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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 February 2016
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM First ‘Kazzie’ convention ends on a high Celebrating the past, present and future of Kastellorizians ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS The Kastellorizian Council of Australia's (KCA) first national convention drew to a close last week in Brisbane, where members of the community had gathered to celebrate all that is 'Kazzie'. President of the KCA Yvonne Panagacos says that while there was never any doubt in her mind that the convention would be a success, the event went above and beyond what she could have imagined. "It was a smashing success; the program they prepared and presented surpassed everyone's expectations. Their attention to detail, their pre-conference communications and the five-day program addressed many interests and was very inspirational," Mrs Panagacos told Neos Kosmos. More than 200 people were in attendance, with delegates awarded the opportunity to take part in a variety of sessions, divided into three categories: 'Our Past', 'Our Present' and 'Our Future'. Speakers ranged from genealogists, lawyers, accountants, finance experts, doctors, successful small busi- L-R: Costa Yanardasis (QLD), Jack Barbouttis (QLD) and Rebecca Mangos (NSW). ness people, historians, and experienced members of the committee. The program kicked off with Allan Creswell, who gave a presentation on genealogy, a fitting topic for the Western Australian given his impressive database featuring some 47,000 Greek Australians of Katellorizian background. "The convention enabled Mr Creswell to connect with families in Queensland so he can develop his collection," explained Mrs Panagacos. Along with Mr Creswell, Dr Paul Boyatzis gave a personal and insightful account of the evacuation of Kastellorizo in October 1943, having spend two years as a refugee in Cyprus and Gaza (Palestine). But for the president and KCA board, a highlight was the overwhelming response from youth members. "We had a panel of university students from NSW and Queensland speak of their love of the island and their wish to become involved with the KCA. It was very inspirational for the board," she said. Keynote speaker of the fiveday event was Emeritus Pro- Kastellorzians of all ages gathered in Brisbane. fessor Byron Kakoulas, who turned everyone's attention to the ongoing influx of refugees travelling through Kastellorizo. The professor highlighted the need for Kastellorizians across the globe to work together in solving the problems encountered by the island. Meanwhile, head of Dow Chemicals Andrew Liveris didn't allow distance to get in the way of his contribution to the convention. Thanks to a satellite link, organised by the businessman himself, he gave an in- sightful address on the Kastellorizian spirit, the need for hard work, and a good education, while also addressing the ongoing issues in Greece. On the fourth day, delegates were treated to a retreat run by the Greek Orthodox Church on Bribie Island, before concluding on Tuesday with Australia Day celebrations. For the president, the fiveday event was all about coming together with fellow Kazzies and forming connections based on common ground. "We were able to meet Kastellorizians from across the country, rekindle friendships, discover new cousins and connections and leave with a strong feeling that we are proud to be Australians, proud to be Kazzies and proud to be Greeks," she said, adding that the KCA expects to host another convention in two years’ time, the location still to be decided. The convention ended on a particularly high note following the announcement of the Australia Day honours list and the inclusion of fellow Kazzie and chairman of Brisbane's organising committee, convenor Stathis Efstathis. MOA director of the convention Stathis Efstathis with Yvonne Panagacos, president of the Kastellorizian Council of Australia. L-R: Youth attendees Katina Yanardasis (QLD), Costa Yanardasis (QLD), Jack Barbouttis (QLD) and Maryann Efstathis (QLD). Greek names popular in Victoria Four names of Greek origin have featured in Victoria's top 20 baby names in 2015, three of which were popular among girls. Coming in at number six was Chloe, one spot behind its position in the top five in 2014, followed by Zoe in seventh place, and Sophie, the French variation of Sophia, in ninth place. Only one name of Greek origin was popular among the boys, with Alexander coming in 12th place, one up from its position in 2014. But taking out the top spots respectively for the second year in a row were Olivia and Oliver. While Charlotte, Mia and Ava all remained in the top five from 2014, there were the new additions of Harper and Grace, which have replaced Zara and Emma. Popular for boys were Jack, William, Thomas and Noah, with Leo and Isaac featuring in the top 20 for the first time. Reflecting on the data of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Attorney-General Martin Pakula noted that "inspiration for baby names comes from a wide variety of sources and Victorian parents have shown this with Isaac, Leo, Harper and Grace all entering the top 20 lists for the first time last year". The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages' popular names search can be found at www. bdm.vic.gov.au L-R: Allan Creswell (WA), Jim Manifis (WA), Michael Boubaris (QLD), Stathis and Despo Efstathis (QLD), George and Betty Yanardasis (QLD).
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