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Fink, Leo
Date of birth: 1901
Biography: Leo Fink was born to Jewish parents, Mordechai Meir and masha Fink, in Bialystock, Russia in 1901. After a sound education in both Hebrew and the Talmud, Leo spent two years working on a Kibbutz in Israel and later studied civil engineering at university in Germany. Between 1926 and 1928, Leo's family operated a woollen mill in Romania which was sold prior to the Fink brothers emigrating to Australia in 1928. Leo, Wolf and Sydney Fink settled initially in Berwick, Victoria, via a scheme established specifically for Jewish migrants. One year later they were joined by another brother, Jack Fink, who brought with him a knitting machine which enabled them to eventually establish several businesses: United Woollen Mills, United Carpet Mills and Unilon in Thomastown. During a return visit to Bailystock in 1932, Leo married Miriam Waks (Mina Fink), a woman of Polish Jewish descent who was orphaned at a young age and raised by her grandparents. Mr Leo and Mrs Mina Fink were prominent members of the Victorian Jewish community, involving themselves in numerous organisations including Kadimah, United Jewish Overseas Relief Find and the Victorian Jewish Board of Deputies. Leo was well known for his support of programmes for postwar Jewish migration to Australia and he personally lobbied the Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell. Similarly, Leo encouraged the traditional education of Jewish children in Melbourne. Leo and Mina had two children, Freda born in 1933 and Nathan born in 1935.
Activities/Occupation: Welfare workers, Manufacturers
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