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submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 13.03.2014

Happy 86th Birthday!

Stephen & Anna Zantiotis celebrating Stephen's 86th birthday on March 11, 2014.

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submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 18.05.2015

Con and Anna - 2014

Con Poulos (Anastasopoulos) and his sister, Anna (my mum) at the wedding of Con's granddaughter on March 1, 2014.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Lafcadio Hearn Files on 11.03.2014

“Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Garden” in Tramore receives fund from Japan

On 6 March 2014, the Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund (JEC Fund) pledged to provide financial assistance up to 6,000,000 Yen to Waterford County Council (WCC) for the “Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Garden” project. The grant is the largest of 48 international grants awarded by the JEC Fund this year.

The aim of the project is to transform the 9,400 square metre western style garden of Tramore House into a Japanese garden to honour Koizumi Yakumo, known also by his Irish name Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), who spent his boyhood summers in Tramore before becoming a writer and living in Japan until he died.

It is expected that the completion of this project will enhance Japan-Ireland cultural relations by encouraging not only people in the Tramore area but throughout Ireland to have a better understanding of Japanese literature and culture through a renewed interest in Koizumi Yakumo.

Mr. Chihiro Atsumi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, expressed his delight at the news and said the creation of the garden will be a valuable addition to the cultural links between Japan and Ireland, adding, ‘Last year, the Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe visited Ireland in June, and in December the Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD visited Japan. 2013 was a special year that provided an opportunity for the start of a new phase in Japan-Ireland relations. At their meeting in Tokyo in December, the two leaders issued a joint declaration entitled a “Partnership for Innovation and Growth”. The fund is part of the follow-up to the declaration. I expect cultural projects like this garden to play an important part in further strengthening the friendly ties between Japan and Ireland.’

Mr. John Neary, Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, also expressed his happiness at the news, saying, ‘I welcome the grant award from the JEC Fund. This will make the garden a truly cooperative project between Ireland and Japan, and ensure that it acts as a bridge between the two countries.’

The garden will have a number of separate areas which will tell in sequence the story of Koizumi Yakumo from his boyhood in Tramore to his life and death in Japan. It will also reflect, through planting and artefacts, stories from Japanese folklore translated by him. It will include several Japanese structures such as bridges, porticos and azumayas (gazebos), which will be of interest to Japanese, American and other international visitors. It will be a significant addition to the gardens of Waterford and southeast Ireland. It will function as an educational garden of Teagasc, Kildalton College, and the Waterford Institute of Technology.

This grant comes under the JEC Fund which manages part of the earnings of the Japan World Exposition 1970 as a fund. The earnings from the fund are used to provide financial assistance for different activities, including cultural, scholarly, and intellectual efforts in Japan and abroad. From 1971 to the present, it has provided 18,639 million Yen to 4,224 projects.

The fund supports a variety of different activities for international exchange and friendship, including human interaction, artistic performances, and art exhibits in Japan and overseas. It also contributes to building Japanese gardens and culture centres overseas. The “Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Garden” is the sixth project in Ireland to receive JEC Fund assistance since 1978.

The Mayor of County Waterford, Councillor Damien Geoghegan expressed his gratitude to the JEC Fund for supporting this project. ‘I am delighted that the JEC Fund has pledged financial assistance to the project in Tramore’, stated Mayor Geoghegan. ‘It will help to strengthen cultural and economic ties between Japan and Ireland, and I am glad that Tramore and County Waterford can play a role building these international linkages’, Mayor Geoghegan added.

The Waterford City and County Manager, Michael Walsh also expressed his appreciation to the JEC Fund. ‘Economic development is a key priority for Waterford City and County Council. This project will link with a range of tourism initiatives to improve the attractiveness of the South East Region to visitors. Importantly, the funding from the JEC Fund will help to strengthen the bridge between Japan and Ireland. By building on the legacy of Koizumi Yakumo, we hope to forge greater economic and cultural bonds between Ireland and Japan’, stated Mr Walsh. ‘We appreciate the input of the local community in Tramore, and look forward to working with them to develop the garden’, added Mr Walsh.

Agnes Aylward of the Tramore Development Trust said the award was a decisive recognition by the Government and people of Japan of Tramore’s effort to acknowledge one of their country’s most famous adopted sons. She expressed thanks to staff and public representatives of the combined local authorities, and to the voluntary members of the Garden Development Committee and Design Team for their unstinting support.

WCC will start construction work in April 2014 with the support of the Tramore Development Trust, to complete the project by March 2015 and open the garden to the public. The JEC Fund will provide the fund upon completion of the project by March 2015.

Photo: Waterford County Council & Tramore Development Trust

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 19.02.2014

Andreas Kalokerinos Welcome Dinner

Left to right - Alexos Poulos(Tamworth), Andrew Kalokerinos and Peter McCarthy/Makarthis (Inverell) at the welcome dinner in the Canberra Café, Manilla hosted by Paul, Ellie and John Calocherinos.

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submitted by Peter Makarthis on 19.02.2014

Reminiscing early years on Kythera Paul Calokerinos

Paul Calocherinos shares reminiscences of his youth on Kythera at the welcome occasion for Andreas Kalokerinos at the Canberra Café, Manilla

Left to right
Paul Calocherinos( Manilla), Maria Poulos (Tamworth) John Calokerinos(Manilla)

18 Fe 2014

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 19.02.2014

Xronia Pola Andreas Kalokerinos

Relatives and friends availed themselves of the opportunity during the welcome dinner at the Canberra Café, Manilla for Andreas Kalokerinos, to also celebrate his recent birthday.

Xronia Pola Andreas

Left to right
George Stathis (Tamworth), Alexos Poulos (Tamworth) with Andreas Kalokerinos.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 19.02.2014

Manilla Reunion Andreas Kalokerinos 2014

Cousins Paul Calokerinos of Manilla NSW and Andreas Kalokerinos,Alexandrathes, Kythera celebrated a joyous reunion with family and friends at the Canberra Café, Tuesday 12 Feb 2014.

Left to right
Alexos Poulos( Tamworth), Andreas Kalokerinos (Alexandrathes), Deanna McCarthy/Psaros (Inverell), Paul Calokerinos (Manilla)

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by I Viaggiatori on 16.12.2013

DVD cover, of the film Dall' Italia All' Australia with music by I Viaggiatori

The film Dall' Italia All' Australia with music by I Viaggiatori is now available on DVD!

The DVD includes the film, music from the recording Suitcase Serenata, the original passenger lists, an introduction by Tony De Bolfo and other background information and images.

