The Writers Capital Foundation has announced the winners of its International Women’s Awards 2023 and five Greek authors have been selected.

The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of women in various fields, including science, arts, education, business, and social activism and are given as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations.

After receiving numerous nominations from across the globe, the foundation announced the winners which include Aggeliki Kompocholi, Panagiota Zaloni, Vicky Papageorgopoulou, Zoe Valaoriti from Greece and Pipina D. Elles and Stella Sorotou from Australia.

“Stella Sorotou’s exceptional achievements and contributions have earned her this prestigious recognition. Her accomplishments inspire other women and young girls around the world, and we hope that her story serves as an example of what is possible when one puts their mind to it,” said the spokesperson of the Writers Capital Foundation (WCF).

Greek Australian author Stella Sorotou. Photo: Supplied

Sorotou, a teacher and painter, was seconded by the Greek Government from the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs to the General Consulate of Greece – Education Department in Sydney. During her tenure she created Art-Workshops in collaboration with the European Union Programs and Theatrical Performances with themes against war and the protection of environment written and directed by her.

Her paintings are inspired by Greek mythology and antiquity while reflecting on climate change, social issues, war and immigration as well as women’s role and struggles in the world.

Sorotou’s first book, ‘Ελιά’ (The Olive) which was self-published received rave reviews. Its theme, Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Greeks that migrated to Australia and other destinations around the world.

The Olive has been published in a children-friendly version, delving into racism, starting from school life, to friendship, to motherhood and other pivotal stages of life.Pipina D. Elles studied Classics and Philosophy at the University of Ioannina where she was born. She married in Athens and in 1968, Elles migrated to Australia, settling in Sydney where she has raised four sons. In Australia she studied Modern Greek Literature at the University of New England beginning in 1994 and gaining her B.A. in 1997. In the same year she enrolled at the University of Sydney and continued her studies in Modern Greek Literature, earning her M.A. In 1998 she enrolled for a Master of Philosophy degree and before the year was over, she became a Ph.D. candidate. In 2002 she completed her thesis on Kazantzakis but due to a dispute she decided to withdraw (January, 2004) from the Modern Greek Department of the University of Sydney before the commencement of corrections to her thesis. Subsequently, she received a proposal from another University to proceed with the correcting of her thesis and hopes to be able to meet the requirements for her Ph.D during 2012.

Stella Sorotou’s book Elia. Photo: Supplied

Author of numerous volumes of poetry, drama, short stories and children’s literature, mostly in Greek but some also in English, Elles has also been a keen painter since 1970. She has participated in many exhibitions and has donated some of her works to educational institutes to help raise money. She has produced a large number of paintings of different media, as well as a number of portraits. Her portraits include George Paxinos, the well known psychologist at UNSW, and Irina Dunn, Executive Director of the NSW Writers’ Centre from 1992 to 2008. Elles participated in the Archibald and Dobell awards in 1997 and 1999.

The rest of the winners are Antonietta Micali, Elisa Mascia and Irma Bacci (Italy), Bozena Helena Mazur Novak (Poland), Cristina Pizarro (Spain), Elham Hamedi (Iran), Eralieva Umutkan Polotovna (Kyrgyzstan), Harinder Cheema, Shalini Yadav and Kasturika Mishra (India), María Margarita Salirrosas Sánchez (Peru), Mou Modhubontee (Canada), Patricia Magdalena Soto Vieyra (Mexico), Tanya Ivanova (Bulgaria).

“We are honoured to recognize these outstanding women who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Their accomplishments serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for women around the world, and we hope that their success encourages more women to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact,” WCF concluded.