About us

The Holocaust started in 1933 and ended in May 1945. Survivors of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ to eradicate the Jewish people are sadly dying out and we need to preserve their stories, honour their memory, and celebrate those who died heroically to save Jewish people and other marginalised communities.

We need to teach younger generations the lessons of the Holocaust to ensure this travesty never happens again – and we must never forget.

While there are established Holocaust museums in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, Queensland has never had one until now. Although, one of our amazing Holocaust survivors, George Stein, did hold an exhibition in Brisbane City Hall in July 1982, which was attended by more than 10,000 people.

In September/October 2020, understanding the need and commitment to Holocaust remembrance, funding commitments totalling $7.5 million were made by all 3 levels of government (Australian Government $3.5 million, Queensland Government $3.5 million and the Brisbane City Council $0.5 million).

A new non-profit company was established in May 2021 called Queensland Holocaust Museum and Education Centre Limited (QHMEC).

QHMEC’s vision is that by sharing the voices of survivors, the stories and heartbreak of the Holocaust and other genocides, we will inspire, educate and motivate Queenslanders and other visitors to stand up against intolerance, antisemitism, hatred, racism and indifference and promote multiculturalism, acceptance and harmony.

Our museum will add greatly to the cultural tourism offering in Queensland.

We are honoured to be the newest Holocaust museum in Australia, if not the world.

Our people

We have a small group of Board members, and together with our staff and dedicated volunteers, we are delivering Holocaust education throughout Queensland. Read more about our team below.

Board

Jason Steinberg (Chairman)

Jason is a Principal of international consulting firm GHD and manages a portfolio of global clients. He has held a number of senior roles in media, public relations and business development since he graduated from QUT in 1991. His experience also includes more than 14 years working in the media and in advisory roles for a range of private and public sector organisations in Queensland and the UK. He served on the Queensland Government Multicultural Advisory Council from

2014 to 2019 and has been active in the Queensland Jewish community for more than 3 decades, serving as both vice-president and president of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies. He has also been the responsible officer for managing a number of Federal, State and Local Government grants provided to assist the Jewish community.

Ro Markson (Deputy Chair)

Ro is CEO of AC Agency, a national corporate communication agency. Over the last 38 years, Ro has worked with multi-national blue-chip clients resulting in many, many award-winning campaigns. She is a specialist in crisis and reputation risk management and has worked with a host of international celebrities, heads of state and personalities, including President Nelson Mandela, Presidents Clinton and Bush Snr, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and many others. Ro has worked with many start-up organisations and associations to create maximum awareness and build interest including ANZGOG, the Australian Red Cross, CSIRO, The National Measurement Institute, Mardi Gras and The Wishing Tree Appeal.

Libby Burke

Libby has more than 25 years’ experience in communications, working as a journalist, editor, running her own public relations consultancy agency, to now working in communications for the Queensland Government. Since 2013, she has been involved with Jewish communal affairs in Queensland, Australia and globally playing an active role in presenting events to the community. Libby was involved in Courage to Care in the early days of its inception in Queensland, and wrote the chapters on Jews and Israelis in the book, We Are Queenslanders: Contemporary multicultural tapestry of peoples (2015).

Ray Epstein, OAM

Ray is an experienced executive, having worked in the not-for-profit sector for almost 30 years, including 18 years as CEO of Queensland’s peak body for disability sport (Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association). He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1985, worked in that profession from 1982 to 1990, and has held Board positions for a number of not-for-profit organisations. Ray has also had extensive involvement in high performance sport as an elite athlete, national coach and administrator. He competed in 2 Paralympic Games and multiple World Championships and was appointed as Australian Head Coach for Paralympic Powerlifting from 2003 to 2013. He was a Board member of the Queensland Academy of Sport from 2008 to 2021, serving as Deputy Chair for the last 4 years of his tenure. Ray’s professional background has forged a wide range of skills including strategic thinking, financial oversight, risk and people management, and stakeholder engagement. Ray’s father and grandparents fled from Germany in 1937 and a number of family members lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Paul Johnson

Paul has over 20 years’ experience in cost planning, estimating and Quantity Surveying experience delivering building projects of all sizes in Brisbane, across Australia, NZ and the USA. He has well developed and refined skills in the management of commercial risk to maximise financial returns. His specialities include cost planning and estimating on complex building projects. He provides a high degree of skills in risk mitigation for small and large projects. Paul has been active in Queensland’s Jewish community since moving from Sydney in 2008.

Paul Klug 

Paul is an experienced and successful commercial professional with well-developed project management, negotiation, legal, risk management and governance skills. His experience spans multiple sectors and organisations including top

ASX listed entities, government owned corporations and private legal practice. He is currently a Director of RPS, a multidisciplinary consulting business and leads high performing teams to deliver decisive commercial outcomes to achieve business goals. Paul’s grandparents, Bert and Eva Klug, survived the horrors of the Holocaust to establish a flourishing family in Brisbane.

Operations

Laure Coleman

Laure is the Museum’s General Manager. She has more than 20 years of experience in international education leadership in Queensland, Asia Pacific, Europe and France. She has a strong interest and passion for Holocaust education. Laure has experience implementing and developing start-up educational programs. She is also registered with the Queensland College of Teachers.

Gabby Magnus

Gabby is the Museum’s Operation Manager. She has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality running a coffee business at the University of Queensland. She has also worked extensively within the Jewish community of Queensland. She brings her passion for people and teaching about the Holocaust.

Lauren Chalk

Lauren is the Museum’s Head of Collections. She has just completed her PhD in grassroots and traditional heritage practices at the School of Humanities, Languages & Social Science, Griffith University. She researches and works in cultural heritage and museums. She is proud to have worked with Jewish cultural and historical organisations in the UK, including the Jewish Museum London, where she worked as Visitor Experience Manager until 2019.

Affiliations

The Australian Holocaust Museum Alliance (AHMA) is a newly formed group of 6 current or planned museums in Australia. It will work collaboratively to achieve excellence and promote the value of Holocaust education and commemoration in Australia. The AHMA will conduct national remembrance activities, measure their impact, advocate on important issues and share resources with its members.

Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies (QJBD) – QHMEC is affiliated with the roof body of Queensland Jewry, in order to work together to advocate for Holocaust education across the state.