Click here to order the DVD, and other products from the I Viaggiatori Store

Click here to view / download a copy of the Melbourne Passenger List

Click here to view / download a copy of the Sydney Passenger List

Click here to view / download a copy of the Brisbane Passenger List

The Film, Dall 'Italia All' Australia

In 1924, the Italian film director Angelo Drovetti embarked on an epic 8,000-nautical-mile voyage with his movie camera. The result, Dall’Italia All’Australia (From Italy to Australia), is regarded by many as the most comprehensive film ever made of a migrant voyage. ‘Dall’Italia All’Australia’ chronicles the voyage of the Regina d’Italia (Queen of Italy) - one of three passenger ships first built for the Lloyd Sabaudo Line at the turn of last century.

The film showcases the panoramic views witnessed by Italian, Yugoslav, Greek, Arabic and Jewish migrants as they stood atop the deck of the old steamer during their seven-week world odyssey from Genoa to Australia, by way of Egypt & Sri Lanka, arriving in September 1924.

The result, Dall'Italia All'Australia (From Italy to Australia), is regarded by many as the most comprehensive film ever made of a migrant voyage.

‘Dall’Italia All’Australia’ chronicles the voyage of the Regina d’Italia (Queen of Italy) - one of three passenger ships first built for the Lloyd Sabaudo Line at the turn of last century.

Dall’Italia All’Australia, of 60 minutes duration first screened in Italy in May 1925. The film chronicles the voyage of the passenger steam ship Regina d’Italia (Queen of Italy) – one of the three ships first built for the Lloyd Sabaudo Shipping Line at the turn of the century.

Author Anthony De Bolfo, who discovered the film, introduces and commentates on the film, with Italian folk music by acclaimed musicians Kavisha Mazzella (singer, guitar, accordion) and Irini Vela (bouzouki, mandolin, guitar) and the Viaggiatori - David De Santi (accordion) and Mark Holder-Keeping (saxophone, clarinet).

About the Performance

The film is black and white and in DVD format.

It has Italian intertitles. A programe booklet is available with English translation of the intertitles.

The film is 60 minutes in duration.

The film is usually presented in 2 parts with an intermission of 15 minutes.

The musicians are positioned in front of the film screen and to one side and perform live Italian folk tunes and songs while the film is showing.

Kavisha has selected arranged the music and tunes to work in with the film images.

The Band, I Viaggiatori

Kavisha Mazzella (singer, guitar, accordion, percussion)
Irine Vela (bouzouki, guitar, mandolin)
David De Santi (piano accordion)
Mark Holder-Keeping (saxophone, clarinet).

I Viaggiatori is a truly multicultural and cosmopolitan combination with Kavisha Mazzella and Irine Vela from Melbourne and Mark Holder-Keeping and David De Santi from Wollongong. They bring together varying musical experiences but combine to present sensitive and harmonious renditions of new and old Italian folk songs. Kavisha grew up in the Italian quarter of Fremantle while David grew up in the Illawarra! They present music they performed for the silent Italian documentary Dall’ Italia All’ Australia.

Previous major performances

2013 The Factory Theatre Marrickville
2013 Illawarra Music Festival Concert, City Diggers Wollongong
2012 Australian Worldwide Music Expo, Melbourne
2012 Piers Festival, South Melbourne
2011 Global Carnival Bellingen
2010 Port Fairy Folk Festival (film and music)
2010 Yungaburra Folk Festival, Qld (film and music)
2010 and 2007 National Folk Festival, Canberra (film and music)
2010 and 2008 Brunswick Music Festival (film and music)
2009 Fremantle Town Hall (film and music)
2009 Adelaide’s Hellenic Cultural Festival ODYSSEY (film and music)
2009 Greek Festival of Sydney (film and music)
2009 Illawarra Folk Festival (film and music)
2008 Italian Week in Wollongong, Bowral, Milton (film and music)
National Maritime Museum, 2008, 2009 (film and music)
Chauvel Cinema, Sydney 2009 (film and music)

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 13.12.2013

Kythera Cousins

Kythera cousins Jeanette Joynson, Essex UK and Deanna McCarthy meet under the Eiffel Tower in Paris on 12th December 2013 making a family connection after 102 years.
This has been made possible from a photograph taken in 1927 and posted on the Kythera net in 2003. A few months ago Jeanette, identified her grandfather Alexander Phacheas (Fatseas) making this reunion possible.
In the picture, left to right, Jeanette Joynson (nee Auger/Fatseas), Paul Joynson (Jeanette's husband), Deanna McCarthy (nee Psaros/Fatseas) and her husband Peter McCarthy.
Thank you James Prineas for making this possible

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 09.12.2013

Extensions. 12 Poems in Music

By Helen Zerefos OAM and Evaggelos Papageorgiou

On Sunday, 3rd November, 2013, the Kytherian Association of Australia presented our Kytherian Lady of Song, Helen Zerefos, in concert at the Westside Reception Lounge in Marrickville.

Helen enchanted a crowd of over 250 people with a number of songs, the words of which came from poems written by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, some time ago.

Helen and composer/musician Evaggelos Papageorgiou along with the musical director, Steven Isouardi provided the audience with an amazing afternoon of beautiful music and song, captivating everyone’s attention. It was like being in the Opera House at a Gala performance.

Special guests included the new Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Dr. Stavros Kyrimis, the Vice-president of the Inter-communities Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Mr. Paul Psanis, the Hon. Marie Ficarra MLC (Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier), the Hon. David Clarke MLC (Parliamentary Secretary for Justice), Rev. the Hon. Fred Nile OAM and Mr. Vincent de Luca OAM. Also present was Fr. Constantine Varipatis and representing His Eminence, Dimitri Kepreotes who spoke so eloquently and from the heart about the significance of bringing to life the thoughts of His Eminence.

The production of the CD of these wonderful songs over several years would not have been possible without the financial backing of Peter and Helen Magiros and all those involved are very thankful for their support.
Following the concert, patrons were offered fresh prawns, oysters, Danish fetta and champagne as well as dried fruits and nuts supplied by Peter and Helen Magiros of Frutex Australia while Poppy Doumanis provided wonderful homemade Greek sweets.

Matina Samios, Mary Moutzouris and Kathy Samios of the Ladies’ Auxiliary as always, apart from bringing delicious pita and fruit platters, assisted during the afternoon. Thank you.

The Kytherian Association on behalf of all present would like to thank Mr. George Hatzipis and his daughter Miranda for donating the drinks and light refreshments and the use of their lovely venue of Westside Reception Lounge.

I would also like to thank members of the KAA committee; Kathy Samios, George Giaouris, George Poulos, Theo Poulos, Michael Mallos for their help in ensuring that the function was a great success. Thank you to Vicky Poulos and Kathy Kepreotis for manning the ticket sales at the front desk. And a special thank you to Peter Samios for being MC for the afternoon.

CDs of these beautiful songs were also sold on the day and can be ordered from the Kytherian Association of Australia for $25.00 plus postage. They would make great Christmas presents.

Proceeds from the event were donated to Helen’s charity, Alzheimer’s Research and to the KAA Aged Care Trust for those who cannot take care of themselves.

