The Governor-General today announced Honours to 992 Australians, including 669 in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and awards for meritorious, distinguished and conspicuous service. Among those honoured were 20 prominent Greek Australians in the areas of philanthropy, medicine, community service and the arts.
Christopher Byron Leptos
Australian Cypriot Christopher Byron Leptos has been awarded in the category of Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the not-for-profit sector through leadership and philanthropic support, to the public sector and to education.
He was recognised 22 years ago with the Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for work on sustainability and that was a great honour,” “To get the honour twice in your lifetime is really quite unbelievable.”
The son of Cypriot migrants has always been passionate about the not-for-profit sector. He has been the National Chairman and President of the Heart Foundation since 2018, and is the Incoming Chair of the Summer Foundation.
He also holds positions at Melbourne University and Monash University Business School.
“The thing that really drives me is I have a really powerful belief in education. Neither my father nor my mother had a long education but they were both very well read,” Mr Leptos says.
“I think it was really amazing that my mother and father knew that education could be transformational even though they didn’t have that opportunity.”
Australian Cypriot Christina Efthymiades is a woman of many talents. When she’s not teaching Greek dancing at The Nassibian Dancers, she’s the Director of the Board of St Nectarios Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of Burwood, and Laconic PR and Communications.
Ms Efthymiades has also worked closely with the Haematology Clinical Research Unit at Concord Repatriation General Hospital and was Director of the Foundation for A Bloody Great Cause.
“My voluntary work and the charities I serve, my career and contribution to my industry, and my passion for teaching Greek dancing for decades, have certainly kept me busy. It has also brought me great happiness, personal satisfaction and cherished, life-long friendships – and for that, I am truly grateful.”
Dr Stephanos Herodotou
Australian Cypriot Dr Stephanos Herodotou has been recognised with a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to medicine and to the Cypriot community of Victoria.
Born in Cyprus, Dr Herodotou studied medicine in Athens before migrating to Australia in 1977 at the age of 25. Since 1981, he has been a Consultant Emergency Physician at The Northern Hospital in Melbourne, and is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne Medical School.
“I have never seen medicine as a profession but rather a service to the community. Throughout my career, I have seen medicine as an opportunity to contribute to society and to man,” Dr Herodotou tells The Greek Herald.
He adds that he’s “very proud” to be recognised for this work and that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his parents and family.
“Coming from a very poor family, I never really imagined myself studying medicine if it wasn’t for free education in Greece. My parents made enormous sacrifices,” the doctor says, before explaining how this has now led to his passion to be a role model for the youth.
“I believe that senior doctors should really give their experience to the younger generation. I see my role not only as a doctor treating patients, but as a teacher teaching the new generation of doctors as well.”
Australian Cypriot Con Pavlou is one of the many people that has been recognised for his service to the multicultural community of NSW as a part of this year’s Queen’s Honours list.
Mr Pavlou also highlights the importance of his, along with many others’, recognition to the greater Greek community.
“I think it is great progress for the Greek community to be recognised as a part of this list.”