The natural beauties and laid back life of Greece may seem idyllic, however the financial difficulties that have struck the country in the last decade have lead many to seek a better life abroad.
This was the case for Panagiotis (Peter) Roumeliotis and his wife Vasiliki (Vicky) Skoupa, who made the big decision to leave their homeland about six years ago. They left behind the life they knew in order to find something better; not just for themselves, but for their whole family. “We didn’t have a mortgage to pay and we both had jobs, so we were seen as sort of the lucky ones,” Constable Roumeliotis told Victoria Police in an interview for the Spring edition of Police Life.
“But we were still just making ends meet and the future wasn’t very bright. If our children wanted to go to university, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”
And so, after much deliberation, the couple finally packed their bags and departed for distant shores.
Melbourne was their choice destination due primarily to the city’s quality of life and also the large Greek community of people living in the city that would help them to adapt to their new life.
“We had to start from scratch, even just finding a house to rent was a challenge,” Roumeliotis said.
Once they settled down and grew accustomed to their new life in Australia, they were able to see the many opportunities that Victoria offered them.
One of those opportunities was to accomplish their shared dream of a career in the field of law enforcement.
“I always wanted to be a police officer but the system in Greece is very different and I never qualified. Once I was older than 26, I could no longer apply,” Roumeliotis said.
And so he decided to join the Victoria Police Academy in September 2014, with his wife following just one month later.
Four years later, the couple have become full-fledged members of the police force, finally accomplishing a long-held dream of theirs.
In fact, during PSO Skoupas’ graduation ceremony, it was her husband, Constable Roumeliotis, who gave her her medal, having graduated just one month earlier:
“It was a really special moment because it was a moment where we could both stop and look at how far we have come since moving here,” said Skoupas.
“We feel very privileged to have these jobs and to serve the community. It’s something that’s only possible because we made the choice to move here.”