Ithamar Avnon remembered at Swinburne service for MH17 victims

Thursday 14 August 2014

The east side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building captured during a sunset.

Swinburne University of Technology student Ithamar Avnon and other victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 were remembered at a memorial service at the university today.

Members of Ithamar’s family joined friends, students, teachers and other Swinburne staff at the service, held at the university’s Hawthorn campus.

Ithamar, a second year Bachelor of Business student, was returning to Melbourne after visiting family in Israel and the Netherlands when MH17 was destroyed over Ukraine on 17 July.

At the service, Ithmar, 26, was remembered for his vibrant humour, his love of life, his determination to succeed, and his strength of character.

Jonathan Avanon, who with his sister Ruth travelled from the Netherlands for the service, said of his brother: ‘’He was a guy who did everything big.’’

He recalled saying goodbye to his brother as he boarded Flight MH17: ‘’He was very happy, very relaxed and looking forward to going back.’’

Lecturer Rick Laferriere from the Swinburne Business School spoke of Ithamar’s character, commitment and ability.

‘’I saw him as so full of potential,,’’ Mr Laferriere said. ‘’Ithamar was the kind of student we love to have in our class.’’

Swinburne chaplain, the Reverend Newton Daddow, told the service:  ‘’We remember a loved son, a brother, a friend, a Swinburne student, a lover of life and a man of dignity and courage.’’

‘’Whether we knew him or not, his death has affected our community,’’ Mr Daddow said.

The service remembered all of the victims of the loss of MH17, which Mr Daddow described as a ‘’horrific act of violence’’ that had affected the entire community.

Swinburne has counselling services available to all affected staff and students, contact student services for more information