Dame Grace Hollander: An extraordinary New Zealander

Dame Grace Hollander: An extraordinary New Zealander

July 1, 2016

The Human Rights Commission has paid tribute to Dame Grace Hollander who passed away this week aged 94.

“Dame Grace Hollander believed ‘we are all responsible for one another’ and dedicated most of her life to voluntary and community work, ‘retiring’ at 90,’ said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“A bold and dynamic force Dame Grace has been standing up for the rights of New Zealanders from migrant and refugee communities for the past 70+ years.”

“Extraordinary people like Dame Grace Hollander epitomise what human rights activism is all about: people who not only make a stand on behalf of others but who also work for their communities.”

The daughter of post WW1 Jewish migrants from the UK, during WWII she served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, serving on the National Council of Women of New Zealand; the Christchurch Relief and Welfare Association, Canterbury Women’s Cricket, the UN Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Jewish Women.  

Dame Grace was also the first woman president of the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils. She was made a Dame Companion in 2000 and was awarded a New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993.

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.