Telling the stories of the Holocaust educates and inspires South Australians to stand up against antisemitism and racism, and actively contribute to a fairer, just and more compassionate world.
Our vision and mission
It is our vision to tell the stories of the Holocaust to educate and inspire South Australians to stand up against antisemitism and racism, and actively contribute to creating a fairer, just, and more compassionate world.
The museum’s education programs, exhibitions and collections will motivate visitors to develop ethical values and active citizenship, encouraging action against antisemitism and any form of hate.
The Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Andrew Steiner Education Centre (AHMSEC) was launched in November 2020. AHSMEC is located within Fennescey House, a heritage building owned by the Catholic Archdiocese adjacent to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, with generous support by way of a peppercorn leasing agreement.
The vision of Andrew Steiner OAM, Holocaust survivor, artist, historian, and self-funded Holocaust educator for over 30 years in South Australia provided the starting point for AHMSEC.
With his late wife Helen, Andrew founded the Remember the Holocaust Compassion for All Foundation to establish a capital fund for the development of the museum. Principal Partner, Gandel Foundation provided the lead capital pledge to fund the design, fit-out, and curation of the Holocaust exhibition. The capital campaign attracted over $400,000 from a combination of philanthropic funds and individual donations. The establishment of the museum ensures that Holocaust education will continue throughout South Australia for years to come.
The museum has an obligation to preserve Holocaust history to educate future generations through programs that instil human rights and develop ethical and social awareness of young people and the wider community.
AHMSEC invites visitors to engage with themes from the Holocaust and their continuing relevance in contemporary society through the core exhibition, travelling exhibitions, local Holocaust survivor stories as well as education and public access programs.
With the generous support of the Catholic Archdiocese, the Adelaide Holocaust Museum is housed in the historic Fennescey House at 33 Wakefield Street. This State heritage-listed building is located in the grounds of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and prior to it becoming the museum, accommodated Centacare Catholic Family Services.
Fennescey House first opened in 1941 as the Catholic Church’s Education Offices. The building is named after its patrons, husband and wife John and Mary Fennescey, two of the Adelaide Archdiocese’s most generous benefactors. They donated £20,000 towards its construction. It was designed by local architect Herbert Jory (1888-1966) in the Gothic Revival style.
John Fennescey (1866-1948) and Mary Jane Fennescey née Hanrahan (1878-1946) were both children of Irish migrants who had grown up on the Yorke Peninsula near Wallaroo. John was a successful farmer by the time they married in 1904, and Mary had already begun buying commercial properties in the area and doing charitable works for the Catholic Church. John eventually inherited his six brothers’ farms. Realizing that they would have no children of their own, the Fennesceys decided to help the then impoverished Catholic Church in South Australia. In the 1920s they sold nearly all their country properties and retired to Glenelg. For the next twenty years, they continued to donate large sums of money to the Adelaide Diocese for buildings and land in both the suburbs and the city.
Katarina (Kathy) is a highly skilled executive director and manager with extensive experience in the arts and cultural sector both locally and abroad. She has held roles as an executive producer, arts and events manager, educator and trainer and, community cultural development facilitator.
Kathy holds a MA in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey (UK) and received a Distinction for her research investigating the impact of exile and identity on Jewish dance artists that survived the Holocaust. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management and a BA degree.
Tamas is an educator with two decades of experience working with learners of different ages in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.
Along with his commitment to enriching students’ learning experiences, he brings to his work a passion for history and a keen awareness of the lessons that the past can teach present and future generations.
He has Master’s Degrees in teaching from Oxford Brookes University and the University of South Australia.
Tamas is also a dedicated distance runner who gives and takes as much joy from his hobby as he does to his work.
Pauline is an experienced museum curator and freelance researcher/writer in both the UK and Australia. For the last decade she has been Community History Officer at the History Trust of SA, working with numerous South Australian community history groups as well as curating several travelling exhibitions.
She has travelled widely, visiting many museums worldwide including Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and other Holocaust and Jewish museums in both Australia and overseas.
Pauline holds an Honours degree in Art History, a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies and MA in Digital Heritage (University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies, UK). She is passionate about social justice and the role of museums as agents of change.
Nicola Zuckerman has a Bachelor of Law with Honours obtained from the University of Adelaide. She also has a Bachelor of Arts, and an Honours Degree in History. For the past seven years, Nicola has worked as a lawyer for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (SA). Nicola is also a member of Beit Shalom Synagogue and since 2015 has been a member of its Board of Management.
Jill is Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of the Nova group of companies and sits on the Boards of several local organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Mathematics), Master of Business Administration, and Master of Commerce (Accounting). Jill is a CPA, and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In her leisure time, she plays oboe in the Norwood Symphony Orchestra, sings in the Beit Shalom choir, and practises yoga.
Elizabeth Ho OAM
Elizabeth Ho OAM has held a number of senior positions in the public and higher education sectors and has enjoyed a long association with State heritage and history preservation. Appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, she has considerable governance experience. She has been a long-serving Deputy Chair of the Australian Migrant Resource Centre. She is the Chair of the History Trust of SA, a statutory authority, and also chairs the Migration Museum Foundation. She previously served on the State Heritage Authority and the Palliative Care SA Board. She was the inaugural director of The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at the University of South Australia for 15 years, accepting the Governor’s Multicultural Award to the Centre (2012). She is listed on the SA Women’s Honour Roll. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to education and women in 2012 and was appointed a Fellow of the University of South Australia in 2014.
Andrew Steiner OAM
Board Member and Educator
Andrew Steiner OAM is a Holocaust survivor, born in Budapest in 1933 and survived the Shoah in hiding. Andrew has completed studies at the University of Adelaide in Modern European History, Political Science, English and Art majoring in sculpture. Andrew is a past President of the South Australian Royal Society of Arts and is featured within the Eminent Australians collection at the National and State Libraries. For the past 30 years, Andrew has been teaching about the Holocaust at South Australian secondary schools and tertiary institutions. In 2017 Andrew was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his contribution to Art and History. 2010 Human Rights Awards National Finalist. He is a member of Beit Shalom Synagogue.