Victor Kepreotis,
Kytherian Association of Australia

View / download the O Kosmos article of the event (in Greek), here:

Zerefos concert 2.pdf

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Social News on 04.12.2013

Phoebe Panaretos Joins Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom; Complete Casting Revealed

From Playbill

By Adam Hetrick
02 Dec 2013

Phoebe Panaretos will co-star in the stage premiere of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, which will begin performances March 25, 2014, at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, Australia.

Panaretos, who made her professional debut in the Australian staging of Cameron Mackintosh's revival of Oliver!, will play unlikely dance champion Fran. She joins 18-year-old Thomas Lacey ("Dance Academy"), who was previously announced to play Scott Hastings.

The cast will also include Heather Mitchell as Shirley Hastings, Drew Forsythe as Doug Hastings, Mark Owen-Taylor as JJ Silvers, Bob Baines as Les Kendall, Fernando Mira as Rico, Natalie Gamsu as Ya Ya, Sophia Katos as Liz Holt, Andrew Cook as Wayne Burns, Ash Bee as Vanessa Cronin, Rohan Browne as Ken Railings, Angela Kennedy as Charm Leachman, Angie Stapleton as Pam Short, Nadia Coote as Tina Sparkle, Lachlan Martin as Clarey Welch, Tyler Coppin as Terry Best and Damien Bermingham as Merv.

The cast will be completed by Loren Hunter, Ryan Gonzalez, Cristina D'Agostino, Nathan Pinnell, Melanie Hawkins, Keanu Gonzalez, Kayla Attard, Mike Snell, Angelique Cassimatis, Steven Grace and Leigh Archer.

Global Creatures and Bazmark produce the stage production that reunites members of the film's original creative team, including Lurmann, who co-writes with Craig Pearce, as well as set and costume designer Catherine Martin and choreographer John "Cha Cha" O'Connell.

The creative team will also include sound designer Peter Grubb, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, musical supervisor Max Lambert, and composer, arranger and orchestrator Elliott Wheeler.

The engagement is currently selling through June 1, 2014.

The stage production promises "the beloved songs of the original film weaved into a score also featuring new songs from world class composers."

Global Creatures producer Carmen Pavlovic (King Kong) is hopeful that Strictly Ballroom The Musical will have a future Broadway life.

According to the creators, "Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann created as a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984."

Lurhmann co-wrote and directed the film about the world of competitive ballroom dancing, which was originally conceived and presented as a stage play.

"Of all of my shows, 'Strictly Ballroom' is the most personal," Luhrmann said in an earlier statement. "From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born."

Lurhmann is well known for his films "Moulin Rouge," "Romeo + Juliet," "Australia," "The Great Gatsby" and the Broadway production of the Puccini opera La Boheme.


Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 04.12.2013

The two young stars of Strictly Ballroom The Musical.

Clicked: Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos. Photo: Peter Rae

Strictly Ballroom: Phoebe is dancing with the stars for good reason - she is about to be one

Sydney Morning Herald

GARRY MADDOX December 03, 2013

As an unknown who was ''a complete theatre nerd'' at high school, Phoebe Panaretos auditioned for Strictly Ballroom The Musical hoping for a minor role in the ensemble.

When everyone else paired up to learn a dance routine, she had to practise by herself.

But the former student at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, who topped the state in drama studies in 2008, impressed director Baz Luhrmann enough to be called back for another audition.
Then another. And another.

Fittingly given that awkward start, the 23-year-old has now won the coveted role of the wallflower Fran in the stage version of Luhrmann's hit film.

She will play opposite Thomas Lacey, best known for the TV series Dance Academy, as the rebellious dancer Scott.

Luhrmann credits Panaretos, who has a degree in musical theatre from the Victorian College of the Arts, for weathering many tests during the gruelling auditions.

''The role of Fran requires an actor to transform from within, expressing that transformation in terms of character, voice and dance,'' he said.
Panaretos, whose father ran a disco dancing school in the 1970s, is thrilled to be cast.

''I've basically been auditioning since April this year, so it was a long process,'' she said. ''There were things I had to prove and I had to fight for. It's all been worth it in the end but it was a very stressful time for a while.''

By chance, Panaretos sat next to Lacey, then a stranger, at an early audition.

''We started chatting then just randomly we said, 'Do you want to read the scene together - the Scott and Fran scene?' So we had a read … Every audition since, we'd look for each other in the room and be excited to see the other person there.''

While Fran has a Spanish background in the film, Coogee-raised Panaretos has a Greek-Australian family, which should help ticket sales when the show opens in April. ''Being Greek, they come in droves to every performance,'' Panaretos said.

The cast also includes Heather Mitchell, Drew Forsythe, Robert Grubb, Bob Baines and Mark Owen-Taylor.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 28.11.2013

94 year old Brisbane author, Rene Andronicos, tells her story.

If you live in Brisbane you are invited to attend the launch of Rene's book "Maudie...Put the Record On" at 1 - 2 pm on Monday 2nd December 2013 at Chermside Library, Chermside, Brisbane and meet her in person. Bookings are essential as the library provides refreshments. Phone:(07) 3403 8888.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 28.11.2013

94 year old Brisbane author, Rene Andronicos. The above article is from the Northside Chronicle dated 13th November 2013

Rene has a bubbly, happy, outgoing personality and often claims that she was born laughing. Blessed with a natural gift for story telling and sharp memory she needs little encouragement to launch into anecdotes about her early life. Cooking has featured a lot in her stories usually in association with her father, Theo, who had spent many years either working as a cook or cooking for the family.
Approximately thirty five years ago, Rene had a dream and in that dream she heard her father’s voice saying “Maudie…put the record on!” She mulled over the contents of the dream for a few weeks then began to write, and wrote and wrote continuing for the next few years, adding furthur information about that era gathered through research.
With the encouragement of her family her wish to have her book published has finally come to pass. These days there are fewer anecdotes and stories. There is less urgency in the telling. Her story has been told, written and published.
Rene is the only daughter of Theo G. Andronicos, born Potamos in 1881, who migrated to Sydney in 1897. He married Maude M. Whyte in Brisbane in 1914. Together they had four children, George, Emmanuel, Irene and James. Theo passed away in Brisbane in 1948.
contact details:

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 17.11.2013

taste of the mediterranean

Sydney Morning Herald
Goodfood, page 12
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Heavenly Hellenic

Several chefs are drawing on their heritage to offer a fresh take on Greek fare. Alecia Wood investigates.

Meet the chefs bringing new sophistication to Greek food in Sydney. "Heritage is a big influence on what I do," says Peter Conistis, head chef at Alpha restaurant, whose family is from an area between Athens and Cephalonia. "My food has quite a focus on both of those regions."

