HACCI SA celebrate one year since revival with annual Parliament House event

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By Peter Tantalos

The South Australian Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HACCI SA) commemorated the first anniversary of its revival by hosting its annual Parliament House event for members on April 10.

The celebration marked a significant milestone for the chamber, which serves as a platform for members to connect, interact, and exchange knowledge and ideas with like-minded professionals.

The event brought together members of Parliament, HACCI members and broader industry professionals for an evening of networking, collaboration and dialogue. It provided a unique opportunity for members to engage directly with key decision-makers, foster meaningful discussions on mutual interests, promote business opportunities, and strengthen the bonds within the South Australian Greek community.

Alex Demetriou, Deputy Chair of HACCI SA, reflected on the success of the organisation since its inaugural launch event in 2023, which occurred in the same room in which the April 10 event was held.

“It’s been an amazing success [and] what we had hoped to achieve in the first year, we have outperformed that,” Mr Demetriou said.

Originally formed in 1985, the chamber aims to promote and strengthen business and economic ties between Australia and Greece, focusing not only on local businesses in South Australia but also on national and international trade and export opportunities.

Mr Demetriou also remarked on the various achievements of HACCI in its one short year, including the establishment of initiatives such as a wine council for South Australian wine producers of Greek heritage to connect with Greece, and the facilitation of many member networking events on the areas of property, professional development, trade and a youth focussed event to support the next generation of professionals.

The Consul-General of Greece in Adelaide and the Dean of the Consular Corps of South Australia, George Psiachas, also shared his reflections.

Consul-General Psiachas addresses HACCI members.

“During my tenure, the revival of HACCI SA has been successful, and the total activity of both your organisation and other Hellenic organisations in South Australia, [have been] fantastic,” Mr Psiachas stated.

Mr Psiachas emphasised the importance of maintaining strong ties with Greece, particularly in the context of new policies established after Greece’s recovery from the global financial crisis.

“It is very important, in your group of commerce and industry, to keep connection with Greece… Greece has new policies in place after having resiliently survived the global financial crisis of the previous decade and now has new opportunities for business investment and many other incentives for people in the commerce world to do business in Greece,” he said.

He also highlighted a recent visit by the Deputy Interior Minister of Greece, underscoring the significance of preserving Hellenic identity in professional bodies such as HACCI.

“For me, it is crucial that you inspire your children to learn Greek because if we lose the language, we lose everything,” Mr Psiachas remarked.

The event not only celebrated the past year’s achievements, but also set the stage for future initiatives and continued growth within the Hellenic Australian business and professional community in SA.

Special guests at the event included the Hon. Andrea Michaels MP, SA Minister for the Arts, Minister for Small and Family Business and Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs; The Hon. Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia; and other notable figures such as The Hon. Connie Bonaros MLC, Cr Mary Couros of the City of Adelaide, and Cr Stephen Finos and Cr Jack Gaffey of the City of Unley.

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