The Greek Community of Melbourne honoured the work of Andrew Liveris with The Hellenic Initiative (THI) in the presence of Delphi Bank (Jim Sardis) and other key Australian fund managers and community leaders. The Consul General was also in attendance.
The award was to recognise Andrews work in humanitarian and entrepreneurial work for Greece
THI has raised over $30m in just a few short years. Bill Papastergiadis is also a director of THI.
Bill Papastergiadis recalled his first conversation with Andrew Livertover 6 years ago when he and nick Papas had a telephone hook up with Andrew Liveris on how THI could be set up globally. From that conversation the seeds for THI in Australia and its global approach were planted. The discussion then was on how to get key people globally to to support Greece during the economic crisis. Immediate help was needed for those who were homeless. But a strategic part of what was planned was to also work with Greeks do as to invest in their businesses so that they could wort meaningfully.
Bill Papastergiadis with Costas Markos took Andrew Liveris on a tour of the 15 storey Greek Centre. It was Andrews first trip to the Centre. Andrew remarked that this Centre revealed that Greeks abroad are capable of amazing work. He stated that he did not believe there was another centre of this caliber and size in the global Greek diaspora. Andrew said that the diaspora can play a fundamental role in the redevelopment in Greece. Andrew said the Centre and the Greek community of Melbourne revealed what was the best in our Greek DNA. That is, the geeky community of Melbourne revealed Greeks could work together to achieve amazing results. The Centre was a beacon for all Greeks in the world.
Andrew and Bill spoke about key strategic areas where Greece could benefit form the entrepreneurial skills of the diaspora. They spoke about their respective meetings with the Greek PM and on what the next steps could be.
In particular reference was made to the vote for Greeks abroad. Andrew believed that was critical for Greece.
Papastergiadis said that the days of bureaucratic stifling of projects had to stop. The Greek people needed to be allowed to work effectively with a stare that supports them. In Melbourne we worked closely with recent arrivals from Greece.
The other purpose of the luncheon was to introduce funds managers to THI so that they could invest and support new Greek businesses in greece who needed capital assistance.