The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia held a series of successful events across Australia this week, highlighting the diaspora's ability to help revatilise Greece, as well as the importance of building a "more prosperous and compassionate" country.
The event, RISING TO THE CHALLENGE – Greece at the Crossroads of Social Change took place in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, bringing together key business and community leaders who had the opportunity to listen to a dynamic line-up of speakers discussing the social impact of the decade-long economic crisis in Greece, through the lens of Greek NGOs working on the ground.
Global business leader Andrew N Liveris AO, Chairman and Co-Founder of THI, captivated audiences in Sydney and Melbourne with his insights into the global politics, the changing economic and social landscape in Greece and his vision for the country’s revitalisation, with the support of the diaspora.
The highlight of the Melbourne and Sydney events was a wide-ranging panel discussion with Mr Liveris and two leaders of THI Australia’s partner charities, Maria Karra, Co-Founder of Emfasis Foundation and Lena PapalexopoulouVice-President of Desmos Foundation.
During the engaging conversations, moderated by Greek Australian journalist and presenter John Mangos, the speakers provided unique and frank insights into Greece today and efforts to bring about fundamental change through social change, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
The THI President, Nicholas G Pappas said the events provided an opportunity meet two inspirational leaders who are helping to change the social fabric of Greece and learn about the important work being done by The Hellenic Initiative Australia’s charity partners in Greece.
“We are honoured to have had the opportunity to hear from these outstanding women, whose compassion and devotion to their charitable endeavours gives us hope that Greece’s future is indeed bright.
“We thank them for fortifying our vision for Greece and making us believe that our vision is achievable and hopeful that it is slowly coming within our collective grasp,” Mr Pappas said.
The event series kicked off on 9 September in Sydney with a dinner at Beta, supported by the Hellenic Club Sydney. The Melbourne event on 10 September was hosted at the new Docklands headquarters of ANZ, THI Australia’s National Event Partner.
The series concluded in Perth on Thursday 12 September at Crown Towers, where Ms Karra and Ms Papalexopoulou joined Professor Jonathan CarapetisAM, Director of the Telethon Kids Institute, in a far-reaching discussion on the key issues facing the not-for-profit sector Greece and globally.
During their time in Australia, Ms Karra and Ms Papalexopoulou also took the opportunity to meet with local charities and organisations to gain an understanding of the non-profit sector in Australia and foster connections for international knowledge sharing.
“Desmos and Emfasis are representative of the new-generation charities that have emerged in response to the crisis and The Hellenic Initiative Australia is proud to be supporting their efforts to assist people in need and make a lasting impact on Greek society,” Mr Pappas said.
“For every story of hope and solidarity, however, there are still another 10 that speak loudly of pain, despair, and anguish, so there is still a great need for our support.”
*Images by Nick Bourdaniotis Photography (Copyright)