At least six Australians of Greek heritage have been named Ambassadors for Australia Day this year on Friday, January 26.
Each year, up to 100 amazing Australia Day Ambassadors take part in Australia Day activities around New South Wales, motivating communities and sharing knowledge and insights from their incredible and diverse experiences, as well as tales about what it means to be Australian.
Here are the 2024 Australia Day Ambassadors with Greek heritage:
Michael Tomalaris is an Australian television reporter and presenter. He was previously host of SBS Television sports programs including its Tour de France coverage. He was also formerly a presenter for SBS World News.
Viv Kartsounis was born in South Africa and is the Founder of Shoes for Planet Earth. Viv is also a passionate runner who knows the benefits of exercise, hoping to give people in need the opportunity to participate in sporting activities to help improve their well being. She has had a long and successful running career spanning 30 years, including representing Australia in the 100km World Cup competitions three years in a row.
Andrew (Andy) Paschalidis is the Founder and CEO of Heartbeat of Football and Australia Day Ambassador for Leeton Shire since 1996. He was nominated as a finalist for Westfield Hurstville Local Hero for 2023.
Paschalidis’ Heartbeat of Football offers simple screening checks for players, advocates for defibrillators for all sports fields and provides first aid education.
Jason Sotiris is the founder of children’s charity Supertee and will proudly take part in Australia Day activities in the Lane Cove Council area, after being named as an Australia Day Ambassador for 2024.
Jason admits it’s the Aussie ethos of having a go that spurred him to switch from his job as a tradie to creating a medical garment that inspires imagination in children, which is given to them for free in hospitals around the country.
The Supertee is a superhero t-shirt which opens under the arms for thermometer access, with press studs evenly spaced for bypass tubes and lines, as well as being PET scan and MRI friendly.
For the past three decades, the legendary George Ellis has been bringing classical music to the masses. From presenting concerts with international icons such as Hans Zimmer to appearing in Hollywood film Mao’s Last Dancer, the 56-year-old orchestral conductor and composer has become a household name.
Yianni Johns is a full-time Australian artist living in the North West Shelf with his wife, Kristen. He describes his life as “a duality, a mix between the real world and my creative world.”