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Greek Australians recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2021

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At least 14 prominent Greek Australians in the areas of community service, visual arts, health, architecture and sport have been recognised today in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2021.

They are part of a larger group of 1,190 Australians who’s contribution to their community was noted by their peers as worthy of recognition.

“Each of these individuals are unique and their story deserves to be shared widely and celebrated,” the Governor-General said when announcing the list.

“Collectively, they speak to who we are as a nation. There are countless examples of selflessness, commitment and dedication. There is diversity and there are examples of exceptional achievement in almost every field imaginable.”

Here are the Greek Australians who were recognised:

Dr Michelle Aléna Cretikos, New South Wales:

Dr Michelle Aléna Cretikos.

Dr Michelle Cretikos has been awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) and has also been named in the special COVID-19 Honour Roll. She has been recognised for outstanding public service to community health in New South Wales.

Dr Michelle Cretikos commenced with NSW Health in 1998, and since that time has been passionate about making a difference to people’s lives through the delivery of health care services, and more recently through high quality, evidence based policy development and implementation.

As the Executive Director, Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs, she led the Ministry of Health’s response to music festival harm reduction. This required her to work across government with music festival organisers, private medical providers and other stakeholders.

More recently, Dr Cretikos significantly contributed to the development and implementation of public health measures to limit COVID-19 transmission in NSW.

Evie Georgas, Queensland:

Evie Georgas.

Evie Georgas has been awarded the Australia Corrections Medal (ACM). She has been recognised for her work with the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS).

Ms Georgas commenced her career with QCS in 1996 as a Custodial Correctional Officer. Her commitment, expertise and desire to work collaboratively has led to her being held in high regard amongst staff, stakeholders and prisoners.

As Regional Manager, Sentence Management, she has played an integral role in the operational and cultural transition of sentence management service provision, from a locally managed service, to a regionalised service delivery model with centralised accountability and a state-wide focus.

Her knowledge of centre operations and the role of a Custodial Correctional Officer, Community Corrections and Sentence Management Services has resulted in a significant and ongoing contribution to the safety and dynamic security of the centres she services.

Through her efforts she continues to assist prisoners in their adjustment to the correctional environment, providing increased opportunities for self-improvement and behavioural change.

Professor Leonard George Notaras AM, Darwin, Northern Territory:

Professor Leonard George Notaras.

Professor Leonard George Notaras AM has been awarded in the category of Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, as well as the special COVID-19 Honour Roll. He has been recognised for his distinguished service to medical administration in the Northern Territory and to professional organisations.

Professor Notaras is a proud Kytherian who has held roles in institutions such as the NT Department of Health, the Australian Medical Association NT, and Royal Darwin Hospital as their Medical Superintendent and General Manager.

Currently, he is the Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre in Darwin, coordinating Australia’s response to COVID-19 and repatriation.

In 2019, there was also a Notaras ACHSM Fellowship Program named in his honour at the NT Department of Health and the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

Lee Christofis, Fitzroy, Victoria:

Lee Christofis.

Lee Christofis has been awarded this year in the category Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He has been recognised for his significant service to the performing arts, particularly to dance.

Since 1981, Mr Christofis has been a dance critic, arts commentator, producer and broadcaster. During this time, he was also the National Vice President of Ausdance (1996-2004).

Between 1966-1970 he was a dancer at Queensland Ballet and later, in the 1970s, became a board member. He’s also worked as a Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia and in the field of early childhood education in both Melbourne and Brisbane.

Awards he has received include the National Dance Award from Ausdance in 2009 and the Victorian Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs in 2001.

Epaminondas Katsalidis, Victoria:

Epaminondas Katsalidis. Photo by: Kristoffer Paulsen.

Epaminondas Katsalidis has been awarded in the category Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He has been recognised for significant service to architecture and to sustainable construction innovations.

Since 2001, Mr Katsalidis has been a co-founding partner in Fender Katsalidis Pty Ltd. He is a leader in the integration of art into architecture with notable buildings including the Melbourne Terrace Apartment, Republic Tower and Eureka Tower.

Mr Katsalidis has also developed a new prefabrication and modular construction system for more sustainable and efficient construction of mid to high rise buildings.

