Greek Orthodox Church collection plates amassed over $200,000 for the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund on an ordinary Sunday in March. Collection plates in Greek Orthodox churches across Australia jingled with donations as church-goers opened their hearts, and their wallets, to help those affected by the January floods and Cyclone Yasi.

This was initiated by the Head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos who rallied to the cause and called for a nationwide collection of funds to assist those in need.

 This generosity raised a staggering $216,000. Of this, $36,000 was donated to the Victorian Flood Appeal. The remaining $180,000 was presented on Saturday April 16, 2011 to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh to go towards the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund. A further $10,000 was donated by the Greek Consulate in Queensland.

The funds were presented by the Archdiocesan Vicar-General for Queensland, Rev Father Dimitri Tsakas, “The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia harnessed the Aussie spirit of mateship and engaged in a Christian outreach to fellow citizens of every religion and identity,” Father Dimitri said.

“This was led by the head of the Church in Australia, Archbishop Stylianos, who called for a nationwide collection of funds to assist those in need. Father Dimitri said the $180,000 donation comes in addition to the extensive outreach and relief work conducted locally by the Orthodox people of Brisbane.

“As soon as the waters began to recede our Church of St George issued a call for volunteers through the Internet, telephone, and social media. Our young people, in particular, responded overwhelmingly,” he said.