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Australia Initiates The Hellenic Initiative

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Last week, high-level Greek-Australians collaborated with Greece and initiated The Hellenic Initiative Australia in Sydney.

One-hundred-and-fifty participants from all over the nation formed the newest sector of THI. The international American based secular, non-profit organization was established in Athens in 2012. It is comprised of Greek diaspora members and philhellenes dedicated to the improvement of Greece through specialized programs concerning economic development, entrepreneurship and crisis relief.

The launch was held at the Hellenic Club of Sydney's new Alpha Restaurant. Seven Network's Helen Kapalos served as the Master of Ceremonies, while THI Chairman Andrew N. Liveris offered the keynote speech. Among others, the organizing committee included Nick Pappas, George Giovas, Nick Mitaros, Grey Gav and Penny Maragiannis. THI Committee member and Greek-American Dean Dakolias and Greek-American advocates John and Mae Calamos were also present.

In his introductory comments, Liveris claimed that Greece can overcome its current challenges, with the help of the Greek diaspora. He stated, "If not us, who? If not now, when?". He explained that the initiative is a concrete commitment focusing on Greece until 2050. Its programs are independent of governmental, religious and all other Greek sectors.

Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Kyriakos Gerontopoulos addressed the Australian send off and showcased evidence that Greece is overcoming the crisis, which is demonstrated in its 2013 primary budget surplus and predicted 2014 economic growth. The Foreign Minister believes that the Greek communities of both America and Australia will comprehensively assist the homeland in making a full recovery.