The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has honoured the work of The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Co-founder and Chairman Andrew Liveris with an award recognising his humanitarian and entrepreneurial work for Greece.

In just a few short years, THI has raised over $30 million.

GCM President and a director of THI Australia, Bill Papastergiadis recalled his first conversation with Mr Liveris over six years ago, when they discussed together with Nick Pappas the possibility of THI being set up globally. From that conversation the seeds for THI Australia, and its global approach were planted.

Mr Liveris was honoured by the GCM at a special luncheon in the presence of a number of community leaders and key Australian fund managers, including head of Delphi Bank Jim Sarris and Consul General Dimitris Mihalopoulos.

The event was also an opportunity to introduce fund managers to THI for future investment and support for new businesses in Greece that are in need of capital assistance.

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It was Mr Liveris’ first visit to the Greek Centre, and he was given a tour of the 15-storey building by Mr Papastergiadis together with GCM General Secretary Costas Markou.

Mr Liveris was impressed, and said that the Centre was a prime example of how capable Greeks abroad are of amazing work, especially when working all together.

He also added that the diaspora can play a fundamental role in the redevelopment of Greece.

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They went on to discuss key strategic areas that Greece could benefit from the entrepreneurial skills of the diaspora, and also touched upon their respective meetings with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on what the next steps could be, with particular reference to the vote for Greeks abroad, which Mr Liveris believes is critical for Greece.

Meanwhile Mr Papastergiadis said that the days of bureaucratic stifling of projects had to stop, and that the Greek people needed to be allowed to work effectively with a State that supports them.