Winners announced for the 2022 HACCI Excellence Awards

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HACCI celebrated the best and brightest of the Greek Australian community for the 36th year in a row on Friday, November 11 at the Plaza Ballroom.

The night marked the return of the celebrated annual HACCI Gala Ball, one of the most glamorous events in the Hellenic Australian social media calendar, after two years of hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Some of Melbourne’s most prominent Greek Australians honoured HACCI with their presence, along with distinguished members of the broader community: Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell; Keith Wolahan MP, Federal Member for Menzies; Steve Dimopoulos, MP, Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events and Minister for Creative Industries; Matthew Guy, MP, Leader of the Victorian Opposition; Lee Tarlamis, MP for the Southeastern Metropolitan Region; Vivienne Nguyen AM, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission; Emmanuel Kakavelakis, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne; and Bill Papastergiadis OAM, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria.

Standing strong for 36 years now, the HACCI Excellence Awards, acknowledge excellence in business, leadership, philanthropy, innovation, science, arts and community spirit.

This could not be possible without the generous and committed support of the HACCI Excellence Award sponsors and partners, who were also present to celebrate: the Stamoulis family, who present the Lifetime Achievement award; Miltos Michaelas, CEO of HACCI’s Chamber Partner, the Bank of Sydney; PRONIA president, Kris Pavlides; Steve Siolis from Directed Technologies; John Kallitsas from Salary
Masters; Peter Zervos from BDO Australia; Steve Tsalikidis from Heidelberg United FC; and Stavros and Con Saristavros, who presented the Chris Saristavros Young Achiever award.

More than 400 people gathered to honour the 2022 HACCI Excellence Award winners, and enjoy a night of true Greek-style celebration, including an opulent three-course meal, premium Greek wines, and delectable desserts.

Acclaimed actor, director, writer, producer and lecturer Tony Nikolakopoulos was the Master of Ceremonies, while HACCI Board members Vicky Alexiou and Demi Markogiannaki presented the Awards to the recipients.

The event’s entertainment was centered around ‘200 years of Greek music’, a nod to the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution for Independence.

The Manasis School of Dance and Culture presented traditional dances from the era of the Revolution, dedicated to the 1821 warriors, while a Rebetiko Quartet, featuring Stavrina Dimitriou, John Spantsios, Dean Georgalas, and Con Kalamaras presented the trajectory of rebetiko from Asia Minor (commemorating the 100 years since the destruction of Smyrna) to Piraeus.

The night also featured Australia’s first and only ‘Greek Swing’ band, Cats and the Canary, while DJ Nick Mamouzis’ selection of Greek tunes lured guests to the dance floor.

All guests were presented with a gift package of ‘Melvourni’ Greek coffee, while ‘Flowers Vasette’ prepared spectacular flower arrangements for the HACCI Excellence Award Winners, the remarkable organisations and individuals that have stood out in eight distinct areas of endeavour.

The 2022 HACCI Excellence Award Winners were:

  • Spiro Stamoulis Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Spiro Moraitis and Mr George Papadopoulos OAM, founders of PRONIA.
  • Bank of Sydney Business Excellence Award: Zaparas Lawyers.
  • Innovation Award, presented by Directed Technologies: Dr Dimitrios Salampasis.
  • Woman of Influence Award presented by SalaryMasters: Effy Alexakis.
  • Community Service Award presented by PRONIA: Stella Avramopoulos.
  • Sport Award presented by Heidelberg United FC: George Kambosos.
  • Chris Saristavros Young Achiever Award: Christos Papadimitriou.
Zaparas Lawyers.
Angelo Candalepas.
Dr Dimitrios Salampasis.
Effy Alexakis (left).
Stella Avramopoulos.
George Kambosos. Photo: Chris Spyrou / The Greek Herald.
Christos Papadimitriou.

“The response to the 2022 HACCI Excellence Award has been overwhelming, proving that as a community we’re as tight-knit as ever, supportive of one another, and that we celebrate each other’s success,” HACCI Chair, Fotini Kypraios, said.

“After all, it is our individual and collective achievements that have made the Hellenic community one of the pillars of the Australian multiculturalism success story.

“One of the most important things about being part of HACCI is having the opportunity to meet extraordinary people: passionate, purpose-driven, community-focused, resilient and persistent, always striving for excellence.

“This is the kind of people we celebrate and acknowledge every year at the HACCI Excellence Awards, and this year’s winners are no exception. They are our compass, they set the standards for our community, they motivate us and help us aim higher.

“The HACCI Excellence Awards are not only an acknowledgment of achievements, of tangible outcomes, impact, community, personal and professional success – more than that, the Awards are inspired by the idea that Excellence is not an end in itself; it is a beginning of a community leader’s journey. It is something to live by.”

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