Winners announced for the 34th HACCI Awards


The Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HACCI) held its 34th annual awards ceremony last night to recognise and celebrate excellence in the Greek Australian community.

Held at the Hellenic Museum and hosted by Mary Coustas, the digital ceremony experienced a three hour delay due to technical difficulties, yet rolled straight into their awards presentation once all issues were solved.

READ MORE: 34th HACCI Awards to recognise excellence within Greek Australian community

The ceremony opened up with a special message from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who said although they couldn’t meet tonight, he is grateful that the important event continued to go ahead.

“After all, tonights about recognising the Hellenic Australians who bring our nation together. And who in doing so make our state stronger,” Daniel Andrews said.

The first award of the night was the Bank of Sydney Business Award, awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to their industry, built a strong brand, and are recognised leaders within their industry.

Melbourne Seafood Centre CEO Barbara Konstas. ABC/David Sparkes

Melbourne Seafood Centre CEO Barbara Konstas received the prestigious award, saying its added some “positivity and normalcy” to the difficult year.

“I was in my father’s shadow as he had a family business in the wholesale fish market and this taught me all about how to run a business,” Barbara Konstas said during her acceptance speech.

The next award recipient was Dr Paul Eliadis AM, who received the Professional Services Award for his incredible 35-year contribution to clinical haematology and oncology.

“I was very surprised to receive the award… the things I do I’ll be doing for many many years, I’ve never thought of awards if I’m honest. I’ve done these things because they seem like the right things to do,” Dr Eliadis said.

Dr Paul Eliadis.

Gadjo Dilo presented their signature gypsy-swing take on beloved Greek songs, from the rooftop of Gazarte, during the award breaks. Also entertaining watchers, performer Fivos Delivorias sent a very special musical message to the Greek Community and to the Chamber.

For the first time this year, the HACCIs presented a new Award; The Innovation Award. It acknowledged an individual who has made significant contribution to their industry through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application.

READ MORE: TGH Exclusive: The Greek Australian researcher behind Australia’s first potential coronavirus vaccine

The inaugural recipient of the award was well-known Greek Australian researcher Vasso Apostolopoulos, who has dedicated her life to the fields of medicinal chemistry, molecular biology and immunology, being the first in the world to develop the first concept of immunotherapy for cancer in the early 1990s.

Vasso Apostolopoulos receiving her award at the HACCIs.

“Throughout my career the Greek community has really been behind me and helped me with my research and support me…. and in return I promise I will develop and promote drugs and vaccines against various diseases,” the inaugural Innovation Award recipient said.

Violet Roumeliotis received the Woman of Influence Award at the digital ceremony, recognised as one of Australia’s greatest social entrepreneur’s that has been a champion of diversity, inclusion and social justice. Violet dedicated the award to her 80-year-old mother who still inspires her everyday, along with her late father, Yianni, who “lives in her heart” for the past 30 years since he was lost.

READ MORE: TGH Exclusive: Greek honorary Australian, Violet Roumeliotis, will not hesitate to recognise the painful history of January 26

“This award is for all those migrants who arrived on our shores with hope, open hearts, aspirations and dreams,” Violet said upon receiving her award.

Violet Roumeliotis. Photo: The Leader/Chris Lane

The HACCI Sports Award was given not to a renowned sports athlete, but to another individual that is a vital asset in the sports industry. Delly Carr has 30+ years experience of ethics and signature photography and was formally recognised by his peers with his induction as a founding Member of the World Photography Academy.

The Community Award was presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution as a role model for compassion and service. The award was handed out to Lilian Gomatos, who has been an integral part of the Darwin Greek community for decades, working tirelessly to promote Greek culture to the broader community.

Through her leadership, the community established Glenti, the glorious Greek festival that has been running in the Northern Territory for 32 years.

The Chris Saristavros Young Achiever Award honours young role models who will shape the future of the Greek community, and who more deserving than Natalie Kyriacou. The Founder and CEO of My Green World, Natalie has been endeavouring to drive positive change worldwide, creating inclusive youth education programs and technologies that increase access to wildlife and environmental conservation and sciences.

“My goal has always been to have a positive impact on the world and inspire curiosity and kindness in my own small way. Thanks to HACCI and my supportive family, I’ve been able to have a greater impact than I could’ve possibly imagined,” Natalie Kyriacou said.

Natalie Kyriacou is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree.

As the award ceremony came to a close, the final and most important award was yet to be handed out. The Spiro Stamoulis Lifetime Achievement Award honours those who have had a strong impact on the Hellenic Australian Community of Diaspora throughout their private and professional life.

Nick Polites has been a champion of multiculturalism and a living example of how music brings people together. He was one of the founders of the Greek Australian Welfare Society, which led to him gaining a membership in the Galbally Committee that reviewed Australia’s multicultural public policy in the late 1970s.

Nick Polites.

Mary Coustas passed on her congratulations to all the winners, saying the awards will return bigger and stronger next year.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Community unites to support restoration of Australia’s oldest Greek Orthodox church

Greek community members united on Sunday, June 23 to support the restoration of Australia's oldest Greek Orthodox church.

GOCSA celebrates language, dance and cooking at Annual Schools Dance

On Saturday, June 22, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia Language Schools held its Annual Greek Schools Dance at Olympic Hall.

Ambassador Stavros Venizelos holds first meeting with Greek organisations from SA

On Sunday, June 23, Ambassador of Greece to Australia, Stavros Venizelos, met with a number of Hellenic organisations in South Australia.

Greek community urges action to make St Vasilios hall in Brunswick accessible to all

Parishioners at St Vasilios Church in Brunswick West want to install a lift to make the church's community hall more accessible.

Ava Caryofyllis nominated for Logie for ‘Most Popular New Talent’

Young actress Ava Caryofyllis has been nominated for a Logie award in the Most Popular New Talent category.

You May Also Like

Thanos Petrelis concert to return to Australia due to popular demand

Thanos Petrelis will return to Australia to perform at the Hellenic Club of Canberra at Woden due to popular demand.

Protypo Greek Centre in Victoria to benefit from government boost to language schools

Protypo Greek Centre is one of the language centres which will benefit from the new program to help keep kids connected to languages.

Greece to build first green museum at Plato’s Academy in Athens

The Ministry of Culture and the City of Athens have recently announced the creation of Greece's first green museum at Plato's Academy.