Alpha is one of a posse of Sydney restaurateurs reinterpreting Greek fare by taking inspiration from a personal heritage to create a "new Hellenic" style of cuisine. "We look at tradition. We respect tradition. It's the flavour profiles we grew up with," Jonathan Barthelmess says of his work at The Apollo, a joint venture with fellow Greek-Australian Sam Christie.

"We all go back to an island called Castellorizo, which is just near Turkey. I relate to the Mediterranean island food a lot."

Heading up the kitchen at Anatoli, Matt Fitzgerald has his roots here in Australia. No matter, as there's been inspiration aplenty from the restaurant's owners, Andrew Lazarus and Colin Paras, whose combined family ancestry is from Cyprus, Castellorizo and the Ionian island of Kythera.

"They've let me into their homes, and how they've eaten throughout their lives, with open arms," Fitzgerald says of developing the restaurant's menu ideas from honest, home-cooked dishes. "I've been fed until the food’s coming out my eyes! It's real, traditional food. They're
very, very, good cooks."

Familyrecipes also lay the foundations for dishes at The Apollo. The taramasalata is my mum's and my auntie’s recipe, plus Sam’s dad's recipe. We tested all of them to come up with our own,” says Barthelmess, who even created a custom house-baked bread to get the mullet roe dip just right.

At Alpha, Conistis's home training in the classics seems to be paying off. “The nine-hour slow-roasted lamb is exactly the way mum has been doing it her whole life. It’s the most popular dish on the menu,” he says. Even some modern creations were a mother-son creative collaboration.

"In Greece, they used to preserve lamb shoulder by cooking it in its own fat and flavouring it with ouzo. We just played on that idea," says Conistis of the thyme, honey and ouzo glaze that makes his roasted lamb spare ribs extra sticky.

Drawing on signature Greek flavours to create new dishes is a tactic Fitzgerald has played with too. His dessert of chocolate mousse with hazelnut crisp and burnt honey ice-cream is a nod to Greece's love of the sweet nectar - indeed, about one kilogram of it per capita is eaten there each year - and kourabiethes, almond shortbread dusted in icing sugar.

"We use honey from Gerakas in Greece,” he says. "It's very floral from the native conifers and herbs in the mainland region.”

That variation in regional produce makes for distinct provincial dishes beyond the beloved souvlaki and Greek salad. "Travelling there opened my eyes to Greek food," Conistis says.

Central Epirus’ shepherding tradition has created hard, salty kefalotiri and smooth, sweet manouri cheeses. Olive-oil production peaks in the southern Peloponnese, and the islands boast fresh fish, octopus and squid.

"Speaking to the old grandmas in the villages and picking up recipes - that I found very exciting. In Chios, I found out mastic came from that island and had a great influence on their food."

The aromatic shrub resin, prized throughout history and often used to flavour desserts, can be sampled in Alpha’s grilled quail spiced with mastic and served with feta and watermelon salad.

While the breadth and depth of produce in Greece makes for a distinctive, vibrant cuisine, the use of local ingredients lends its own flavour.

"I've always said my food is Greek influenced because of the flavours and techniques, but it uses all the great produce we have here," says Conistis.

For Barthelmess, it’s about finding the perfect fit for his dishes. We’ll order every feta we can from every supplier and taste them all. The ingredients are the most important thing.”

His wild weed and cheese pie uses feta, alongside silver beet and chicory in place of the foraged greens common in Greece. "They go into the mountains and collect wild weeds, or horta, to make a cheese pie like spanakopita," he says.

Showcasing Greekwine is equally important as celebrating its food, with each restaurant offering a range of varietals.

"Greek wine has come a very long way in the last l0 years,” says Conistis, whose wine list is split between Greek and Australian. "I think it's the next region of wines that will be the big one.”

Although these modern Greek dining rooms are sophisticated, their chefs are keen to ensure a level of accessibility on the plate. "We create the food in a way that a Greek person will come in here and be very familiar with all the flavours,” says Barthelmess.

For Fitzgerald, visiting Greek homes was an education in their food philosophy. "Everyone’s eating around the table, chatting passing plates.” It's great atmosphere. It’s not just about the food. It's the whole food culture.”

Praise the Greek goods

Pick up authentic products from Greece to create your own taverna at home.

Earlwood Wines

The name belies a hefty range of Greek delicatessen goods as well some 120 wines including assyrtiko from Mykonos, agiorgitiko from Corinthos and retsina white wine flavoured with the resin from Aleppo pine trees. They are known for their homemade dips.
285 Homer St, Earlwood. 9559 5673.
Open Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, Sat 8 am to 4pm

Alpha Foodstore

This has thoughtfully sourced artisanal food products from Greece, including mono-varietal honeys, homemade jams and preserves and regional olive oils. Takeaway house made filo pies will soon be available.
238 Castlereagh St, Sydney. 9098 1111
Alpha restaurant open Mon-Fri noon-11pm, Sat 6pm-11pm.

Lamia Super Deli

Family run and packed with tubs of marinated olives, kilogram bags of dried chick peas and beans, salamis and salted fish dangling over the glass counter, plus almond and chocolate halva sliced to order.
270 Marrickville Road, Marrickville. 9560 1011
Open Mon-Fri 7.30am - 6.30pm
Sat 7.30am-5.30pm.

Chop Shop Carnivorium

Melinda Dimitriades supplies the local Greeks with pasture-raised premium lamb, chicken, beef and pork.
10 Crinan Street Hurlstone Park. 9558 5000.
Open Mon-Fri 6.30am - 6.00pm
Sat 6.30am-1.00pm.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Association Of Australia on 14.11.2013

Kytherian Association of Australia November Dance

A great night out - Bring your friends!
Join us for Dinner, Drinks and loads of Dancing
Catch up with old friends, meet new ones!
Don’t miss out, Book early!

View / download a colour brochure about the event:

KAA 2013 November Dance.pdf

Date: 23 November 2013

Time: 7.00 pm

Venue: Westside Reception Lounge
265 Illawarra Road, Marrickville

Cost: Adults $60.00

Children up to Year 6 $30.00

Bookings: Kathy Samios 9349 1849

Performances by our
Friday Night
Greek Dancing Students

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 09.11.2013

Big Long Greek Book Sale and Open Day

View / Download a .pdf version of this invitation here:

BigLongGreekBookSale ad3s.pdf


Kytherians and Philokytherians. Come an buy the very latest books
that have been published on Kythera and Kytherian history. The sale has
been timed so that you can purchase books for Christmas. Buy books for children, grandchildren, the rest of the family and friends.

The day will also be a perfect opportunity for those who have not yet visited “Kythera House” or who have visited only fleetingly to come and appreciate this very special facility. Come and browse the many artefacts and historic books on display, and see the wealth of information that is accessible on the computers.


