Robert and Mitzi Robinson met in post-war Japan in 1945. Robert was in the Australian Army and volunteered to serve in Japan as a part of the Australian Occupation Forces. On Shikoku Island he headed the local Civilian Labour Office, which helped the Japanese people recover and rebuild. There he met Mitzi (then known as Mitsuko) who managed the Labour Office finances.
Although Robert and Mitzi came from vastly different backgrounds, they shared fundamental beliefs and life goals: these formed the basis of a partnership that endured for seven decades. Their marriage was only the second Australian-Japanese union recorded by the Tokyo Australian Embassy.
Both understood that all people share the same fundamental needs. But by accidents of birth, some are born in peaceful developed nations while others are not.
Both Robert and Mitzi strongly believed that the fortunate ones hold an obligation to assist those less fortunate. They became Field Partners (monthly supporters) of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia in 2001 and also elected to provide generous bequests in each of their Wills. They discussed their decision with their family at the time of writing their Wills, which was understood and fully supported.
Just as important as the financial legacy left by Robert and Mitzi is the strong belief which they impressed on their children and grandchildren - that all people are equal and everyone shares an obligation to be compassionate and supportive to those less fortunate.
Leaving a gift to Medecins Sans Frontieres
We know that the need for medical aid will, sadly, still be here in the future. Our doctors, nurses, logisticians and other staff will continue to be called on to treat malnutrition and malaria, vaccinate children against infectious diseases like measles, set up cholera treatment centres, and perform emergency surgery on wounded patients.