On Thursday PRONIA held their annual general meeting online, whilst elections were held for the election of new members of the board.

After 25 years of service Nikolaos Katris, stepped down and retired as president of the organisation.

Four people will be elected to fill the Board, with candidates chosen from the following nominations: Natalie Amanatidis, Vicki Kyritsis, Stephanie Lagos, Voula Messimeri and Augusta Seremetis.

CEO Tina Douvos-Stathopoulos also shared the report on how the organisation operated amidst the pandemic and acknowledged the resilience of staff, volunteers and customers throughout this challenging period.

“The effects of COVID-19 were felt throughout the Greek community with social isolation, mental health, domestic violence and financial difficulties. The pandemic posed significant challenges in the way we communicated with clients and other stakeholders,” she said.

“Services have adapted quickly to online and tele-services, although they are not ideal for many seniors. On the other hand, it increased the participation of families and the youngest members of our parish. The innovation and creativity of the services were necessary to maintain the participation of all stakeholders and to promote our work in the community.”

READ MORE: PRONIA staff take part in the ‘virtual’ Walk Against Family Violence

PRONIA also used grants from the state and federal governments to provide services to vulnerable members, including but not limited to:

  • Multicultural program against domestic violence COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Multicultural Community Connections funding program to enhance technology and digital support to improve access to the community.
  • Under the “Working for Victoria” initiative, provided employment opportunities.
  • Coordinated Care for the Elderly offered 176,500 hours of 2020 service in elderly care with 37,000 hours of remote and social calling for 700 clients per week.

PRONIA continued to innovate through a variety of programs such as the “MAZI Palliative Care” and the “Monash Building Connections Project” that addressed the emerging social welfare needs of the community. More than 1,000 people have been involved through individual and group support programs.

The organisation also acquired the “All Best Care Child Care Workers” service which expanded their work in the field of preschool education and purchased a property in Oakleigh to strengthen their position as a specialised provider in community services.

Ms Douvos-Stathopoulos also thanked supporters and donors for their generous contributions including AHEPA Victoria, Hellenic Golf Tournament and individual donors who provided programs to achieve maximum results for the community.

The CEO shared her gratitude for many Greek-Australian media outlets namely Neos Kosmos, Ta Nea, 3XY Radio Hellas, SBS Radio, 3ZZZ and Rythmos for supporting community programs.

In her concluding remarks, Ms Douvos-Stathopoulos thanked Nikki Efremidis Deputy Director Manager Aged & Co-ordinated Care, John Lioupas Manager Business Finance, Kelly Ioannou Manager Children’s Services and Mary Sophou Manager Family & Community Services.

She also gave a special mention of thanks to former president Ivy Fatouros-Mimilidis for her support and contributions to PRONIA.