Eight prominent Greek Australians in the areas of community service, visual arts and education have been recognised today in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.
They are part of a larger group of 933 Australians who’s contribution to their community was noted by their peers as worthy of recognition.
“In this list we see all the positives that are in our community. We see the great ideas, we see the hard work, we see the love and compassion for fellow human beings. It’s a microcosm of Australia,” the Governor-General said when announcing the list.
These are the Greek-Australians who were recognised:
In the category ‘Member (AM) in the General Division’ there is:
- Mrs Jeanette Miller Anictomatis from Cullen Bay in the Northern Territory.
She was recognised for significant service to the people of the NT through representational roles, and to youth through Guides. Jeanette has been the Honorary Consul for the United Kingdom since 2008. She is a current board member of ‘Helping People Achieve Northern Territory.’ She was an elected member of the City of Darwin from 2012-2015, and she was an International Humanitarian Officer for the Australian Red Cross NT in 2005.
- Mr Charalambos Andrea Vatiliotis from NSW.
Charalambos was honoured for significant service to musical instrument making as a luthier since the 1950s. He has hand made more than 780 instruments. He was also a teacher of a stringed instrument making course and art workshop at the University of Sydney from 1981-1984.
In the category ‘Medal (OAM) in the General Division’ there is:
- Ms Angela Lyris from Strathfield.
Angela was honoured for her service to education. Her roles within the NSW Department of Education include: Principal, Strathfield Girls High School (since 2008); Supervisor/Teacher, Kogarah Saturday School and St George Saturday School (since 1988); Relieving School Education Director, Disability Portfolio, South Western Sydney Region (2009-2011); Principal, Granville Boys High School (2005-2007); Deputy Principal, Granville Boys High School (2001-2004); Leading Teacher, Granville Boys High School (2000); English as a Second Language/English Teacher, Bankstown Senior College (1987-1999).
Angela, in conjunction with Strathfield Girls High School, is also a supporter of Zonta International Australia through the donation of birthing kits.
- Mr Dimitrios Alexopoulos from Victoria.
Dimitrios was acknowledged for his service to the Greek community of Victoria. He is a prominent member of the Panarcadian Association of Melbourne and Victoria as a President (2005-2016), Treasurer and Secretary (2001-2004), Public Relations Officer (since 2016) and current editor of the Voice of Arcadians Newspaper. He has been the President of the Panarcadian Federation of Australia since 2006 (bi-annual position). President of the Panarcadian Federation of Victoria since 2005. He was also awarded the Spiros Stamoulis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2018.
- Mr Stefanos Christofis from Nightcliff in the Northern Territory.
Stefanos was recognised for service to the Greek Orthodox community of Darwin. He has been a cantor at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in the NT since 1990. He is also an ongoing member and supporter of the Greek Orthodox Community of North Australia.
- Mr George Petrou from Mont Albert in Victoria.
George was honoured for his service to the visual arts and to veterans. He is an Artist and Graphic Designer at George Petrou Design since 1979. His works include: Twelve Great Australian Stories Collection, Sports Player Portraits, Remember Me – The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt Collection, and The Victoria Cross Collection.
He is a patron of the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen and Women’s Association of Victoria (TPI Victoria) since 2017. He is also a supporter of The Cross of Valour Association of Australia.
- Mr John Coutis from Queensland.
John was acknowledged for his service to the community and to sport. He has been an Ambassador for the Australia Day Ambassador Program since 1999. He is also the current Ambassador for ‘Busy at Work’, an organisation that delivers training and employment programs to homeless youth.
John was invited into the Sydney 2000 Olympic Team Village to support the Australian team and in 2001 the Australian Wallabies. He was the first person with a major disability to play indoor cricket in Australia. He is a former player of Grade Cricket at the Bankstown Cricket Club. He was also crowned Australian Disabled Table Tennis Champion in 1994.
He is the author of ‘From the Ground Up’ (2001). He is a Keynote and Motivational Speaker, Coutis International Pty Ltd, since 2012. He has also been awarded a National Family of the Year Award with his wife.
- Ms Philia Angela Polites from Murrumba Downs in Queensland.
Philia was recognised for service to people with a disability and to the community. She is a prominent member of the Queenslanders with Disability Network as a Director (2015-2018), Former Deputy Chair and Former Chair, Audit and Compliance Committee. For the Women’s Centre for Health Matters (ACT), she was a Convenor of the Management Committee (1999-2000), a Manager (1998-1999) and a facilitator (1996-1997). She was also a prominent member of the Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia as a Vice President (1990), a Former Special Consultant and a Former Member of Access and Equity Committee. To see the extensive list of Philia’s achievements, please click here.
- Mr Saki George Ganella from Sandringham in Victoria.
Saki was recognised for his service to education. He has held multiple roles at Melbourne High School including: Mathematics Teacher (since 1971), Yarra House Coordinator (1988-1998), Forrest House Coordinator (1973-1987), Former Mathematics Coordinator and Former Year Coordinator.
He was also in the 415 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets as a Commanding Officer from 1986-1996 and Second in Command from 1997-2001 and 1971-1985.
All exceptional Greek Australians who deserve to be recognised for their hard work and dedication to important causes.