In life, some seek to stamp their mark on the world, but not many manage to create a legacy of giving back to the community even after they are gone.
Born to resilient Greek migrant parents, Kathy Rozaklis, who lost a lengthy battle with cancer a year and a half ago, loved and embraced her Greek heritage so much that she found a way to encourage young Australians to learn Greek even after her passing by rewarding those committed to learning the language of her ancestors.
“The Kathy Rozaklis Prize in Modern Greek Language, donated by the Pan-Laconian Society of SA, is awarded to the student that receives the best overall grade in Modern Greek in three sequential semesters and is supported for five years,” explains Dimitra Rozaklis, Kathy’s cousin. She presented the prize to Steven Pavlovic, in memory of Kathy, and on behalf of the Pan-Laconian Society of South Australia during the Annual Aristotelian Celebration ceremony that was held last Friday at Flinders University in Adelaide.
Kathy’s own passion for learning Greek started back when she was five years old and her parents enrolled her in Greek school.
Demonstrating grit and perseverance, Kathy completed her studies in Law with Honours in Modern Greek following the completion of her education at Adelaide High School where she was a prefect.
Her commitment and work ethic saw her succeed professionally working for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Legal Services Directorate at the Department for Education in Adelaide.
She was also appointed President of the Pan-Laconian Society at the age of 23.
“She epitomised Hellenism,” says her cousin.
“She was the first Australian born, the first female and the youngest president of the Laconic community. Hard work, empathy and respect for others, became qualities synonymous with her name although her proudest role in life, was being mum to her two young girls, Paree and Frieda, to whom she passed on her passion for Hellenism.”
The mother fought courageously with dignity and strength but sadly lost her battle with cancer in July 2018 at the age of 43.
“Kathy has gone early but she left her mark throughout her journey in life. She was strong, passionate, articulate, yet always up to celebrating life. Her loyalty and commitment to her family and friends was of the upmost importance. So much so, her friendships transcend countries and time.
“From time to time, I invite you all to remember her as a successful professional, a devoted mother, a loving daughter, a loyal friend and as a woman who was proud not only to embrace Hellenism, but to be an advocate and share her passion with others,” concludes Dimitra.