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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 9018

Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (10:36): I rise today to talk about an enormous fundraising event by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia that has taken place across Australia over the last few weeks to raise funds for the fire victims in Athens. We know that at the end of July there were horrendous fires that led to the loss of over 90 lives and the devastation of households, properties and forests. Many people are still in hospital with burns, wounds et cetera.

The fundraising was an enormous effort that raised $650,000 in a two-week period just by putting the tray around in two Sunday services in every parish across Australia. This money will go towards the victims of the Greek fires. All this took place in a period of two weeks in all the parishes across Australia, as I said, in suburbs such as Kingsford in Sydney, at St Spyridon; in your own state, Deputy Speaker Vamvakinou, at St Eustathios in South Melbourne and, in your electorate, or close by, St Paraskevi—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Vamvakinou ): Indeed.

Mr GEORGANAS: St Nicholas in Darwin; Sts Constantine and Helen in Northbridge, WA; St George in Brisbane, in the electorate of the member for Moreton—

Mr Perrett: Hear, hear!

Mr GEORGANAS: St Nicholas in Kingston, right here in the ACT; and also, in my own home state, St George parish in my electorate, where there was an enormous effort to raise funds. I take this opportunity also to congratulate them for contributing towards the skin-grafting machines that are going over to Athens, or have already gone to Athens, for the hospital to treat some of the victims. They're helping to raise funds for Dr John Greenwood, who was South Australia's Australian of the Year and has been doing voluntary work over there to assist the burn victims.

I congratulate in my own parish the ladies auxiliary of the parish of St George for the fantastic work that they do under the secretaryship of Zoi Papafilopoulou, who has been magnificent in ensuring that they continue the fundraising efforts under the auspices of Father Diogenis Patsouris. This has been an absolutely enormous effort by the Archdiocese of Australia to assist people and to raise funds, and this isn't the first time. They continually raise funds for all sorts of victims here in Australia and overseas, and they are continually doing all that they can to assist people in need, people who are perhaps less fortunate than us, people who for whatever reason have gone off the tracks. It's so pleasing to know that we have in our nation groups like this that go the extra step to ensure that we do whatever we can.

This is a very important issue for hundreds of people who lost property and who lost family members and who have relatives and friends here in Australia and Greece.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for Hindmarsh. I associate myself with the member's contribution and congratulate the Greek orthodox church under the stewardship of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos for the work that they do.