LATE former AJN CEO Joshua Levi “found his calling” in journalism, his parents Ian and Ann Levi said this week.
That calling saw him on Tuesday entered onto the NSW Multicultural Honour Roll, a “posthumous recognition that marks the legacy of those people who have made a lasting contribution to the community in New South Wales”.
With the Premier’s Harmony Dinner – the usual forum for inductees to be announced – cancelled this year due to COVID-19, Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee announced the honour on a Zoom call on Tuesday evening.
“Josh’s legacy will never be forgotten in NSW and we owe him a profound debt of gratitude to his contribution,” he said.
Noting Levi’s courage and commitment to journalism led to many honours, including the Best Investigative Story in 2016 and the Best News Story in 2016 and 2017 at the Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards, Lee added, “His reports uncovering serious allegations of sexual abuse became evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“We are delighted to honour Josh’s legacy in the Multicultural Honour Roll.”
Ian and Ann Levi told The AJN that “as parents, you hope that your child finds fulfilment and meaning in the work that they do, inspiration from family, mentors, colleagues and community”.
“Josh found his professional calling in journalism and his induction to the Honour Roll of Multicultural NSW on May 26 is testament to this,” they said.
“His love of the community and The AJN, his unwavering courage and commitment to investigate and report the truth, his desire to champion the cause of any story with empathy and integrity has made a lasting impact on our community and will forever serve as an inspiration to all those who love him and those who worked with him.
“We are immensely proud of our son.”
AJN national editor Zeddy Lawrence said it is “particularly poignant” that Josh received the honour on the same evening that alleged child abuser Malka Leifer was finally deemed fit to be extradited.
“Josh covered the Leifer story for The AJN for a number of years, giving voice to her alleged victims and supporting their efforts to have the former principal returned to Australia to stand trial,” he said.
“As a journalist, Josh was committed to making the Jewish community a better, safer and more honest environment for all its members.
“This well-deserved recognition bestowed by the Premier of NSW recognises his dedication to making readers proud of their heritage and to improving the society in which we live, highlighting its flaws, campaigning for those failings to be rectified and holding those in positions of authority to account.”
Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton said it was an incredibly deserving honour.
“Josh’s passing has left a large gap in the Jewish community. He was a courageous and talented media professional who didn’t shy away from pursuing a story in the public interest,” Upton said.
“His legacy will never be forgotten.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff described Levi as a “fearless journalist who applied his craft to the greater good”.