Former Greek-Australian MP Petro Georgiou received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unique contribution to multiculturalism and his role as an important symbol of the ongoing strength of cultural diversity within Australian society.
The Migration and Settlement Awards for 2015 hosted by the Migration Council of Australia, recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that assist migrants settle in Australia.
Georgiou served as a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from November 1994 to July 2010, representing the Division of Kooyong, Victoria.
“What we now have is a legacy of over 1,500 people who have come under our protection, detained for years on Manus Island and Nauru with no end in sight. Our treatment of these women and children is, I believe, wrong. And I believe that an increasing number of Australians, once they appreciate what is happening, will regard it as unacceptable,” said the honoree during his acceptance speech.
The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria congratulated Georgiou for his award, while ECCV Chairperson Eddie Micallef said that Georgiou’s win was an appropriate and fitting outcome for a person who has been an outstanding advocate for the principles underpinning the success of multiculturalism in the country over many decades.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also spoke about the awards, acknowledging the winners’ contribution and dedication. “These awards acknowledge the hard work and dedication of those who are helping the newest members of our team to become the fullest of participants,” he said.