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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 November 2015
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2015 AGWS plans for bright future The annual general meeting celebrated the success of the AGWS, revealing its plans to rebrand The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) held its annual general meeting in conjunction with the release of the organisation's 43rd annual report. Taking place at the Brunswick premises, president George Spiliotis and CEO Voula Messimeri addressed those gathered, reflecting on the organisation's achievements. Both emphasised the progress made over the past year, with workers and volunteers managing to provide in-home and centre-based care for hundreds of elders, while also assisting younger people with disabilities, and intensive support for newly-arrived Greek migrants with settlement and migration issues. But Mr Spiliotis didn't shy away from recognising the challenges posed by an ageing population and growing numbers of Greek migrants. To assist with the rising demand for its services so far, the AGWS has managed to secure state government funding for the next four years to extend the reach of its bilingual services to Greek migrants affected by the financial crisis. The program, which will receive $90,000 per year to make the organisation's services more accessible on Lonsdale Street and in the eastern suburb of Oakleigh, is part of the 2014-2020 Strategic Plan. To continue its community vision, the board is currently working on rebranding and revitalising the organisation and is set to be launched in 2016. Along with the release of the annual report, a number of deserving individuals across the community were recognised for their contribution to the AGWS' success. Vasilis Apostolopoulos was awarded volunteer of the year, while Rena Frangioudaki and Anthoula Paraskeva were recognised for their dedication and hard work throughout the years. Invited to be guest speaker on the day was Minister for Families and Children, and Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM There’s prawn saganaki in them thar hills Outback taverna up for sale MICHAEL SWEET For any budding restaurateur looking to get away from it all and carry on a great Greek Australian outback tradition, Tom and Mary's Greek Taverna, 850 kms north of Adelaide, is on the market. Established by Tom and Mary Kiosses in 1977, who made it famous for the quality of its Greek cusine and welcoming atmosphere, the restaurant has been owned for the past five years by Mario Souvertjis and Wendy Aquilina, both originally from the South Australian capital. Mario and Wendy carried on the Kiosses' legacy and many of the original Greek dishes are still on the menu. With fresh seafood flown up from the Angelakis Bros suppliers in the South Australian capital - with whom there's a family connection - prawn saganaki is the taverna's most famous dish, along with calamari, grilled whiting, and of course, souvlaki. But now it's time to call last orders on Mario and Wendy's outback adventure. "I came here because I wanted somewhere different, and Mario came to mine opals, but it's time for us to go back to Adelaide and be closer to family," Wendy told Neos Kosmos. "My kids are there and next month I'll be spending my first Christmas with them in six years." Keen to see the business passed on to buyers who will continue its Hellenic culinary traditions, Wendy, who runs front of house while Mario cooks, says she prefers a private sale and will be delighted to help the new owners settle in. "We'll teach them how to run the place. If Mario and I can do it, anyone can!" Considered the ‘gateway to the outback’ and the ‘opal mining capital of the world’, Coober Pedy has a resident population of less than 1,700, but thousands of tourists pass through the town in the peak season between April and October. Mario (53) who learned his L-R: Rena Frangioudakis, Voula Messimeri and Anthoula Paraskeva. New chapter for Panarcadian Association Melbourne's Panarcadian Association O Kolokotronis made a bold move on Sunday, handing the reins over to the second generation. AGWS president George Spiliotis. The announcement was made by president Dimitris Alexopoulos at North Melbourne's Loco Hall, where Chrissa Kanatas was named president. Ms Kanatas, whose origins hail from the Arcadian village of Zevgolatiohas, is the first female and second generation member to be appointed to the top role. To ensure a smooth and successful handover from one generation to the next, a succession plan has been put in place for old and new representatives to work alongside and learn from one another. The Panarcadian Association is one of the few Hellenic organisations whose membership has grown over the past few years, having benefited from newly-arrived Greek Arcadians Down Under. Tom and Mary’s Greek Taverna. PHOTO: GRAHAM MOWBRAY. Coober Pedy in the South Australian outback. PHOTO: SA GOVERNMENT. Selling up: Mario Souvertjis and Wendy Aquilina. cooking from his Larnacaborn mother, says the taverna, which seats up to 120 diners, would make an ideal family business. "Tourism's the thing, we're a stop on the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Port Augusta, and there's nothing in between. "In Coober Pedy, everything's here such as hospitals and schools. The only things that are missing are McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, but everyone's sick of that stuff anyway." Mario and Wendy are looking for offers over $200,000. The Panarcadian Association’s first female and second generation president, Chrissa Kanatas.
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