Australian Greeks and Cypriots Receive Order of Australia Honors

Out of 1,127 Australians who were recognized in this year’s Australia’s Honors List celebration, seven were of Greek or Cypriot descent.

The annual Honors List recognizes Australian citizens whose actions and deeds benefit the nation and who influence their local communities as well as the entire nation.

The Order of Australia was created in 1975. The Australian Honours system recognizes both civilian and military individuals, for their gallantry, bravery, distinguished service, meritorious service, or long service.

The Greeks and Cypriots on the list who were distinguished as members of the Order of Australia (AM) included two female recipients, Helen Marcou and Professor Maria Kavallaris. Professor Paul Pavli, Paul Steve Constantinou, and Joseph Leo Lukaitis were also awarded with the AM.

Professor Maria Kavallaris was recognized for her accomplishments in children’s cancer research. Marcou, the co-founder and co-owner of Bakehouse Studios and a promoter and advocate for live performance, was recognized for her commitment to service in music.

The remaining Greek and Cypriot Australians on the Honors list, Christos Kazonis and Emeritus Professor Dimitrios (Jim) Psaros, both received a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Kazonis is the chair of the Paniyiri Greek Festival and the Australian Hellenic Sports and Culture Center and is also a Councillor for the Greek Orthodox Community of St. George.

Honors are awarded on Australia Day, which is celebrated on January 26, as well as on the Queen’s Birthday, which is observed on the second Monday in June each year.

The year’s Honors list winners included 71 Australian citizens who were appointed Officers of the Order, 282 appointed Members of the Order, and 755 Medals of the Order. In addition, there were 273 meritorious and military awards given out at the ceremony.

Among the nineteen recipients for the highest Australian honor, the Companion of the Order of Australia, this year were singer and actress Olivia Newton-John, tennis player Roy Emerson, and author Jennifer Rowe.