Kytherian Association of Australia
Suit 1, 24 King Street
Rockdale NSW 2216
Ph: 9599 6998

10.00am – 7.00pm Saturday
7th December 2013

Kathy Samios – 9349 1849
by 3rd December

The latest “buzz” books are
James Prineas’ Kythera from the Air;
Kytherian Surnames, by Emmanuel Kalligeros;
Tzeli Hadjidimitriou’s, In Search of Kythera & Antikythera. Travel Guide;
Potamos, Images and History, by Kosmas Megalokonomos;
Kristina Williamson’s, One Year on Kythera; and
Tess Mallos’s Greek Cookbook.

The Kytherian World Heritage Fund and Kytherian Association of Australia
now have 31 books in stock. All of these books will be on sale.

As well as the Leontsinis DVD, outlining the beauty of the island of Kythera.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience Kythera House and
add to your store of knowledge about Kythera

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Hellenic Museums & Galleries on 09.11.2013

The National Hellenic Museum

333 South Halsted Street,
Chicago Illinois, 60661,
United States of America

Phone: (312) 655-1234,
Fax: (312) 655-1221

National Hellenic Museum website


Our Mission

The National Hellenic Museum is America’s only national institution that interprets the American experience through the history of Greek immigrants, and the contributions of Greek Americans to the American mosaic, while celebrating their rich Greek history and culture and the profound impact of their Hellenic heritage upon the world.
Aereal View of Buildingclean

The Greeks laid the foundation for western civilization. Centuries later, thousands of Greek families immigrated to the United States and brought with them a rich culture and strong values. Now, everyone can explore and celebrate the timeless traditions and epic history of Greek culture at the all-new National Hellenic Museum.

The National Hellenic Museum is the first and only major museum in the country dedicated to the Greek journey, from ancient times to the modern Greek American experience.

Chicago has one of the world’s largest Greek populations. But Greek or not, this journey touches everyone. Greek history and culture is at the very foundation of western civilization, and continues to influence our lives to this day. Our government, language, architecture and theater all have their roots in ancient Greece.

Located in a new 40,000-square-foot space that is both contemporary and timeless, the Museum connects all generations—past, present and future—to the rich heritage of Greek history, culture, art and the Greek American experience. Since 1983, the National Hellenic Museum, previously known as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, has been striving towards this mission.


The National Hellenic Museum opened in its brand-new home on December 10, 2011. The Museum is a four-story, 40,000-square-foot-LEED-certification-pending building home to an extensive collection and archives of more than 17,000 artifacts spanning thousands of years. Visitors of all ages experience Greek history and culture through the words of storytellers past and present. Its interactive exhibitions, Library, Oral History Center, and Education Center showcase the contributions of Hellenism, Greece, and Greek Americans to the world.

The Museum is constructed with natural limestone and glass, materials that respond to the artistic and technological traditions Greeks have experienced from the Classical Age to the modern day. The building incorporates historic architectural references such as a covered walkway, or stoa, found in classical pagan structures and natural wood accents and elements common to Byzantine monastic structures. The symbolic heart of the new building is a dramatic, sky-lit east-to-west-staircase leading to the permanent exhibit that represents the immigrant experience, cultural ties to Greece and the limitless potential of Greek Americans in the United States. The Museum contains design elements associated with Aristotle such as earth, wind and fire. Although water is not physically present, light and glassy surfaces are utilized to represent the importance of water.

About the Architect

Demetrios Stavrianos is the National Hellenic Museum’s principal designer. Stavrianos is a principal at the Chicago office of RTKL, a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization. A Greek American, Stavrianos’ grandfather emigrated from Greece. He grew up on the south side of Chicago and knows Greektown well. Stavrianos drew inspiration for the building from Greek monasteries and “The Meteroa,” which means “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above.” Other notable projects by Demetrios Stavrianos include: Riverwalk at Port Imperial (Weehawken, N.J.), US Capitol Visitors Center (Washington, D.C.) Food and Drug Administration Headquarters (White Oak, MD), Tangdao Bay Yach Club (Qindao, China), Cleveland Flats Master Plan (Cleveland, Ohio) and the Orland Park Main St. Triangle (Orland Park).

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kythera Library on 29.10.2013

Design for the courtyard of the Kythera Municipal Library

The design depicted was created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis. Elias is a highly commended architect based in Athens.

The Kytherian Municipal Library

See also,

This facebook site is devoted to the new public library in the village of Kontolianika, which amongst other services is running a paperback exchange scheme. The library is staffed by volunteers. Opening times are: 6-8 pm except for Sundays & Tuesdays, and 10.00-3.00 pm Saturdays.

Donations to the Kytherian Municipal Library

The Kytherian Municipal Library requires ongoing financial assistance, in order to continue to provide the high level of service that it has instigated over the past few years.

Where is the Library located?

[[picture:"Library 05a.jpg" ID:21237]]

The Municipal Library of Kythera is located just off the central road through Kythera. If you take the Ayios Ilias turn off, it is the first building you see on your right hand side.

[[picture:"Library turnoff.jpg" ID:21438]]

It is located near the centre of the island. In the map provided, it's exact position is the dot "i" in the word Kondelianika - just a little below where the bottom edge of the letter "L" spells "Lib" for "Library, in blue.

[[picture:"MAP Location of Municipal Library of Kythera Lib.jpg" ID:21242]]

To gain a clearer picture download a .pdf of the map here:

MAP Location of Municipal Library of Kythera Lib.pdf

The opening of the Library has been a great source of pride for residents of the island, as well as those living in the Kytherian diaspora.

Summer 2013 developments

It was decided in 2012, that the exterior of the Library needed a good makeover and landscaping.

The design depicted was created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis.

Download a .pdf of the landscaping plan here:



Dimitris Koutrafouris, Spokesman for the Library, and Manager of the National Bank of Greece, Hora, Kythera. Long term vision for the island, and a deep thank you to the volunteers

It is always a shame when a school is forced to close. But there is always a sense of triumph when a school, like the closed Primary School in Kontolianika, finds an “adaptive re-use”, and reopens. Over the month of May 2013, all the necessary preparations for the establishment and operation of a Public Library on Kythera were completed. After a long period of prevarication, a firm commitment was finally made to establish of a large public library in the centre of the island. That has been achieved as a result of persistent and optimistic efforts of various political and cultural entities on the island, as well as individuals associated with those entities. The Library, in addition to promoting the love of books will perform broader educational missions. This cultural coalition has effectively combined their efforts, powers, intentions, desires, skills and resources for the benefit of the island.

The Library had been administered from September 2012, by the municipal clerk Calliope Kasimati, from the Graduate School of Management of Cultural Resources at the University of Peloponnese. Her appointment was a temporary one. During her tenure she was assisted by an informal and ever-expanding group of volunteers. They arrived unsolicited and ‘magically” grew in number. Working together, these volunteers will ensure that the Library will stay open, irrespective of national and local economic developments, and municipal affairs.

