The Hellenic Initiative Australia (THI) announced a $500,000 donation from noted Western Australian property investor and philanthropist Con Berbatis on Thursday.
THI says that the donation will be directed to health-related initiatives in Greece, where health programs and services have been severely affected by the economic crisis and austerity measures over the past decade.
Nicholas Pappas, the president of THI, welcomed the donation and commended the leadership shown by Berbatis through this gift, which will be made over the next five years.
“Con has been a supporter of The Hellenic Initiative Australia from the beginning, and we are humbled by the generosity and vision of this gift,” Pappas stated.
The donation builds on the Berbatis family’s previous support for The Hellenic Initiative Australia, making them one of the organization’s largest benefactors.
Born in Perth in 1946, Berbatis has become one of Perth’s major property investors and commercial property developers.
His interest in health follows his early career as a pharmacist and distinguished academic and researcher at Curtin University in Western Australia, where he received his doctorate in 2012. He also worked at the University of Sydney and Monash University in Victoria.
Berbatis’ lifelong service in the leadership of the Greek community includes his current position as a trustee of the Hellenic Community of Western Australia. He began his volunteer service to the community as the president of the WA Hellenic Youth Association in the 1960s.
He and his wife Rita are long-term benefactors of St. Andrew’s Independent School in Dianella, Western Australia. They also developed and underwrote The George and Despina Berbatis Memorial Gymnasium in 2016 in honor of his parents.