A heartfelt Christmas message to ALL the Orthodox community of Australia from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia in Sydney. Messages both in Greek and English.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
When our Lord Jesus Christ was born approximately 2000 years ago in Bethlehem all of creation offered their gifts to the New Born.
*The Angels offered the hymn “Glory in the highest to God and His peace on earth” and they also worshipped Him and they announced the good news of the birth of Jesus to all of humanity.
*The heavens offered the star that directed the Wise Men to the place, to the cave, to the city of where Christ was born and we, today, have the Church, the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers, that lead us to our Lord.
*The three Wise Men knelt down and offered their gifts to the New Born, which included gold, frankincense and myrrh. In the Orthodox icon of the Feast of the Nativity we see all of the generations represented in the Wise Men; the beardless figure represents all the young people, the black bearded figure represents the adults and the white bearded figure represents all the elderly that come and worship Christ.
*The shepherds upon hearing the hymn of the Angels left everything and went and worshipped Christ and they gave their entire self as an offering to the New Born.
*The Earth offered the cave, which foreshadows the tomb of Christ and which granted eternal life to all.
*The animals in the cave offered Christ gifts of awe and the simple warmth of their breath and the righteous Joseph offered his protection to the New Born and His Mother.
*Finally, humanity part took in this historical and salvific event by offering the Holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As you can see all of creation offered gifts to the New Born Christ and we today are asked to offer our heart to Him, so Christ can cleanse it, soften it and sanctify it. We are asked to lay aside every grudge and bitterness that we may have towards other people and to celebrate this Christmas with a clear conscience.
I would like to take this opportunity in wishing everyone a blessed and salvific Christmas! May Christ, Who was born in a manger, for the salvation of the entire Human Race, grant you and your loved ones health and every blessing from above!
Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!
The Trustees do much work between our meetings.
For example, in October and November Arthur Mistilis gave valuable assistance to the HCWA Committee on constitutional and membership matters before the annual general meeting of the Hellenic Community of WA was held on 22nd November 2020. In the AGM members questioned the falling financial performance of the aged care and cash reserves in the Treasurer’s report for 2019. The new Trustee group queried these and other matters in a letter sent on 10th December to the committee.
Chair of Trustees Dr Con Berbatis
Since 16th December new Trustee Effie Mazgaltzidis who is an experienced Hellenic Community and now St Basil's Aged Care worker and I have compiled information on the Hellenic Community aged care involving not just substantial financial but also resident care reports and other matters.
From 17th December Trustee and senior lawyer George Georgiou and I have provided detailed urgent advice relating to the HCWA’s signing up to the federal government’s National Redress Scheme (NRS). The NRS provides support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse (Link December 2020: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au ). There are financial and reputational risks to bodies who do not engage in the NRS. I thank George for his ongoing legal and thoughtful input.
Two of our Trustees are reviewing the amendments to the SAG constitution proposed in the AGM by the committee and have been deferred to 2021.
On the matter of constitutions, it is important to note that the Charities and Associations Division at the Department of Consumer Protection actively oversees Associations to ensure that they have Constitutions compliant with the Act, and that they conduct themselves in accordance with their constitutions. This fact was illustrated when we learnt that the Department of Consumer Protection on September 10, 2020 issued a notice that the “Management Committee of the Hellenic Association Club of Western Australia had breached sections 53 (1) (a) and 58 (2) (a) (i) of the Act in relation to maintaining the Register of Members and the Record of Office Holders. and“…sections 66 and 68(1) regarding the 2018/19 financial records and financial statements…”. Consumer Protection warned that prosecution action may be taken“. should the committee further contravene the Act...”.
Under Rules 64.2 and 64.3 of the HCWA Constitution the duties and powers of the Trustees include to safeguard the interests of members and to ensure the Committee complies with the constitution of the HCWA and the statutes under which it and the Affiliates operate. The relevant statute is The Associations Incorporations Act 2015 (Link Dec 2020: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/aia2015307/)
The Trustees will work hard to assist the Committee while maintaining its constitutional duties.
Eκ μέρους των Κηδεμόνων της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας εύχομαι ολόψυχα στο Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο, στα μέλη, αλλά και σε όλη την Ομογένεια Χρόνια Πολλά με υγεία, αγάπη κι ευτυχία για κάθε μέρα του χρόνου.
Εύχομαι επίσης το Νέο Έτος να κάνει τα όνειρά μας πραγματικότητα κι ας είναι το Ξεκίνημα της Νέας Χρονιάς αφετηρία μιας δημιουργικής εποχής για την ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑ ΜΑΣ.
Κώστας Γ Μπερμπάτης Ο Πρόεδρος των Κηδεμόνων
Con G. Berbatis. Chairman of Trustees of the Hellenic Community of WA
Message of the Consul of Greece in Perth for next years' celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution.
2021 is a landmark year for Hellenism, marking 200 years from the beginning of the Greek Revolution that led to the Independence and the establishment of the Modern Greek State.
A few months ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Konstantinos Vlasis together with the President of “Greece2021” Committee Ms Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki sent a letter to our Diaspora all around the world, encouraging everyone to participate in this big celebration.
The intention is to commemorate this important anniversary not just around the National Day of 25 March but throughout the whole year, giving us the opportunity to reconnect with the past and reflect on our future.
In this part of the world and of Australia there are already thoughts and preparations about possible activities for next year. In terms of what can be done, I would say “sky is the limit”: functions, exhibitions, seminars, artistic events, publications, even regularly organized events can be given a more celebratory character…I know that the pandemic has put a lot of constraints and we do not know how or until when it will also affect next year. But still, there are many ways to bring Hellenism of Western Australia, and especially younger generations, closer to our roots and history, to promote the positive aspects of modern Greece and to highlight the contribution of Greek Diaspora in how Greece is seen and understood worldwide.
This is a unique opportunity to demonstrate both unity and diversity, this is a celebration of Hellenism both individually and collectively, so everyone is welcome to express it however they see fit; it is important that there is a sense of ownership by associations and interested parties in the activities they organise. At the same time, some level of coordination and communication amongst us may bring more cohesion, visibility and spread celebrations more evenly throughout the year.
With all this in mind, I would like to reiterate that the Consulate of Greece in Perth and me personally are at your disposal should you want to further discuss/inform us on ideas, proposals, plans, offers and needs about next year. I would in fact actively encourage you to keep the Consulate up to date and consider it a “hub” that could assist in liaising with actors in Greece and elsewhere, in bringing together people/associations looking for something (an expertise, a venue etc) and people/associations offering it, in preventing content and calendar clashes of planned activities. If we could manage to put together an as comprehensive as possible calendar of the 200th anniversary celebrations in WA for next year, we could enhance visibility of the commemoration itself as well as of the individual activities and increase participation both from the Greek and the local community.
As far as the Consulate's activity is concerned, we are of course planning the usual Wreath Laying Ceremony and Reception for our National Day at the end of March but we are also looking into a couple of other ideas, bringing Greece to WA, virtually or physically, depending on next years’ circumstances.
I am looking forward to cooperating and celebrating with you all this special next year!
Consul of Greece in Perth
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has established a National Committee for the celebration of the 200 years of Hellenic Independence. An electronic version of the National Programme can be found by clicking on the link: Events Program 200 Years Commemoration.pdf
1821-2021: 200 Χρόνια, Περισσότερες από 250 Εκδηλώσεις!