The volunteer’s first task was to organise the seven thousand volumes which occupied the large, single classroom, as well as numerous forgotten books still packed away in boxes. These had come into the possession of the municipality from 14 November 2011, after the Children’s and Adolescent Library in Livadi closed down. They had been packed away properly, and have been rescued from the ravages of moisture, dust and rodents. The losses have been reduced to a minimum.

The volunteers have already completed the registration, sorting, restoration and classification of books. This has been achieved by “working overtime”, including performing extra work every Saturday. The work has been undertaken with big dreams, unexpected improvisations, and with the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers, teachers and children.

[[picture:"Unpacking the books.jpg" ID:21265]]

Other students in advanced countries with a rich educational and cultural heritage enjoy the privilege of libraries as a ‘given’, and a right. They benefit greatly as a result of having access to public libraries. We, in the circumstances that we find ourselves in, on our favourite little island, have had to struggle to achieve the same privileges. This need to build up the Library ‘from scratch’ has made us appreciate what we have achieved so much more. Working together we will find a way to turn previous shortcomings into creative power. It is not often that people are given the opportunity to become a pioneers, patrons and participants in the birth of such an exalted and beautiful institution.

Fall 2013

for the Group of Volunteers

The Municipal Library of Kythera

Dimitris Koutrafouris

See also, April 2013 Report by George C Poulos. George is an Honorary Member of the Friends of Kythera Library

[[picture:"DSCN0798s.jpg" ID:21235]]

The exterior of the Library needs a good makeover and landscaping.

Download a .pdf of the landscaping plan here:


The courtyard as it exists as of April 2013, is inadequate. The design depicted has been created pro bono by architect Elias Vassiliadis.

Re-design of the Courtyard

One of the "finishing touches" that needs to be completed is the re-design of the external (back) courtyard. Architect Elias Vassiliadis has very kindly drawn up - free of charge - a plan drawn for the library grounds. The cost estimate for the work is approximately 11,000 euro's. The Library Committee and overseas friends hope to secure the money, fairly quickly, so they can put this work out to tender.

The design is elegant. There will be two alternative specifications for the covered area at the back, (6), one calling for a lightweight wood and bamboo pergola, and the other for a more substantial tiled roof; this will require two alternative cost figures. One substantially higher than the other. In either case, the covered area will be open at the front and sides.

The curved wall (1) will be of roughly dressed stone with a smooth upper surface, 50 cm high, so as to provide extra seating. Between this low wall and the boundary wall will be an area for planting, as will be area (3) alongside the access path.

Area (2), under the pergola and in front of the steps leading up to the library, will be smooth concrete, probably with some stone and terracotta decorative elements. Likewise the approach path, (4).

The main area of the courtyard, (5) will be fine gravel over a base layer of coarse gravel. Not only is this a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than concreting everything, it also allows for natural drainage. If, instead, we were to concrete or seal the entire area, we would also have to provide for underground drainage. Insulated electrical outlets and water points will be provided along the perimeter wall.

The Library Committe, and overseas Friends have also asked for estimates for the provision of guttering for the main building, including buried drainage of the runoff.


A Municipal Library. Considered critical infrastructure in most countries in the world.

The new municipal library is planned to open in Kondeleanika, Kythera. It is fully refurbished, and ready to be "fitted out" to fulfill its purpose - to become the first accessible lending library on the island of Kythera for 6,000 years.

The problem seems to be that Municipality of Kythera, has run out of money to equip it properly.

In Greece, Provinces (States) and the National government take no economic responsibility for local Libraries. This is a tragedy.

In 'western' countries such as Australia, America & Canada, and most countries in Europe, Asia, North & South America, all small communities and all small townships maintain a Local Lending Library. There is no town with a population of 3,300, the population of Kythera, that does not have a well established and equipped library, in place.

The citizens of a town of this size would not tolerate not having an operational Library. It would be considered unacceptable, and prejudicial to their children's future.

The Americans enter the campaign:

A group of Americans, under the leadership of Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis of Alhambra, California which is located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, were inspired by Kythera's Mayor, Theodore Koukoulis to provide shelving for the library. Cynthia, her two sisters (Candace Weiss and Toni Cavalenes) and her cousin (Kendra Rosner) met the Mayor in September 2008 while visiting in the Municipality of Kythera building. This meeting was arranged through George Poulos, Public Relations Officer of the Kytherian Association of Australia, and Trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. At that meeting Cynthia inquired what the needs of Kythera are and the Mayor responded "bookshelves" for the proposed library.

Cynthia organised the financing for the Bookshelves Project in the USA, and George Poulos, under the auspices of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, organised funds in Australia. By May 2009, Cynthia could report "that we have come a long way in the fund raising. If everyone that committed funds comes through we have raised $6,460. That leaves us with a need for $1,540 more for shipping plus the cost of the container, $2,500. I have no doubt we will get there. We still have some fund raising events up our sleeves, but I haven't had time to work on them just yet".

By the end of the Bookshelves Project she could report with some pride: "This project certainly does qualify as "great." If it did not, we would not have had so many people and organizations supporting it. We have had eight organizations (and their members) including Soroptimist International of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, Rotary International of Alhambra, KAA, KSOC, KSNY, AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope of Santa Barbara, two companies (providing in-kind assistance) and over fifty individuals (including a film/television celebrity) who have donated to this cause. I think as a grass roots project, that speaks volumes."

Just days after returning from her first visit to Kythera, Cynthia found the inspiraation for this project. During the ribbon cutting ceremony for the City of Alhambra's new municipal library, she realized that the City (where she works) may no longer need the bookshelves that remained in the decommissioned old library and that there could be an oppotunity to obtain some of them for Kythera's proposed library of which Mayor Koukoulis had spoken.

Photographs of the shelving in situ in California

Although locating bookshelves and obtaining them may appear to be an easy task, the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining property belonging to a municipality can be quite daunting. In January 2009, Cynthia reported: "I just received a message from the Director of Public Works who states that used bookshelves do not have much value on the auction market and are only worth about $120 per ton for the recycled steel, minus the agents commission. The shelves will have to be declared surplus and of no significant value, at which time I will be able to obtain them for Kythera for the suggested price of $1 per shelf unit. I accepted that price without hesitation. It might only cost about $100 to purchase the shelves.

I have a tentative February 10th presentation date with the Rotary to see if they will assist in this project. Also, since I am a member of the Soroptimists of Alhambra-San Gabriel-San Marino, I might be able to convince them to help with the project. The shipping might cost about $10,000 and the soroptimists' help in fundraising will be invaluable. I'll know more after the presentations.

The City is anxious to mobilize removal of the shelves, so as I expected, I am under a tight timeframe to move them out of the old library."

Cynthia also faced numerous additional logistical challenges.
A. How to remove the shelving units from the old Alhambra Library, and where to store them?

