Greek Australians recognised in Australia Day Honours List 2021

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At least six Greek Australians have been named by the Governor General today in the Australia Day 2021 Honours List. They are a small but significant portion of the total number of 844 Australians recognised on the list.

“On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours list,” the Governor-General said in a media statement.

“The individuals we celebrate today come from all parts of our great nation and have served the community in almost every way conceivable. They’re diverse and unique but there are some common characteristics, including selflessness, commitment and dedication.”

These are the Greek Australians who were recognised:

*Please Note: The below recipients are those The Greek Herald could identify by their Greek name.

Order of Australia (General Division):

Ms Theodora Ahilas OAM, Blakehurst, NSW:

Ms Ahilas was recognised for service to people affected by asbestos-related diseases and to the law. She has been a Principal Lawyer and Director at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in Sydney since 2004. She is also currently the National Head of Asbestos and Occupational Diseases at the firm.

Other awards and recognition given to Ms Ahilas include: the President’s Medal for the Law Society of NSW in 2018; Doyles Guide Leading Lawyer in 2018, 2017 and 2016; Alumni Award for Excellence in Law, University of Technology Sydney in 2013; and the Justice Medal from the Law and Justice Foundation NSW in 2012.

Miss Eleni Andriana Glouftsis OAM, VIC:

Miss Glouftsis has been recognised on Australia Day this year for service to Australian rules football, particularly as an umpire. In fact, she’s been involved in Australian Football League since 2017, as well as an AFL Umpiring Growth and Development Coordinator – Schools and Female, since 2019.

Miss Glouftsis has previously been named South Australian Young Australian of the Year in 2019 and Prospect City Council Young Citizen of the Year in 2014.

Mr Michael Panormitis Pakakis AM, VIC:

Mr Michael Panormitis Pakakis has been honoured for his significant service to STEM education in Victoria. Mr Pakakis is not only the founding Director of the Victorian Space Science Education Centre at Victoria’s Strathmore Secondary College since 2006, but he has also been Assistant Principal at the College since 2016.

The late Mrs Ismini (Pitsa) Parrett OAM, Formerly of Barton, ACT:

Mrs Ismini (Pitsa) Parrett passed away on February 26, 2020, but the amazing woman was still recognised on Australia Day this year for her service to community health through exercise therapy and aquatic rehabilitation.

Mrs Parrett was heavily involved as an Instructor of Aquatic Rehabilitation, Aerobics, Aqua-Aerobics and Pilates at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1995 to 2007. She was also an Exercise Therapist and Fitness Instructor from 1969 to 2007.

Mrs Sotiria Liangis OAM AM, O’Malley, ACT:

Mrs Sotiria Liangis was honoured for her significant service to the community through philanthropic support initiatives.

Mrs Liangis is a supporter of a range of charitable and not-for-profit organisations including: The National Portrait Gallery of Australia, The Canberra Hospital, The Starlight Foundation, Koomarri, St Nicholas Home for the Aged, St John the Baptist Church in Batemans Bay, and Canberra Centenary Hospital for Women, Youth and Children.

She is also the Director, owner and property developer of Liangis Investments since 1967.

Meritorious Award:

Mr John Constantine Varnavides, AFSM (Australian Fire Service Medal), Western Australia Department of Fire & Emergency Services:

Mr John Varnavides joined the Western Australia Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) at the Pemberton Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1971. Since that time, he has attended over 900 incidents including bushfires, dangerous structure fires, storms and road crash rescues. He has held most of the leadership positions within the Brigade and is one of the longest serving operational firefighters in the region.

Mr Varnavides has provided distinguished service to the Western Australian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, and to the Pemberton and wider community, throughout his 50 year volunteer career.

Conspicuous Service Cross Medal

Squadron Leader Debbie HERBERZ (Royal Australian Air Force)

For outstanding achievement in education and training for the Royal Australian Air Force.

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