More than 150 leaders of the Greek-Australian community met in Sydney last week to discuss how to mobilize Australian support for The Hellenic Initiative. Representatives from every state and the two mainland territories attended a dinner event at the Hellenic Club of Sydney’s new Alpha Restaurant, and after a lively discussion there was broad consensus to form an Australian Chapter of THI.
The event MC was Helen Kapolos of the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program, THI founding member and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew N. Liveris was the keynote speaker. The organizing committee included Nick Mitaros, Nick Pappas, George Giovas, Greg Gav and Penny Maragiannis. Joining the event from the US were THI Executive Committee member Dean Dakolias and John and Mae Calamos.
“This was the first time so many community leaders nationwide have come together to discuss how to organize our community in support of Greece,” said Nick Pappas.
In his introductory speech, Andrew Liveris stated that Greece can meet successfully all of its challenges today. This effort, he said, is attempting to tap the Greek Diaspora in order to make as big a difference as possible, as quickly as possible.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”, repeated Liveris during his speech, stressing that the program supported by the THI is focused on Greece in 2050 and works independently from the Greek government, the church or any other Greek institution.
“THI is committed to protect essential relief services under siege in Greece, is working to foster a new culture of entrepreneurship and is attempting to empower the Greek people in order to make the economy of the country more competitive in areas such as tourism and hospitality, food export, energy and information technology,” Liveris added.
The Hellenic Initiative is a global, non-profit, non-governmental organization, whose vision aims, through the generosity of the Greek Diaspora and the Philhellenic community, to provide substantial encouragement and financial support to help preserve organizations and projects, while also inspiring business growth that will allow Greek people to ensure the long-term prosperity of Greece. The organization encourages the promotion of the necessary structural reforms and private capital investments, which will help to upgrade Greece’s competitiveness.
Apart from Andrew Liveris, founding members of the initiative also include Libra CEO George Logothetis, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, renowned Washington lawyer and investment consultant George Stamas, and George David, chairman of Coca-Cola Hellas.