In August 2009 Cynthia reported "We don't have the container yet. Half the shelves are stored indoors at a warehouse that belongs to a Rotarian and half are stored in my backyard (It's summer here so it's alright & they are covered). But they have to be moved before the rains come.

The City didn't want volunteers to dismantle the shelves in the City owned library building for liability reasons, so City staff moved them out of the library, but they cannot be stored on City property. It took a crew of six people a week to dismantle and bundle the components for the shelves. They transported them to Al's Towing in Alhambra where they are stored until we can shiip them.

It took a huge effort to get the shelves dismantled and into storage and it was very chaotic. I left someone else in charge who's concept differred from mine. Once I inventoried the equipment, I found that we didn't have the proper number and size of shelves to go with the respective frames so another work party was dispatched (2 more days) to go back into the old library to gather the pieces we were missing. The second batch was transported to my backyard. Another tricky piece of the puzzle - now that the shelves are out of the old library, City staff can't be used to load the container. A local church that has offered help from their youth group, but volunteer labor can be unpredictable and I am worried about the continuity of the project. Although many of the staff that have been working on this project might offer to volunteer to load the container, as the director of the department for which they work I can't allow that because it could be perceived as coercion from me. So the Soroptimists will provide a stipend to them (funded through the fundraising effort) for their work. One of the staff happens to also work for a shipping company. He has experience organizing the loading of containers. I have asked him (on behalf of the Soroptimists) to be the lead person in the task of loading of the container. So between the City staff who are familiar with the project and the volunteers from the church the container will be properly loaded.

I won't lie, it's been a difficult project. I've lost a lot of sleep over the whole thing. The nice thing is that all of these people really are dedicated to the project, so I know they will come through. I am trying to get the shelves shipped in the next couple of weeks, but I can't bring the container into the warehouse until we are ready to ship because of the inconvenience it will cause the warehouse owner. Now that I am telling the shipper I'm ready to move forward, I am getting frustrating information from them."

B. Will it be better to own the shipping container the shelves are to be sent in, or just use the one provided by the shipper?

One of Cynthia's contacts advised her that "most people don't own the container. I think there is more paperwork involved and it might be more work to pass through Customs. So I think shippers don't want to deal with that and try to discourage it."

Although there would be no additonal charge to use a container provided by the international shipping company, once the container arrived in Pireaus the load would have to moved to another container (at a cost to the project for the labor to do so) because the international shipper did not service Kythera and for liablity reasons could not allow their container to be loaded onto another vessel. The cost of shipping from Pireaus to Kythera would be $1,500 U.S. Once the container arrived on Kythera it would have to be immediately unloaded and returned to the vessel. Any additional time on the island would result in a rental charge for the container. The transport of the emplty container back to Pireaus would cost an additional $1,500 U.S. After extensive research, Cynthia located a "sea worthy" container with the appropriate inspection certificate at a cost of $2,500 U.S. Determining that the cost of transferring the load in Piraeus, potentially paying rent while the container was on Kythera and shipping the container back to Piraeus could be just as costly and possibly more costly, than purchasing the container outright, Cynthia decided purchasing the container was the better choice.

C. Can a free or inexpensive location be found to store the shelves until they could be shipped?

If storage space had to be rented it would prove costly. Ultimately space in a warehouse in Alhambra was donated by Rotarian, Al Pavone, owner of Al's Towing which had limited indoor space that could be used to store the shelves. This saved a tremendous amount of money since the shelves were in storage for approximately six months before they could be shipped. "We are finalizing our inventory to see what components we still need to get from the old library before we ship. We have been authorized to go back into the building and take whatever we still need. We are in really good shape. It looks like we have about 30-eight foot long wall sections, about 25-eight foot long free standing double sided sections, and 2-eight foot long display/counter units. The next hurdle will be weight. these bookshelves are steel. They are HEAVY!!! Hopefully we will be able to send the whole lot.

I can't tell you how many people have asked if they could go Kythera to help reassemble the bookshelves on the island. I told the staff that disassembled them that I'm sure they would be welcome, but they would have to fund their own way there. I'm attaching a photo of the crew with some of the dismantled shelves in the background.

Everyone is really excited about this project!"

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli posted an extended report on the Message Board, 31.05.2009.

The Shelving project was reported in the kythera-family Newsletter in June, 2009 , and July, 2009

John Stathatos acts as the Kytherian connection

John Stathatos is a great advocate for Hellenic and Kytherian culture on the island. He is the Director of the Kythera Cultural Association. John has been engaged in numerous cultural Projects, such as Photographic Encounters, and the restoration of the Fatseas collection of photographs, which were featured in a Benaki Museum exhibition.

He is a great advocate for the Municipal Library.
In October 2009, he wrote to Cindy and George advising / asking that:

1. You may add my name to any document. My address is Strapodi, Chora, Kythera 80100.
2. The container will be unloaded alongside or behind the new municipal library in Agios Elias, Kythera.
3. There is equipment on the island to unload the container. I will try to find out the cost, and can probably get it done for free, but I obviously need a few days to get the details.
4. Has Tina (Anoni) chosen a haulage company to carry the container from Piraeus to Kythera? If not, I might be able to get a discount rate from a local trucking company. Again, I would need till Monday or Tuesday to confirm this.
5. I saw the mayor today and brought him up to date.
6. Do we have even a very rough ballpark figure for arrival on Kythera?

On the 12th January, 2010, the shelving arrived on Kythera, and was unpacked on the same day, and packed away safely in the Library at Kontolianika.

John Stathatos announced:

"As it happened, the right crane to offload the whole container was out of commission. Fortunately work had finished on the inside of the library, which is nice and dry, so I got the municipality to provide some labour, and we got everything unloaded in a couple of hours.

Above, are couple of photos; we’ll take more when it comes time to assemble the shelves. (See below).

Congratulations on completing the final lap of your grand project!"

The Project was written up in the December 2009 issue of Kytheraismos newspaper

Cynthia sent an excited email to her many Shelving Project supporters:

"This is so coool! See article below regarding bookshelves project. It was run in the local Kytherian newspaper, Kytheraismos, and is posted on the website. I know most of you cannot read it so once I get the translation, I'll send it along.

Gay (Kinman - a fellow Soroptimist)! you made the paper!!!! Aren't you glad you showed up that cold morning for the loading of the container?????

Organisations mentioned (that I can recognize - I don't speak or read Greek) - Alhambra, Soroptimist International, Rotary, Kythera Society of CA, Kythera Association of AU, Kythera Association of NY."

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Vema Newspaper on 29.10.2013

$10 million to ESTIA from anomymous donor

Photograph: The Estia Foundation of Australia has lodged an application for council approval to commence building a complex that will permanently house ten adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in Gladesville

The Greek Australian Vema October 2013 page 2/20


By George Hatzivasilis



If there is one initiative that our community has embraced warmly and supports in every possible way, this of course is the ESTIA Foundation of the Archdiocese. An indication of this is the almost unbelievable donation of $10 million from on anonymous great benefactor which was announced ot the official dinner of the Foundation on 27 September, 2013.

