2013 National Convention



The AUSTRALASIAN HELENIC EDUCATIONAL PPROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION (AHEPA AUSTRALASIA), held the 59th National Convention at the SeaWorld Resort on the Gold Coast Queensland from the 12th to the 19th October 2013. The Convention involved over 75 delegates from all over Australia and included as distinguished guests, His Excellency the Ambassador of Greece, Mr Charalampos Dafaranos, His Excellency the High Commissioner for Cyprus Mr Yannis Iacovou and the Honorary Consul-General of Greece in Brisbane, Mr Jim Raptis.

On Sunday 13th of October the Delegates attended the church service at St. Anna Greek Orthodox church in Bundall with the official opening of the Convention held in the afternoon at Ashmore Tavern, where Mr Jim Raptis officially declare the Convention open. The Convention business commenced on Monday 14th October with the Blessing being performed by Father Romanos of St. Anna Greek Orthodox church and a minute silence held in memory of deceased members.

 The Delegates were involved in various conferences and events exchanging many opinions and ideas on important Educational, Philanthropic and Cultural issues as well as discussing new strategies for the future of the Organisation and ways of encouraging new membership. The Convention discussed the important National Hellenic Issues such as the Macedonian, acknowledgement of the Pontian and Asia Minor Genocides, the opening of the Theological College of Halkis in Constantinople and the Reinstitution of the Parthenon Marbles. An important Resolution was passed and will be circulated (attached) supporting the United Nations resolve for an end to the illegal occupation of Cyprus by Turkey.

The delegates also carried a resolution for AHEPA to play a significant role in supporting the online learning of Modern Greek Studies, a new joint initiative of Griffith, Queensland and Flinders Universities.

The important sentiment that came out of the deliberations at the Convention was that AHEPA should seek the cooperation of other important like-minded Greek organisation in our Community in the execution of our common goals in regards to the promotion and propagation of our Hellenic language, traditions and culture within our Australian society and the welfare of our compatriots. AHEPA should play a uniting role in strengthening our influence as an important ethnic community which has contributed significantly to our multicultural way of life in Australia and New Zealand.

 “We had the privilege of having His Excellency The Ambassador Mr Charalampos Dafaranos, His Excellency The High Commissioner for Cyprus Mr Yannis Iacovou and the Honorary Consul-General of Greece in Brisbane, Mr Jim Raptis, all of whom addressed the Convention and informed us directly on the latest situation in Greece and the negotiation for a solution to the Cyprus issue.” said the chairman, Mr Elias Doufas whose two years term as National President ended this year.

 Mrs Christine Lynch from Sydney NSW was unanimously elected the new National President by the Convention delegates, along with a team of another 17 members of the National Lodge of Australasia.

 This year has been an historic year for AHEPA for two very important reasons. Firstly, the organisation has had a record increase in membership numbers with a 20% increase nationally and the formation of six new Chapters – 5 in Australia and one in Samos Greece. Most importantly, the formation of Achilleas Youth Chapter in Melbourne with over 30 young members from 19 to 25 years of age is considered the rebirth of AHEPA.

 Secondly, and most importantly, is the fact that the total amount of donations from AHEPA to various charitable causes was over $450,000, which is more than double the usual amount donated each year. Specifically, large donations were raised for assist the welfare of children in Greece through the highly recognised institution Kivotos tou Kosmou (Ark of the World) in Athens and other orphanages in Greece, Children with Special Needs, Prostate Cancer and other worthy charitable causes as well as educational donations to NSW and Qld Universities for medical research.

 On very notable project was the building of St. Lazarus Chapel in the Makara cemetery in Wellington which was an enormous effort by the few but hardworking members of AHEPA in New Zealand. Our church has also benefit through large donations of over $100,000, including to the Theological Youth Camp on Bribie Island in Queensland.  

 For more details contact:   Christine Lynch,   National President,

 Phone: 0410 635 386,       Email: ahepa@ahepa.org.au




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