HMSA and Hellenic Diaspora Congress concludes with commitment for new global health dialogue

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Medical experts of Greek heritage arrived in Melbourne, Victoria this year for the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia (HMSA) and Hellenic Diaspora World Congress from November 17 – 19.

The Hellenic Medical Society of Australia and Hellenic World Diaspora Congress 2022, which was hosted at the Greek Centre in Melbourne, was the result of a common vision between global medical Hellenic societies, inspired by the practice of the father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates of Kos. 

The world congress featured presentations from Australian and international speakers and included an interactive dialogue between leaders from diverse academic fields in medicine and science.

The focus of the meeting on Thursday 17th November was the provision of community supports to some of the most vulnerable sectors of our community Fronditha Care and Pronia sharing some of their unique insights into the issues affecting these individuals. The meeting was led by the President of Fronditha Care Jill Taylor and President of Pronia Kris Pavlidis.

On Friday 18 November the Congress held its official opening, where Mr George Koufogiannis, Conference Scientific Convenor of Conference Board Member of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia welcomed the honoured guests.

Prof. Marini Pirpiri, Chair of the Congress said in his welcoming speech “The Hellenic Medical Society of Australia and Hellenic World Diaspora Congress 2022, which was hosted at the Greek is the result of a common vision between global medical Hellenic societies, inspired by the practice of the father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates of Kos.

“Meetings between doctors with Hellenic background provide Hellenes with the ability and means to improve health policies and contribute to the development of a global scientific community which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all patients, regardless of their individual unique opinions and beliefs. We are honoured to be hosting the Global Doctors Hippocratic Institute, which has helped develop a common vision for a new global health dialogue through commitment, passion, and vision.”

Bill Papastergiadis, OAM, President of the GCM stated in his opening speech “It was a historic day for Greece and Australia with the execution of the MOUS between the University of Melbourne and the Universities of Athens and Patra. Cross cultural education has taken a massive leap forward and we are proud of that the GCM along with Prf. Marinis Pirpiris has helped facilitate this outcome.

“There are many reasons why these Agreements have been executed in Melbourne, including the fact that Melbourne is recognized as one of the world’s top 4 medical research centres with up to $4 billion spent annually on medical research. Such Agreements will allow our students to learn and be taught in the birthplace of Hippocrates, while facilitating the opportunities of Greek students to come to Melbourne, which boasts 13 world leading medical research facilities”.  

Hon Steve Dimopoulos MP took the stand saying that: “It’s great to be here at the opening ceremony at the conference, bringing together great minds from Greece and Australia to discuss their latest advancements. This Congress, is a way of strengthening the bonds between our communities. There’s a shared history that people have talked about, creating networks, paving the way and creating healthier lives for our citizens and the people who we represent”

Maria Vamvakinou MP was welcomed to the stand “it’s a privilege to be here. Australia is known in the world of innovation in various fields of science, medical, technology and all sorts of other technologies. As a country that largely punches above its weight, we are a large landmass with a small population and we have exceeded expectations with great cutting-edge technology, especially in medical and scientific research and innovation, and this is an area which is very important to us. An area where many distinguished scientists and doctors of Greek background living in Australia have made significant contributions, and this should be something that we should be very proud of and we should be very proud of it in the context of our multicultural community.

The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis also welcomed the idea of forging a strong partnership between both Greek and Australian Medical Institutions. “It’s a great privilege and a pleasure for me to assist in this event. The Greek Community is thriving in this city due to the charismatic leadership of Dr Pirpiris and Bill Papastergiadis, OAM and the Australian Government for providing the appropriate policies that allow, multicultural societies to thrive”.

Then Hon Sally Capp Lord Mayor took the stand “It is wonderful to be here. We know that in Ancient Greece doctors moved the health conversations from divine intervention to address health issues to more modern concepts of Medicine and we thank you very much for that. We are grateful to our Greek Medical Community here in Melbourne and Greece in forming the memorandum of understanding that was singed yesterday which represents are ongoing and deeper broader work will do together”. 

Ms Georgie Crozier Shadow Minister of Health in her speech said “We are very proud to be here today. It is about coming together and sharing your ideas, sharing the innovation that you all know and experienced. You are bringing together your ideas and the Greek Community has helped so much, and it is a very proud community, you should be very proud of what you have continued to contribute, and I have no doubt that the Congress will be very productive.” 

Mr. Georgios Patoulis, the Governor of Attica, President of the Athens Medical Association and President of the Doctors Hippocratic Institute talked on the significance of collaboration and further spoke on the impact that Hippocratic Philosophy has had on the scientific advancement of modern western medicine. 

He went further saying: Collaboration of Greek doctors everywhere towards a new philosophy of medicine, that would explore the values of the Ethic of Medicine guided by the teachings of Hippocrates allowing us to jointly “create” a New Medical Perspective of Ethics and Philosophy, which will address wisely and reflect upon future challenges in the medical field. Thank you for giving us the chance”. 

Also Jane Gunn Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences took the stand “I feel that we are on a point of great collaboration and an opportunity that is so necessary for the future of Medical Science and Health Wellbeing. I think together we have to mobilize forces to make sure the Health and Medical research is strong, and we must be absolutely resilient.” 

The Hellenic Medical Diaspora World Congress 2022, which was organised by the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia and the Global Doctors’ Hippocratic Institute concluded their proceedings on Saturday 19 November, with a ball at the Grand Hyatt, which raised funds for PRONIA and Fronditha Care.

The official party included:

  • Mr Georgios Patoulis (President of the Athens Medical Association, President of the Global Doctors Hippocratic Institute and Governor of the region of Attica, Congress President)
  • Mr Emmanuel Kakavelakis (Consul General of Greece, Melbourne)
  • Mr Marios Themistocleous (General Secretary Ministry of Health, Hellenic Republic)
  • The Hon Steve Dimopoulos MP (Member for Oakleigh, Minister for Tourism, Sports and Major Events, Minister for Creative Industries – representing The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria)
  • Ms Georgie Crozier MP (Member for Southern Metropolitan Region, Deputy Leader of the State Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Health, Shadow Minister for Ambulance Services – representing Mr Matthew Guy MP, Leader of the State Liberal Party)
  • The Hon. Martin Foley MP (Member for Albert Park, Former Minister for Health and Ambulance Services)
  • Ms Maria Vamvakinou MP, (Member for Calwell)
  • The Hon. Michael Sukkar MP, (Member for Deakin)
  • Lord Mayor Sally Capp, (City of Melbourne)
  • Professor Jane Gunn, (Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melb.    
  • Professor Georgios Antonakis, (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Patra)
  • Mr Panagiotis Manolas, (Congress Scientific Convenor)
  • Mr George Koufogiannis, (Congress Scientific Convenor)
  • Mr Bill Papastergiadis OAM, (President of the Greek Community of Melbourne)
  • Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris, (President of the Hellenic Medical Society of Australia, Congress Chair)

There were also recordings from:

  • Mr Vasilis Kikilias, Minister of Tourism, Hellenic Republic

Conference Sponsors:

  • Platinum: Arrotex Pharmaceuticals, The Platform Alliance Group
  • Premier: Accountancy Group, Windsor Management Insurance Brokers
  • Major: Mantzis Family Trust, Directed Technologies, Imaging Associates

*All photos by: Constantly Flashing – Peter Kakalias

READ MORE: Melbourne university to develop clinical and academic exchange programs with Greek universities



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