The youthful vitality, pride, zeal and passion, all typical characteristics of the Greek temperament, dominated in the Founding Convention of the SAE Oceania & Far East Youth Network held with great success on the weekend of October 4-5, 2008 at the NSW Cypriot Community Hall in Stanmore.
The historic event was held in the presence of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad Alternate General Director Charis Hatzicharalambous, Deputy FM Theodoros Kassimis’ representative Anna Vasiliadou, Greece’s Consul General to Sydney Vasilios Tolios, Cyprus Consul to Canberra Christiana Tzika, Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar, professors and heads of Modern Greek Studies Departments in Australian universities, Michalis Tsianikas (Flinders), Vrasidas Karalis (Sydney), Savvas Papasavvas (Notre Dame, Perth), Elisabeth Kefallinou (Macquarie), Antonis Drakopoulos and Panagiota Nazou (Sydney), Press Office representative Nikolaos Economidis and the SAE Oceania Coordinating Council, George Angelopoulos (Coordinator), Harry Danalis, Michael Christodoulou, Evan Kakoulas, John Bellas, Stella Bares and Dimitris Kanellakos.
The 100 representatives of the State Youth Networks present, elected in previous conventions held in each state, met a quorum and engaged in a typically Greek pre-election, election and post-election procedure.
In their brief speeches all candidates expressed in a direct and dynamic manner their strong support to the preservation of the Greek identity of the young men and women of Greek origin. The two-day convention proceedings included all the key-points underlined in speeches, letters and messages by SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis, Parliamentary Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad President Nikos Tsiartsionis, General Secretary for Youth Pantelis Sklias, Greece’s Ambassador to Canberra Georgios Zois and to New Zealand Evangelos Damianakis and other formal guests.
SAE Oceania and Far East Regional Coordinator George Angelopoulos expressed satisfaction for the active participation of the young men and women delegates and the hundreds of young people who responded to the SAE Oceania invitation by first electing the state Networks and then moving on to the SAE Oceania and Far East Youth Network displaying maturity and a will for dynamic participation in SAE’s inspired action.
General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad Alternate General Director Charis Hatzicharalambous offered his valuable advice to the candidates running for Youth Network Coordinator and for Youth Coordinating Council members calling them to set aside personal ambitions and think in what way they can be useful in establishing such a demanding body like the Youth Network.
The Young generation, as defined in the daily agenda (programme attached), will have to play a substantive role in actions relevant to education and culture, have an active role, participate, express and be expressed and offer a new momentum to the future Course of Omogenia.
The election results announced after the Convention was completed are: SAE Oceania and Far East Youth Network Coordinator Ilias Demourtzidis (South Australia) and Members: Alex Belechras (NSW), Stergos Roumeliotis (NSW), Rebecca Kougelis (ACT), Alexandra Livas (NZ), Antonis Zorbas (Western Australia), Frank Konias (Queensland), Kalli Kalimniou (Victoria), Elena Ioannidou (Victoria).
All present expressed satisfaction as regards the Convention proceedings and the hope that a new day has dawned for Hellenism in Australia entrusted in the hands of our competent youth.