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'We have approximately 400 Greek Australians working for Victoria Police'

The Victorian Hellenic Police Association relaunches to include all Vic Pol employees, strengthening links with the Greek Community

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(L-R) Acting Inspector Andrew Markakis and Sergeant Eftihios Anastasiadis

28 July 2017

The Greek Community has always been strongly connected to Victoria Police, with hundreds of employees of Greek background working for the department.

Since the establishment of the Victorian Hellenic Police Association (VHPA) in 2003 by Senior Sergeant Eugene Kontos, the link between Greek Australian Victoria Police staff and the Victorian Greek Australian multicultural community has strengthened, setting the foundation to promote multiculturalism within Vic toria Police.

At the association's first committee meeting for the new financial year, founder and driver of the VHPA Mr Kontos was awarded a 'Life Membership Award' for 14 years.

"We have approximately 400 Greek Australians working for Victoria Police, who make a significant contribution to the Victorian community," new VHPA president and Victoria Police Acting Inspector Andrew Markakis told Neos Kosmos.

"Our Victoria Police employees are keen to give back to the Greek Australian community that has supported them for many years. The VHPA contributes to Victoria Police's capability by working closely with community groups to strengthen social cohesion and promote the profile of Victoria Police within ethnic communities."

As part of his new duties, Markakis together with vice president Sergeant Eftihios Anastasiadis relaunched the VHPA to include all Victoria Police employees: police, protective services officers, public servants and police custody officers. The VHPA committee is represents Greek Orthodox police chaplains and Greek Australian members of the Australian Federal Police.

Group photo of the Victorian Hellenic Police Association; Police, Protective Services Officers, Public Service Staff, Australian Federal Police and Greek Orthodox Priests (Police Chaplain's).

"Victorian Hellenic Police Association's commitment to multicultural communities is a significant step in the community engagement process and helps to keep them informed about policing services," adds Sergeant Anastasiadis.

"We support Greek Australian charity groups and community services as well as cultural and community events. It is through this policy that the VHPA has accomplished some significant achievements."

The Victorian Hellenic Police Association has partnered with many Greek clubs, entities, and groups over the years managing to have a prominent representation on national day celebrations and community events, as well as providing support to members and their families.

"Support also involves helping where possible Australian Greek charity groups and services including organisations caring for young people with disabilities and the elderly," Mr Markakis explains adding that "this is only the beginning."

"Future plans of the association involve the encouragement of member's personal development and assisting those members interested in research studies and higher education programs. We aim to build on the ever important trust between the community and law enforcement agencies starting from within."

The Victorian Hellenic Police Association will meet this Sunday 30 July for a 'Family and Friends Lunch' at St Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church, Moonee Ponds, VIC.

On 29 October the VHPA will participate in one of the main events on the Victoria Police calendar, the celebration of police: St Artemios Day – patron saint of Police, celebrated at the Greek Orthodox Church of St Eustathios, South Melbourne, VIC. This event is open to all members of the community.

For more information or enquiries contact VHPA-MGR@police.vic.gov.au

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