant doing more than just giving money away. We wanted to be able to extend the impact of our giving by doing fundraising and other volunteer work.”
“We were raised with progressive values and we share that as a family, so the values of Australian Communities Foundation were very much aligned with our own and the causes we wanted to support.”
“The John and Maadi Einfeld Fund allows us to provide ongoing support in a sustainable way to the causes we care about as a family.”
We were raised with progressive values and we share that as a family, so the values of Australian Communities Foundation were very much aligned with our own
The two Einfeld sisters and their parents Steve and Judi come together as a family each year to decide what to support.
“The first cause we all wanted to get behind was supporting a First Nations Voice to Parliament,” Sophie says.
While on maternity leave, Sophie along with her sister Georgia and a group of their friends, organised a fundraising event for the Yes 23 campaign at Thornbury Bowls Club.
“We wanted to support grassroot efforts to get the message out that now is the time to vote Yes for a First Nations Voice that is recognised in the Constitution, and we were really inspired to see how we could rally our community to support the cause too,” Georgia says.
We wanted to support grassroot efforts to get the message out that now is the time to vote Yes for a First Nations Voice
“We worked with Yes 23 and Australian Communities Foundation connected us with changemakers and organisations and helped support the event.”
With food, raffles and family-friendly activities, the event included a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, a performance by Charlie Needs Braces, a live auction, comedy by Kimmie Lovegrove and an inspiring discussion between Josh Reid Jones and Australian Communities Foundation Director, First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria member and proud Gunditjmara man Rueben Berg.
During the Q&A discussion, Rueben shared his aspirations for the future.
“From an Aboriginal perspective, we just want to be able to take control of the things that affect us,” Rueben explained.
“At the moment there’s a whole variety of decisions that the government makes on our behalf, whether that’s decisions about how we live our lives as Aboriginal people, whether that’s around what happens to our land and our waters, what happens to our communities more broadly.
“The government is making all those decisions, so my aspiration from a community perspective is that we become in charge of making those decisions. It’s about making sure it’s no longer someone else making those decisions for us.
“My aspiration from a broader perspective is that I hope that people no longer think about Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal people as something ‘else’ from some ‘other’ place,” Rueben continued.
“That everybody recognises that no matter where you are, you are on an Aboriginal place and you can connect to that and not see our culture as some sort of ‘other’ that you’ve got nothing to do with, but that people can celebrate and see it is being recognised and celebrated, and people can share in that celebration.”
The Einfeld family raised over $65,000 in donations for Yes 23 – more than double their original fundraising target, with more than 200 people from the local community, family and friends attending the event.
“It was such an uplifting day that showed what we can achieve when we come together as a community” Sophie says.
Listen to the Q&A discussion (36 min) with Rueben Berg as part of the Random Acts of Conversation podcast here