Marika Pogany is a Child Holocaust Survivor. She was born in Czechoslovakia in 1943. After arriving to Australia in 1968 she began a new life, starting and running her own business. After retiring in 1996, Marika became a volunteer at COA, helping with meals. Her ever cheerful attitude, compassion, and willingness to do whatever it takes, quickly made her a favorite with meal recipients and those working with the COA Centers volunteer in-house catering crew.

Marika is happy to roll up her sleeves and do even extremely difficult or unappealing work. Her fantastic attitude, and her ever present smile, make people feel at peace and accepted for who they are, and her enthusiasm is simply contagious. Marika’s can-do attitude brings calm to situations that might otherwise seem hectic, an attribute that is especially valuable when working with the frail aged. Her good nature constantly brings joy to the  people she works with and to the COA members she visits and talks to.

Marika’s commitment to cooking for special events has actually saved COA thousands of dollars over the years. She doesn’t know the word ‘no,’ so whenever help is needed she is a go-to person. She will always find a way to drop everything to come to COA and get to work, or jump into her car and drive to the person in need.  

Marika doesn’t need to talk about her commitments and dedication to COA and to Jewish community overall; she shows her commitment by her actions and hard work, which nobody at COA can overlook!

In 2019 her work with COA was recognised and commemorated by JCA, as she was awarded the Mench Award, one of three awards given annually by JCA to volunteers working on our community.