It was a packed house at the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney’s annual Mother’s Day luncheon at Le Montage in Lilyfield, Sydney on Tuesday, May 16.
Members and friends of the Hellenic Lyceum gathered to honour the inspirational women in their lives, enjoy a three-course sit down meal, and listen intently as guest speaker, Professor Helen Zorbas AO, spoke about her incredible life and role as Chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
On the day, Professor Zorbas wasn’t the only inspirational female and distinguished guest in attendance. The event was also attended by the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis, and his wife Christiana Stavrou; Emmy award-winning director, Elektra Manikakis; the President of the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney, Liana Vertzayias; and many other female leaders of Greek organisations and from the media.
In amongst all the raffles and lucky draw prizes, emcee Helen Dimas also asked Mrs Vertzayias, Professor Zorbas, and Mr Mallikourtis to give speeches.
In her speech, Mrs Vertzayias stressed that the Hellenic Lyceum’s annual Mother’s Day celebration aligns with the organisation’s founding principles “to promote women’s rights, motherhood, and Greek traditions and culture.”
The female President also thanked her committee and sub-committees for their hard work in organising the Mother’s Day event, and stressed that part of the proceeds from ticket and raffle sales would be donated to the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.
Professor Zorbas addressed the crowd next and shared personal reflections from her over 45-year career in the specialist area of breast cancer research.
Having been a breast physician in the public and private health sector and later CEO of Cancer Australia for nine years, Professor Zorbas is now leading NBCF – Australia’s key national body funding world-class and game-changing research into breast cancer prevention and treatment.
It’s clear the Professor remains as humble as ever though, as she spent much of her speech praising her parents and even offered advice to other aspiring female physicians and young mothers.
“I think it’s vital to know what’s fundamental to who you are and what you stand for and stay grounded. To me, valuing family and my professional integrity has always ranked the highest. And my advice to young mothers is you can do it all, just not all at once,” Professor Zorbas said.
The Consul General also gave a small speech and congratulated the Hellenic Lyceum on their successful event, as well as Professor Zorbas for being so inspirational.
“If some people wonder why the Greek Australians have done so well and why they don’t want to go back [to Greece], just listen to Professor Zorbas because in one generation she managed to do so much,” Mr Mallikourtis said.
At the conclusion of these speeches, there was plenty of time left for mingling, Greek dancing and of course, a customary group photo. A wonderful event enjoyed by all.
*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.