AGWS Launches Program to Support Newly Arrived Greek Migrants

Australian Greek Welfare Society has launched a new program for the support of newly arrived Greeks which is funded by the State government for the next four years. The government of Victoria has committed to $90,000 per year for service provision towards this vulnerable group.

The Minister for Finance & Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Robin Scott, launched the program. The Minister reconfirmed the pre-election promise to fund AGWS to provide services specifically for the newly-arrived Greeks affected by the financial crisis, helping them settle in Victoria.

The newly arrived Greeks are a group that AGWS aims to embrace and support by assisting them with their settlement needs. This funding will make this possible.

AGWS undertook research recently to document the needs of this group, identify gaps in service provision and barriers to accessing services and in response this program will appropriately address these needs and issues. Our aim is to support people through the settlement process in order to establish themselves and flourish in this country.


AGWS Celebrates National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our community.

This year’s theme was: ‘’Give Happy, Live Happy’’.

To commemorate National Volunteer Week, AGWS organised a breakfast to acknowledge and celebrate the generous service of its 120 active volunteers.

Special thanks to our guest speaker, Volunteering Victoria CEO, Ms. Sue Noble. Sue gave the audience an interesting insight into her personal experiences as a volunteer.

The AGWS President, Mr. George Spiliotis, Board Member Mr. Nick Katris and CEO Ms. Voula Messimeri were all at the breakfast to personally congratulate the volunteers.

AGWS thanks its volunteers for ensuring that the most vulnerable& isolated members of its ageing community is not forgotten.

AGWS 42nd Annual General Meeting 2014

AGWS held its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at the Hellenic Museum. This years Guest Speaker was AGWS Patron, The Hon. Justice Emilios Kyrou.

Click here: Presentation by The Hon. Justice Emilios Kyrou at the 42nd Annual General Meeting

Other highlights of the AGM were the presentation of Awards including the following:

"Celestine Doufas Award for AGWS Volunteer of the Year" awarded to Helen Giannopoulos

"In Appreciation Award" to the Greek Media Group and the Stamoulis Family that was presented to Harry Stamoulis for a remarkable 20 Years of Service to the Greek community and for enabling AGWS to positively connect and communicate with the Australian Greek Community.

"In Appreciation Award" to Kathryn Kelly for her 10 Years of tireless work, dedication to heart health education and the AGWS Greek Cardiac Program

"In Recognition and Appreciation" to AGWS CEO Voula Messimeri AM for 25 Years of Service to and leadership of AGWS.



If you are a Greek-speaking grandparent and your children are experiencing separation and/or divorce affecting your relationship with them and your grandchildren, you could benefit from a structured 6-week course offered by AGWS.

AGWS Grand parenting courses inform, educate, support and refer you to various services according to your needs.

Courses are offered in small groups with grandparents who face similar issues at a minimum cost in Clayton (March 2015) & Brunswick (July 2015) in a safe, confidential and respectful environment by professional Educators trained in the area of Family Relationships.



For more information and details of dates and venues and to enrol to a course please contact Adonis Maglis on 9388 9998



The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) has completed a research study in recognition of the substantial increases in the number of people arriving from Greece and to a lesser extent from Cyprus since 2010. Greece has been in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis for nearly 5 years. The consequences of this financial situation have impacted negatively on the health, quality of life as well as career and livelihood prospects of those living in Greece.

Commenting on the report, The Journey of New Greek Migrants to Australia: Opportunities and Challenges, to be launched today at the Immigration Museum by the Hon. Keven Andrews Minister for Social Services, Ms Messimeri AGWS CEO said  “that with jobs in Greece being scarce, many people are moving in search of work opportunities to other countries, including Australia.”

Migration is never easy. The report shows that difficulties arise across a range of areas during the pre-migration planning and preparation stage. It also shows that the challenges new Greek migrants face on arrival vary depending on the thoroughness of their pre-migration preparation, financial resources available; differences on visa stream; the presence of family, relatives or friends, the duration and quality of support they provide; awareness of, and access to, formal support services, and the capacity of those services to respond sensitively and effectively.

Of significance, stated Ms Messimeri, is the “composition of the profile of people arriving from Greece with nearly 60% being Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents of Greek descent returning to Australia after many years of residency in Greece and to a lesser extent in Cyprus. Just over 40 % are Greek Citizens.”

Ms Messimeri added “that the study reinforced that this group of people are mostly university educated, intellectually adept, articulate, confident and in search of opportunities to unleash their talent and drive to achieve. They present a unique human capital for Victoria’s Australian Greek community and the general Australian community, which if harnessed appropriately will bring significant benefits to Australia.”

In concluding Ms Messimeri stressed that “AGWS looks forward to working closely with the State and Federal governments, as well as the Australian Greek community, ensuring that the key recommendations made in this report are implemented in order to expedite the settlement of people newly arrived from Greece and Cyprus thus enabling them to become fully engaged members of the Australian community.”

CLICK TO ACCESS: The Journey of New Greek Migrants to Australia: Opportunities and Challenges










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