RISING TO THE CHALLENGE 9-12 September 2019

August 30, 2019

Crisis as a catalyst for social change will be the key theme of The Hellenic Initiative Australia’s upcoming RISING TO THE CHALLENGE – Greece at the Crossroads of Social Change events, a special dinner & conversation series being held between 9-12 September 2019 in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Keynote speakers will be the leaders of two of THI Australia’s partner charities in Greece, Lena Papalexopoulou, Vice-President of Desmos Foundation and Maria Karra, Co-Founder of Emfasis Foundation.

They will be joined by global business leader Andrew N Liveris AO, The Hellenic Initiative’s Chairman and Co-Founder, at the Sydney and Melbourne events, for a panel discussion to be moderated by veteran journalist and newscaster John Mangos.

In Perth, eminent Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM, a leading paediatrician and infectious diseases specialist and Director of the Telethon Kids Institute will moderate the discussion.

The Rising to the Challenge series will be an engaging program of events highlighting the role of NGOs in Greece who, throughout the challenging period of economic and social crisis, remained determined to make an impact through social change, philanthropy, entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Crisis is often the catalyst for social change and that is what we have witnessed in the not-for-profit sector in Greece over the past decade,” says The Hellenic Initiative Australia President, Nicholas Pappas AM.

Andrew Liveris, Lena Papalelexopoulou and Maria Karra are stellar examples of passionate and inspirational leaders seizing the opportunity to inspire generations of Greeks and the wider Greek diaspora to come together and help build a brighter future for Greece and its people.

“Desmos and Emfasis are representative of the new-generation charities that have emerged in response to the crisis and The Hellenic Initiative is proud to be supporting their efforts to assist people in need and make a lasting impact on Greek society,” Mr Pappas said.

Desmos Foundation is one of Greece’s most dynamic and impactful giving hubs, supporting all types charitable organisations that help people in need and vulnerable groups throughout Greece. Its initiatives include programs focusing on social welfare, healthcare, youth empowerment, education and employment and emergency response and recovery.

Emfasis Foundation supports the homeless, rough sleepers and vulnerable and socially-excluded groups in Athens and Piraeus. Their pioneering social streetwork programs, led by a team of sociologists, psychologists and trained volunteers, provide immediate relief and ongoing support.

“The Rising to the Challenge events will be a great opportunity for our speakers to share their personal and professional journeys through Greece’s changing social landscape, in what promises to be an insightful and thought-provoking discussion,” Mr Pappas said.

“The events will highlight the impact of Greek Australian efforts to support those in need and serve as a reminder that there are still many vulnerable communities in Greece that require the continued support of the Greek diaspora.”

Since 2015, The Hellenic Initiative Australia has committed more than AU$618,000 to programs in Greece, thanks to the generosity of individuals donors and organisations throughout Australia. A further AU$1 million of in-kind support has been pledged by Australian host companies through their generous support for the THI Australian Internship Program, which has seen 21 graduates from Greece complete internships in Australia to date.

Net proceeds from the events will benefit The Hellenic Initiative Australia programs.


9 September 2019

Beta Bar


10 September 2019

ANZ Centre, Docklands


12 September 2019

Crown Towers Perth

For event information and tickets go to https://au.thehellenicinitiative.org/events/

Speaker bios

Event information and bookings