When he’s not doing all the above and winning awards such as the Enduring Architecture Award from the Australian Institute of Architects, Victoria Chapter, in 2019, he’s also been an international jury member in the architectural competition for the new Acropolis Museum.

John George Kotzas, South Brisbane, Queensland:

John George Kotzas.

John George Kotzas has been awarded in the category Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He has been recognised for significant service to the performing arts as an administrator and artistic director.

Since 2008, Mr Kotzas has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). He’s also previously held the Artistic Director and Education Officer roles at the QPAC.

Other roles in the performing arts which Mr Kotzas has held include, but are not limited to, the Vice President of the Executive Council for Live Performance Australia since 2012, and the Inaugural Managing Director of the Brisbane Festival in 1996.

Mr Kotzas has also received the Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) from the Italian Government in 2016.

Andrew Papadopoulos, Earlwood, NSW:

Andrew Papadopoulos.

Andrew Papadopoulos has been awarded in the category Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He was recognised for significant service to motorsport and to driver safety and education.

In the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, Mr Papadopoulos has been a Motorsport Australia Deputy Delegate at the World Motor Sport Council since 2006; President of the FIA ASN (National Sportinf Authority) Development Task Force since 2013, as well as a current member of the Officials Commission and the Single Seater Commission. Currently, Mr Papadopoulos is also a race steward for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Formula E.

Mr Papadopoulos has also held President (2009-2020), Vice President (2007-2009) and Director (since 2001) roles at Motorsport Australia (Confederation of Australian Motorsport). He is also the Director of the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety since 2007, the current Chair and Director of Rally Australia, and the Former Director of Australian Racing Drivers Club.

When he’s not doing all of the above, Mr Papadopoulos is also known for his work with the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia and he is a Proprietor at Kiss Pallets (Keep It Simple Systems) since 1985.

Maria Alexiadis, Victoria:

Maria Alexiadis.

Maria Alexiadis has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. She has been recognised for her service to karate.

Ms Alexiadis has held many roles at Karate Victoria including: the current Board Secretary, Board Member since 2015, lead state Kumite coach since 2009 (first female Kumite coach for Victoria), coaching education coordinator since 2015 and female/athlete development coordinator since 2012.

At the 2019 Oceania Championships and the 2012 Premier Series A League in Athens, Ms Alexiadis was a gold medallist. At the 2013 World Games in Colombia, she was a bronze medallist. Between 2016-2017, she was a member of the Victorian Olympic Council Education Committee.

Since 2001, Ms Alexiadis has also been a senior research assistant in steroid receptor biology at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (HIMR). She was also the recipient of the HIMR Values Award, 2021 for Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration and Community.

George Amarandos, Carindale, Queensland:

George Amarandos has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. He has been recognised for service to the Greek community of Queensland.

Since 1995, Mr Amarandos has been Chair of the Saint Nicholas Nursing Home in Highgate Hill. He has also been Secretary at the nursing home (1983-1995) and a Committee Member (since 1982).

Between 1989-2009, Mr Amarandos was also Chair of the Board at Greek Orthodox Care, and has been a Committee Member since 2004. At the same time, Mr Amarandos was the Vice President of the Greek Orthodox Community of St George in Brisbane from 2009-2011, Secretary since 2015 and 1989-2001 and Committee Member since 1988.

In 2020, Mr Amarandos received the medal of the Christ Loving, Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.

Dr Costas Costa, Hurlstone Park, NSW:

Dr Costas Costa.

Dr Costas Costa has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. He is being recognised for service to medicine as a general practitioner.

Dr Costa has held roles at the Doctors Reform Society including being the former national President, the former NSW President, a member for 40 years and now a life member. He has also been a member at the Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia), as well as the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (since the 1980s).

Between 1990-2007, Dr Costa was a Foundation Fellow at the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. From 1994-2018, he was an Affiliate at the Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Currently he is a member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Dr Costa of course, is well known for being a General and Occupational Health Practitioner at Hurlstone Park since 1986. Other roles he’s held include: Medical Officer, Save the Children Fund (1980-1981); Resident Medical Officer, Royal North Shore Hospital (1979); and Resident Medical Officer, Sydney Hospital (1977).

