In Memoriam: Millie Phillips

TAU mourns Australian industrialist, dedicated friend and Honorary Doctor
21 July 2021
Millie Phillips (front, center) at TAU’s honorary doctorate ceremony in 2014. Photo: Israel Hadari

Tel Aviv University mourns the passing of Millie Phillips, a TAU Honorary Doctor and longtime friend of the University, at the age of 92.


A self-made entrepreneur, Phillips was one of Australia’s most prominent businesswomen and philanthropists of Jewish causes. Phillips was resolutely committed to fighting anti-Semitism and strengthening Jewish heritage, identity and continuity through educational and community programs in Australia and Israel.


Phillips was a staunch supporter of the State of Israel and an ardent TAU benefactor devoted to bolstering campus life and higher education. In recognition of her trailblazing accomplishments and magnanimous philanthropy, TAU awarded Phillips an honorary doctorate in 2014. Her generous contributions backed myriad projects at the University over the years, notably the Millie Phillips Student City housing complex, the Millie Phillips Lobby at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, and the Millie Phillips Floor at the Check Point Building.


Phillips rose to the top echelons of Australia's mining and property industries from humble beginnings. She was born in Poland in 1929 and immigrated to Sydney, Australia with her family in 1938. There, she joined the newly-formed Jewish Zionist youth movement, Habonim.


In 1960, she launched her career path by establishing a boarding house. Phillips went on to build a conglomerate of motels, nursing homes and retirement facilities, later diversifying into mineral exploration and floating several public companies. Throughout the years, the business magnate continued to build and develop land, as well as to own and operate assisted-living facilities and retirement villages. 


Phillips’ support of community organizations in Australia included the JCA, Emanuel Synagogue, WIZO and Masada College in Sydney, where she was a Life Governor.


Tel Aviv University sends its heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.


May her memory be a blessing.


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