The Greek community of Australia has been described as “one of the most dynamic Greek communities in the world,” according to the General Secretary of Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Giannis Chrysoulakis, who stated this in an online communication with Greek expatriates while congratulating successful entrepreneur, George Stamas, and other recipients of the AM Honours Award during the Australia Day.
It was an opportunity to appreciate and honour expatriates born in Australia, who were recognised by the Australian State for their contribution to the development of this great multicultural country and the wider community and the Greek community, as stated in a statement by the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy.
The meeting was held on the initiative of Mr. Chrysoulakis, who congratulated the expatriates for the important distinction they achieved. He stressed, however, that what is particularly important is the fact that his compatriots, although born in Australia and lived there all their lives and offered so much to their new homeland, nevertheless always keep Greece and their national identity alive within them. “We follow the Diaspora of Australia always with love and we are proud of you. We need you and you need us, because we consider you an integral part of Hellenism“, underlined, among others, Mr. Chrysoulakis.
He also pledged to visit Australia at the first opportunity, adding that it is a trip that would no doubt have taken place had it not been for the long period of the pandemic that made travel impossible.
The meeting was attended, according to the announcement, by Mary Mangos, 94, a “living legend” of the Greek Diaspora, “a model for the next generations of Greeks everywhere”, as the secretary general described it. She was honoured for her long and multidimensional contribution to the Greek community of the capital of South Australia.
George Stamas was recognised for his contribution through non-profit organizations and very important philanthropic and business activities. Michael Kannis was also honoured for excelling in transportation services and infrastructure reform, especially during the pandemic.
During the discussion, which took place in a very warm atmosphere, Mr. Chrysoulakis appreciated the actions of the General Secretary of Greeks Abroad, with emphasis on the initiatives for the promotion of the Greek language and the English-speaking programs of Greek universities, it is pointed out in the same announcement, singling out Mr. Stamas and Mr. Kannis for their part and pointing out that their award is an honor for the entire Diaspora, recognized by the Australian government: “It offers a forum to talk about our problems and difficulties,” they said, stressing that the ties within the Diaspora are indestructible and are based on the religion and language that keep Greeks united. It is finally noted that Mrs. Magou spoke with the warmest words and expressed her “sincere joy” for the initiative of Mr. Chrysoulakis, emphasizing that it is a “truly great honor” and “recognition by Greece of the contribution of the Greek expatriates”.