I am a Greek, who was born in Egypt and who migrated to Australia with my parents at age seven. I always had the strong sense that I am Greek and I have always been proud of that. It was mainly my parents who cultivated this love for my country from a young age, however, I believe that what also played a big role is the fact that we lived, and still live, far from our country of origin. This has created the need to become more connected with our culture.
I grew up in Melbourne, studied psychology, became a psychologist, and now work in the field of Human Resources (Organisational Development) which specifically focuses on the development of strategic programs that increase employee effectiveness and which improve organisational performance. My hobby is music and my favourite instrument which I have been playing for ten years is the touberleki. I currently perform regularly at private and public events and I also teach drumming to Greek and non-Greek students of all ages.
Who are the Greek ambassadors and how did this group begin?
What has been particularly troubling me in recent times are the problems that Greece is facing. My dream would be to see Greece overcome these problems and one day return to her old glory. For several months, I have had many conversations with Greek Australian friends on how we as Greeks of abroad can help Greece in its current crisis. One night I had the vision that Every Greek is an Ambassador for Greece, and that we all have a role to play to help our country. So I decided to start the initiative Greek Ambassadors, with the aim of creating a sense of pride in every Greek for their country, regardless of their geographic location, and to encourage positive action for helping Greece.
The initiative’s main purpose is to unite all Greeks, creating a network between Greeks in Greece and of the diaspora, encouraging action and discouraging apathy. The Greek Ambassadors will determine what the critical needs are and how we can work together more closely to deal with these difficulties, whilst also supporting our fellow countrymen who have lost their jobs, their wages and their self-esteem.
While the first ambassadors formed in Melbourne, our group has expanded very quickly around world through facebook, reaching approximately one thousand five hundred members within only a few months. So far, we have explored some ideas and one of the activities we are planning is a fundraiser to support those who are suffering and most in need, through Greek charitable organisations. Our group also believes that it is important that we respond to negative portrayals of Greece in the media, and so far we have responded through making formal complaints against such reporting.
How you can become a Greek Ambassador?
Shortly, we will be announcing more details about our fundraiser and other activities, and we invite all Greeks of Australia to take part, as their success relies on the help of all of us. If you would like to join the group Greek Ambassadors you can contact us through facebook (Evy Yannas or Νικος Κολενδριανος), or via email eyannas@hotmail.com or changez@live.com.au. We all have the opportunity to be part of something special by becoming a Greek Ambassador. It is very important that we understand the tremendous power and potential that we have as Greeks. It is a fact that our population abroad is about the same as that in Greece. What other nationality can make that claim? We need to realise our potential and to unite through this common purpose.