Greek Australian female leaders inspire at International Women’s Day event in Sydney

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To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Violet Roumeliotis AM, Sophie Cotsis MP and Effy Alexakis inspired crowds during a special ‘Speaker Series’ on Wednesday at Ashfield Town Hall in Sydney, New South Wales.

Speaker Series: Australian-Greek Women in Leadership was organised by The Greek Festival of Sydney and drew over 150 people to the venue to listen to Ms Roumeliotis, Ms Cotsis and Ms Alexakis.

(L-R) Sophie Cotsis, Effy Alexakis, Violet Roumeliotis, Alexandra Luxford. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

The event started with emcee and panel moderator, Randwick City Councillor Alexandra Luxford, introducing a number of speakers to the stage including Inner West Councillor Zoi Tsardoulias.

Zoi Tsardoulias and Alexandra Luxford. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Ms Roumeliotis, Ms Cotsis and Ms Alexakis also spoke briefly to introduce themselves before the panel discussion commenced. Effy introduced herself via a slideshow of photographs she has taken documenting Greek Australian women and migrants.

The panel. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

The panel discussion then began with each speaker discussing their struggles as children of migrants, their leadership challenges and the need to balance family life with the workforce.

Audience. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
Others in the audience. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Ms Cotsis stressed that she didn’t have Greek women in Parliament to look up to as role models, before referencing the influence of Victorian MP Maria Vamvakinou and former Victorian Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos.

Ms Alexakis said she’s proud to receive feedback on her renowned photographs and described how people say her work has “popularised Greek Australian history.”

Attendees. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
(L-R) Effy Alexakis and Marina Efthimiou. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Ms Roumeliotis spoke about her role as CEO of Settlement Services International and encouraged females to support each other to achieve their full potential.

Violet Roumeliotis.

At the conclusion of the panel, Ms Roumeliotis, Ms Cotsis and Ms Alexakis were presented with flowers and the Chair of the Greek Festival, Nia Karteris, thanked them in her speech for taking part in the event.

Nia Karteris. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
Other attendees. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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