Leila Hoffman

Leila Hoffman

  • ALIA Honorary Member 2009
  • Australia Day Honours List 2000

inCite vol.  21, April 2000, p. 23

Leila Hoffman makes the Australia Day honours list.

West Australian ALIA member, Leila Hoffman was honoured 'For service to the community through the campaign for equal pay, the establishment of the West Australian Young Readers Book Award and the Perth Torah Education Centre Library.'

As president of the West Australian School Libraries Section of the Library Association of Australia (now AL IA), Leila established the West Australian Young Readers Book Award in 1980. This award was the first children's book award in Australia where the winning books were chosen by young readers, not by adults, and the award is still running today. Awards are given to the authors of winning books, and the scheme encourages children to read.  Leila was an inspirational president of the West Australian School Libraries Section and she also served as national president of the School Libraries Section in the early 1980s.

In March 1989, in response to the request of Rabbi Freilich, Leila established the Perth Torah Education Centre Library and continues to manage its growing collection which includes Jewish religion, bible, history, festivals and customs. The library, open to Jews and non-Jews alike, not only lends items but is an information service, answering clients' questions. On the library's tenth anniversary, Rabbi Freilich renamed the library 'The Leila Hoffman Perth Torah Education Centre Library.'

Leila was also recognised for her work in the campaign for equal pay for women. She was the inaugural chairman of the Equal Pay Committee, formed to work for equal pay for women and, in 1960 aged only 28, she led a deputation to the West Australian premier to present the case for this cause. It was the continuing work of the committee Leila founded that eventually brought success.

Leila richly deserves this honour and our warmest congratulations are extended to her.