60th National Convention of AHEPA Australasia in Barossa Valley

60th National Convention of AHEPA AustralasiaThe 60th National Convention of AHEPA Australasia concluded on Saturday, October 18, after a week in Australia’s premier wine region, the Barossa Valley. Over 60 delegates from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia joined to elect the 2015 National Lodge officers; to debate AHEPA’s future and 2015 projects; and to hear from high-profile guests.

Sister Christine Lynch OAM (NSW) was re-elected National President for a second term, after great progress was made during her 2013/14 term, strengthening community ties and furthering fundraising efforts for children in Greece and Cyprus. During the 2013/14 term, AHEPA raised in excess of $230,000 for a range of local Australian, Greek and international charities, underscoring AHEPA’s genuine commitment to philanthropy, which has always been and continues to be central to AHEPA’s mission in the Australian and wider diaspora of Hellenes.

AHEPA’s chapters, state and district lodges were represented at the convention by up to 3 delegates each. Delegates had the pleasure of being officially welcomed at the Convention’s opening day, Saturday October 11, by the Mayor of West Torrens, the Honourable John Trainer, and Deputy Mayor George Demetriou, who is also Former AHEPA President, at the historic Cummins House. The venue was the home of the late Sir John Morphett, one of the founders of the city of Adelaide.

At the opening, Former President of AHEPA South Australia, Brother John Kiosoglou, presented the inaugural AHEPA Aristotle Award for Education on behalf of the National Lodge to Professor Michael Tsianikas for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the Greek language. Professor Tsianikas is the Director of Flinders University’s Logos Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture. At the opening, plaques were also presented to Brothers George Demetriou, John Kiosoglou and Sister Helen Haltis for their outstanding work in preparing the 2014 National Convention.

It was announced that the 61st National Convention will be held in Melbourne on October 2015, followed by Sydney in 2016.