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Greek Orthodox Community of SA celebrates inspirational women for IWD

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The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) celebrated International Women’s Day 2023 (IWD) on Wednesday, March 8 with over 100 people packing into Olympic Hall to hear the inspirational stories of Adriana Christopoulos and Argyro Vourdoumpa.

The 23rd annual IWD event started at 7pm with a music performance by Meraki Ensemble before Anastasia Mavrides, Member of the Administrative Council and Assistant Coordinator of the GOCSA Dance Academy, kick started official proceedings as emcee.

Official guests and GOCSA Committee.
Guests in attendance.

GOCSA General Secretary, Smaro Skordas, gave a welcome to the event and stressed how the success of a society is closely tied with the status of women.

“If we want to succeed as a nation, we must start with the education, liberation and empowerment of our girls,” she said.

From there, Irene Pnevmatikos MLC, representing the SA Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, gave a speech and stressed that many women do not enjoy the same privileges men do in the workplace or any other sector.

Argyro Vourdoumpa (centre) with her daughter and Irene Pnevmatikos MLC.

Ms Pnevmatikos said the state government has established the South Australian Gender Pay Gap Taskforce, which she is chairing. This brings experts from government, business and industries to provide expert advice to the Government and recommend specific actions that can be taken to address the gender pay gap.

Following these speeches, it was time for the guest speakers to address the crowd.

Ms Christopoulos, who is Chair of the South Australian Multicultural Commission, spoke first and said that in order to achieve equity, it requires equal paths of education, opportunity, encouragement and hard work.

Next to speak was Ms Vourdoumpa, the former Editor at The Greek Herald. In her address, she stressed that Australian women of Greek heritage are incredibly resilient and resourceful, but they need support across sectors to achieve their full potential in Australia.

Ms Vourdoumpa also encouraged women to keep asking the hard questions and use their “superpowers” to create and embrace equity.

Argyro (centre) with two ladies from GOCSA’s Greek Women’s Society.

“My superpower is storytelling,” she added.

“Throughout my career, I have used it to create more cracks in glass ceilings by telling the stories of Australia’s Greek diaspora from a more female-focused and multicultural perspective and showing my peers in Greece that when there is will, there is a way.”

At the conclusion of these official proceedings, there was a Question and Answer section. Awards were also presented to Georgina Vlachos and Panagiota Stamatopoulos for their long-standing volunteering with GOCSA.

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