Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand holds Annual General Meeting

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The Cretan Federation of Australia & New Zealand held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, January 5 at the Cretan House in Brunswick, Victoria.

Cretan delegates from across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and NZ attended the AGM where a number of important issues related to the Cretan community were discussed.

The AGM began with a traditional blessing by His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, before the President of the Cretan Federation, Tony Tsourdalakis, gave his welcome speech.

During the speech, Mr Tsourdalakis touched on a number of initiatives held by the Cretan Federation in 2022. This included, but is not limited to, the Battle of Crete commemorations; the reestablishment of the Cretan Association in the Northern Territory; the ANZAC Trail in Crete; and the funds raised by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne and the Cretan Federation to go towards rebuilding Cretan towns after an earthquake struck the island in 2021.

The Executive Committee of the Federation. Photo: The Greek Herald.

Following this speech, each delegate from their respective Cretan associations gave an annual report, highlighting events held by their association and what they plan on doing this year to engage with more Cretan youth.

The AGM then turned to a number of other topics including the current Executive Administration of the Cretan Federation. It was unanimously decided that the current executive would remain in their positions for a further year.

Next, a number of questions and concerns were brought up during ‘General Business’ around the funds raised by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne to go towards helping rebuild Crete after the earthquake.

Mr Tsourdalakis giving his welcome speech.

According to Mr Tsourdalakis, the Federation and the Pancretan Association of Melbourne raised a combined total of just under $30,000 during the fundraising campaign. Of this funding, $13,228 was raised by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne with the hopes it would go towards either rebuilding a local school, medical centre or athletics centre on Crete.

The President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Manuel Starakis, also said at the AGM that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia had pledged $70,000 to the fundraising campaign but this offer was later withdrawn.

Mr Starakis questioned Mr Tsourdalakis about why the offer by the Archdiocese was withdrawn and where the funds that were raised had been distributed.

In response, Mr Tsourdalakis said the funding was given to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Crete and the local Archbishop would announce in the coming weeks where the funds were being distributed.

At the conclusion of these official proceedings, Mr Tsourdalakis exchanged commemorative souvenirs with delegates and a group photo of everyone in attendance was taken.

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