Arthur Papadimitriou, Ormond, Victoria:

Arthur Papadimitriou.

Arthur Papadimitriou has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. He has been recognised for service to the galleries sector.

Mr Papadimitriou is the Founder and Director of the Arthur Papadimitriou Collection; an ongoing supporter of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Culture Development at the Victorian College of the Arts and a Donor of the Musee Du Quai Branly in Paris in 2006.

Since 2002, Mr Papadimitriou has been a donor at the Benalla Art Gallery and became a life member in 2004. Interestingly, Mr Papadimitriou has also worked in the education sector in multiple roles.

This includes: Teacher, Malvern Primary School, Department of Education Victoria, since 2009; Teacher, Seaford Park Primary School, Department of Education Victoria, 2002-2008; Teacher, Cranbourne Park Primary School, Department of Education Victoria, 1997-2002; and Teacher, Papunya/Mt Leibig Primary School, Department of Education Northern Territory, 1994.

Mr Papadimitriou has also received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 2006.

Helen Patsikatheodorou, Mickleham, Victoria:

Helen Patsikatheodorou

Helen Patsikatheodorou has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. She has been recognised for service to the community of Hume.

Ms Patsikatheodorou was Mayor of Hume City Council from 2011-2012 and 2015-2016. Between 2008-2016, she was a Councillor. She is a current Community Member of the Friends of Aileu Community Advisory Committee (a project supported by Hume City Council).

Currently, Ms Patsikatheodorou is also the Treasurer of the Dallas Neighbourhood House, as well as a Board Member of the Meadow Heights Community Foundation, a Board Member and Former Treasurer at the Meadow Heights Education Centre, and a Member of the Community Reference Group at the Hume Community Change Maker Program. She is also an Electorate Officer at the Office of Maria Vamvakinou MP, Parliament of Australia.

When she’s not doing all of the above, she’s also worked with multicultural groups including the Greek Orthodox Community of Broadmeadows and Districts as Treasurer, and has also worked in the childcare and health sector.

Ms Patsikatheodorou’s roles in this sector include, but are not limited to, Founding Director of the Broadmeadows Multicultural Early Learning Centre, circa 1988; and Founding Member of the Neurofibromatosis Association of Victoria (15 years).

Faye Spiteri, Melbourne, Victoria:

Faye Spiteri.

Faye Spiteri has been awarded in the category Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. She has been recognised for service to the community through social change organisations.

Ms Spiteri has been Patron of the Inspire Foundation, Chair of the Centre (2009-2019) and Board Member (since 2008). The Centre was established in 2012 by Ms Spiteri.

At Fronditha Care, Ms Spiteri has also held a number of roles including CEO since February 2021, President and Chair of the Board of Directors (2018-2019), Acting Chair of the Board of Directors (2018), Vice President (2011-2018), Board Director (2010-2020), Member of the Governance Committee (2011-2018) and a Former Convener of the Communications Sub-Committee.

Ms Spiteri has also held a number of professional and advisory roles such as: Non-Executive Director, Parkinson’s Victoria, since 2019; Non-Executive Director, Centre for Muslim Wellbeing, since 2019; and Strategic Lead, Yarra Action Plan, Resilient Cities and Towns, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria, 2019 – 2021, among many others.

Other awards received by Ms Spiteri include the Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards; an Inductee of the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2019; and the Victorian Premier’s Achievement Award in 2001.

Professor Eugene Athan, Geelong, Victoria

Prof Athan, who is director of the Barwon South West Public Health Unit, has been awarded an OAM for service to infectious diseases medicine.

Prof Athan originally hails from Sydney and grew up in Melbourne, and has lived in Torquay since he started working at Barwon Health.

He has played a key role in education and research, andis a professor at Deakin University and an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne.

He has contributed to or co-authored more than 180 peer reviewed articles, chapters and papers in medical journals and books.

Co-founding the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2013 is another of his impressive achievements.

He was director of the infectious diseases department at Barwon Health from 2004, and was promoted to director of the region’s newly-formed public health unit last year.

* Please note the below list includes the names of those who are recognised as Greek. If you know someone else, please email us at greek@foreignlanguage.com.au.

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