It is with great sadness that we advise that Valerie Rosenstrauss, the wife of Founding Director Al Rosenstrauss passed away at her Launceston home on Sunday 12 August.  She was 89 years old.

Val met Al through their common interest in photography and they also shared a passion for travel.  She moved from Brisbane to Sydney in 1979 and they married in 1980.  It wasn’t long afterwards that Val resigned her position as a radiographer at Prince of Wales Hospital to help Al manage the work of “a strange old lady who owns a lot of real estate”.  That lady was of course, the Late Mrs Rebecca L Cooper.

After Mrs Cooper regained her strength following her hospitalisation from a domestic accident, Val and Al would take her out for picnics and other outings on weekends and arrange for her medical care.  Val was present on the day the Foundation was created and took a keen interest in the Foundation’s activities after she retired in 2011.

Although happy to run with the label of “Al’s wife”, it was a well known fact that Val was the ‘Engine Room” of the Foundation from its inception until her retirement.  In addition to her work helping with the administrative side of managing Mrs Cooper’s and later the Foundation’s properties, Val collated and controlled the grant applications and coordinated their scoring before computers were there to assist.  She also organised and hosted the Foundation’s Annual awards dinner, which grew from a gathering of a handful of people in 1985 to events for nearer to 150 people.  All of this was done voluntarily, foregoing any payment so that the Foundation could make “one extra grant”, which she would say “might be the project that changes the world”.

It is for that reason that the directors created the Al and Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship in 2012 to recognise and commemorate the contribution both made to the Foundation.  Fittingly, the last Foundation event Al & Val attended was to present the inaugural Fellowship Award (photo below).

All who knew Val recognised a loving and caring and incredibly patient woman who was generous with her time combined intellect and humour with a warm welcoming personality.  She loved life and is now reunited with the love of her life.  Val is survived by her children John, Robert and Helen as well as her step-children Jeffrey, David, Graham, Carol, Steven and Lyn; their partners and a brace of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

1984 – Val attends the inauguration of the Foundation  (image below)     2012 – Al, Tom and Val present inaugural Fellowship to Dr Graeme Polglase (image below)