People with disabilities are the most vulnerable, but also the most likeable and the most lovable members of our society, which I had the good fortune to discover through the 'Elpida' Association.

When we, the able-bodied cry and carry on for the smallest misfortune in our lives, people with special needs not only do not complain about their difficult situation, but they respond to it with the sweetest smile, with the unspoiled purity with which they were born, and no matter how great their disability, the grandeur of their soul is just as great and they show this with such love towards their fellow human beings.

These people do not ask much from life except for the necessary care and affection which they receive from their families, but also their participation in society, which is encouraged by special organisations that educate them even in the most elementary tasks so that they feel useful an create social relations among themselves.

People with special needs are a great responsibility for their families. Many times when I would go to the meetings of 'Elpida', I would hear the concerns of parents for the future of their children with disabilities, for when they will no longer be able to care for them and protect them. With such concerns, and because the community did not he ‘Elpida' as much as it should have, when their members found themselves in a difficult position, they very correctly requested care for their children from the Archdiocese.

The Church accepted their proposal and on 29 November 1994 the Estia Foundation was established with the blessing of Archbishop Stylianos and the property of 'Elpida'.

ln the beginning the ESTIA Foundation continued the work of 'Elpida’ by caring for young Greek Australians with special needs every weekend. However, it quickly became apparent that their parents or carers also needed respite, when they could choose to leave their child for one or more days in a centre with a family environment.

For this reason the 'St Andrew's House' was built next to the church of St Andrews, Gladesville, through the support of the government of Bob Carr and the Greek community. lt opened its doors on 17 April 1997.

In addition, on 22 October 2000, 'Elpida House' in Roselands commenced operation as a respite centre for parents and carers, with funding from the government following intense lobbying and the generosity of our community.

However the need for permanent care of people with special needs had now become pressing as the parents and carers grew older. The first step was taken with the donation of a building by a family from Cephalonia in 2OO4; this is 'Lixouri House' in Sydney, which permanently cares for four young people with intellectual disability in a pleasant family environment.

The ESTIA Foundation offers its services to disabled people of every ethnicity and creed 24 hours per day every day with five regular beds, and a sixth for emergency cases. ln every home there are permanent cooks to prepare the food, while there are also carers at all times of night and day to serve the residents. ESTIA therefore offers its respite services to 150 families every year.

I should also add that ESTIA offers a programme of care on the weekends which includes activities such as excursions and visits to the sites of Sydney, music and dance, crafts, and various the-rapies, such as hydrotherapy.

The income of ESTIA comes from donations, appeals and government grants which are necessary for its survival.

ln the 19 years of its operation, the ESTIA Foundation has been highly respected by government, , services, organisations families and society in general for its high standard of care and facilities.

The year 2012 was a milestone for the Foundation which successfully achieved two goals. The first goal was the recurrent funding of $1.16 million from the state government of New South Wales for the permanent residence of 10 people with intellectual disability. The second success of ESTIA was the decision of the Supreme Court in favour of the Foundation for a 25,000 m2 property in Blakehurst, rn accordance with the will of Carolyn Milne Williams.

The achievements of ESTIA honour not only the hard-working Father Angelo Alifierakis and his worthy co-workers, but also the Archdiocese and the Greek community in Australia generally. ln my opinion it proves how necessary harmony is within an organisation in order for it to flourish, and how ESTIA, with its professionalism, meets the requirements of disabled people with overflowing love. Lt also makes our Church a pioneer in the provision of such specialised services in Australia.

I imagine that these also were the reasons that convinced the great benefactor to entrust the ESTIA Foundation with the enormous donation of $10 million, knowing that this will make a big difference.

The community in general and above all the families of people with special needs are deeply grateful both to the great benefactor and to ESTIA for its God-pleasing work.

Source: O KOSMOS newspaper, kindly reproduced by permission, translated by DK


An anonymous Greek Australian donor writes history for the Estia Foundation and the Greek community in Australia

$10 million donation for Estia

3 Oct 2013 Neos Kosmos


An unprecedented amount of $10 million was donated to Estia Foundation by a single donor, at its fundraising dinner last Friday.

In what will stay written in the history of Australia's philanthropic organisations and Greek Australian community as the biggest single donation, a member of Greek Australian community who made a mammoth donation wished to stay anonymous.

An initiative of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, the Estia Foundation's CEO Father Angelo Alifierakis, who is responsible for all of Estia's operations and services in caring for children and young adults with disabilities, told Neos Kosmos that in the past, the Estia Foundation has seen donations reach $1 million, but the donation made on last Friday's Biennial Fundraising Dinner at La Montage in Sydney is beyond compare.

"This is a unique moment in Australian history. Australian families have donated up to $50 million to hospitals, but the amount that has been donated to Estia on Friday is unrivalled when it comes to charitable organisations like ours, especially community organisations," Father Angelo said.

The fact that only from their biennial fundraising dinner last Friday $500,000 was raised proves that the worthy Estia cause entered the hearts of many.

Around 1000 guests and supporters of Estia Foundation attended the event, alongside Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias, who represented the president and patron of Estia His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, NSW premier Barry O' Farrell, the NSW Leader of opposition John Robertson, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Stavros Kirimis and other government and community representatives.

The mammoth donation will help Estia fulfil their long time goals, Father Angelo told Neos Kosmos, to expand and establish two more permanent group homes for young adults with disabilities whose parents or primary carers can no longer care for them.

All proceeds from the fundraising dinner will go towards providing direct care to young people with intellectual and/ or physical disabilities, help with building new facilities in Kyle Bay and Gladsville, and maintenance of already established services.

"At the beginning of this year, Estia has been awarded a Supreme Court ruling to be granted 25,000 square meters waterfront land in Kyle Bay, on Georges River, following a successful submission in 2011."

With the land secured, the Foundation will now be making initial steps to establish respite facilities and group homes on the land for children and young adults with disabilities, Father Angelo said.

In addition to this, Estia is due to commence building a complex of 10 apartments, permanently housing 10 young adults in Gladesville. The project is worth $3,5 million.

In order for the new project in Gladesville to start, the NSW government $1,16 million in recurrent funding to Estia, that was announced on 1 June, will help.

"However, the NSW Government does not cover all expenses to run the quality services which we pride ourselves upon. We rely on the financial generosity of the community to assist in meeting the shortfall. Building of this new, modern complex is due to commence shortly with the architectural design complete and plans submitted to Kogarah Council for approval," Father Angelo said.

With the valued support of Greek community members and unprecedented donation of anonymous Estia supporter, young adults with disabilities that Estia cares about will now be given two more permanent group homes, that will provide them with more independency and life they would not have been able to have, if it wasn't for Greek community and Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.