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Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Deborah Conway AM

Awarded the Order of Australia for her services
to Music

Deborah Ann Conway (born 8 August 1959) is a 6th generation descendant of David Ottolenghi through his grandson Moses Ottolangui and Emma Bensabat whose daughter Amelia Ottolangui (born around 1832 emigrated to Australia in July 1854 on the good ship “Ballarat” and married the widower Gershon Mendes in Melbourne

Deborah had a career whilst at university as a photographic model whose face and more was featured on billboards across the country, and as an actress with minor roles, but she is best known as a rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. She was a founding member of the 1980s rock band “Do-Re-Me” with their top 5 hit “Man Overboard” and won the ARIA Award for Best Female Artist at the 1992 awards. She later organised and performed on the Broad Festivals from 2005 to 2008 – show-casing contemporary Australian female artists. Between 1990 and 2019 she released 18 singles and 10 albums.

Deborah is married to guitarist and music collaborator Willy Zygier and they have 3 children

In 2020 Deborah was awared the Order of Australia which she described: “Today I received my Member of The Order of Australia (AM) from Governor Linda Dessau in a formal ceremony at Government House along with eleven other citizens being honoured and all our guests. The insignia is a heavy medallion of gold, beautiful & serious.

The Investiture was originally scheduled for March but like everything else this year the ceremony too became another casualty of the strange melting of days into one another where nothing happens that isn’t essential and every day is like the one before.

But today all that was history, the sun shone, the gardens were lush and we all greeted each other in our dressed up best, blinking into the glory of a Melbourne early summer morning.

Ushered into the blue ballroom in Government House where our photos were taken and then because of COVID, we each (with our families) had a private audience to receive our honour. Willy placed the medal on my lapel, we all had a chat with our warm and personable Governor, who wished us Mazel Tov for our wedding anniversary today; and then it was done. I haven’t been able to stop smiling all day, I had no idea it would make me this happy! (With unending gratitude to LJ Young) All the pomp is fun but beyond that, it is just so remarkable to be out celebrating with family, fizz and no masks to hide our broad smiles.

All congratulations to Deborah, another Ottolangui descendant to receive national honours this year…………

By bryanell2020

Occasional genealogist and full-time Ottolangui family historian. 8th generation descendant of the 17th century Ottolenghi family of Livorno, born in London, graduated in Birmingham, lived around the United Kingdom, Israel, and in Rome, Italy. For a short while in Buenos Aires, and currently residing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I have been since 2005.

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