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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 August 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 AUGUST 2016 7 NEWS skills, and learnt how to speak to suppliers and architects. I developed negotiating skills, something that you can't be taught. I believe that universities in Greece should give more emphasis to this aspect and promote professional internships during studies, so that these skills could be developed". With this kind of know-how in her baggage, she now returned to Greece feeling "lucky and grateful for this opportunity. I'm very glad that I got to live this - and that I manage to still get a glimpse of Greek summer", she adds. The first group of Interns that came to Australia through the Hellenic Initiative, photographed at the welcome ceremony that took place in February (L-R): Aggeliki Zorba, Lena Zafeiriou, Sotiris Pittos, Lida Christou, Elvira Vlassi, Lito Konstantiou. tractive, at least as far as education is concerned. I think we'll see more links as time goes by". DEVELOPING AN AUSTRALIAN MINDSET This would prove to be very useful, as all the participants attest to the overall positive experience. "At first, my expectations were very low, as this was the first implementation of the program", says Lida Christou, who worked as an intern at the Hickory construction company. "I also believed that it would be harder for me to respond to the demands of the job, as this was actually my first professional experience". With a degree in Civil Engineering from the National Metsovian Polytechnic, Lena had confidence in her technical knowledge, but in Hickory group she got to acquire other sets of skills, necessary to the building sector. "While in uni, I learnt to read blueprints, but here I got to work on the financial aspect of a project, develop organisation What most interns agree on is that this experience, put them in the process of comparing Greece with Australia, even unwillingly. "I am not one of those negative people who blame Greece all the time", says Elvira Vlassi. "Young Greeks are just fine, they're just having a hard time. There are a lot of skilled and eager young people in Greece who have ideas and want to do things, but they are faced with adverse circumstance, a hostile political and social environment". She herself was very impressed by the multi-cultural aspect of Melbourne, of the fact that "anyone can co-exist with anyone in the workplace and work together in harmony", as well as the overall "feeling of prosperity", that prevails in the city. "You can sense it by just meeting people. They are basically happy, they have emotional stability, and from then on they are in a position to do interesting things". An Athens Economic University graduate, she got to work for NAB, at the business centre, doing a lot of support work, an experience that she says deeply influenced her. One of the things she wants to take back to Greece is the 'no worries' mentality: "If you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world, it is more important to take a risk, than following the safe path". For Sotiris Pittos, who worked in the banking sector as well, as an intern for ANZ, the experience was equally significant: "I learned how to communicate with clients, how to position myself along other colleagues, how to work and not give up". He is not hesitant to mention the difficulty he met along the way: "At first, I had a hard time understanding Australians. The combination of accent, abbreviations, and bank terminology, made it very difficult for me. But as soon as I identified the problem, I came up with a solution; I started studying so that I could assimilate". This setback surpassed, he managed to adopt his colleagues' mindset, regarding work. "This is now part of my own human capital, something that I can take with me to my next job", he says. As for the next wave of interns coming to Australia through the Hellenic Initiative, Sotiris has a piece of advice: "Be open-minded, and willing to adapt to a rather different environment than what they are familiar with. If they do that, they will see that coming here is a very good idea. It will help them broaden their horizons, they will learn things, and speak better English. There is nothing but positive outcome". Australia ranked 9th wealthiest in the world According to a new report by New World Wealth, Australia is the ninth wealthiest country in the world. Topping the list was the United States with a total calculated individual wealth of $48,900 billion, followed by China with $17,400 billion. To draw its conclusions, the report took into consideration the net individual wealth of each person, inclusive of all their assets including cash, property, equities and investments. However government funds were excluded, reports SBS. Australia’s net individual wealth was calculated to be $4,500 billion, and has been regarded an “impressive” feat considering its small population. “Australia’s ranking is impres- sive, considering it only has 22 million people living there,” said the report. Meanwhile Japan was ranked 3rd with $15,100, the UK followed in 4th place with a total of $9,200 billion, and Germany was a close 5th with $9,100 billion. Also making an appearance in the top 10 were France with $6,600 billion (6th), India with $5,600 billion (7th), Canada with $4,700 billion was ranked eighth, and Italy emerged just below Australia with $4,400 billion (10th). The report highlighted that both Australia and India had grown strongly, and that “Australia and Canada have just overtaken Italy over the past 12 months.” Amongst the nations listed, China was noted to be the fastest growing country in terms of individual wealth in the past five years. Pronia calling all carers Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but admittedly a challenging one too. As the nation becomes more reliant on unpaid care, Pronia will host a free information session with valuable insight on support services for those providing ongoing care. “If you provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who is frail and elderly; someone with dementia, a physical or mental disability, chronic illness or complex care needs, or receives palliative care, then this session is for you,” says Adonis Maglis, Community Education Officer and event organiser. Also adding to the pressure is that many carers of middle age are simultaneously faced with the responsibility of caring for their elderly parents as their adult children remain living at home, or return to the nest following relationship breakdown or loss of employment. “So we have many people who belong to a generation of ‘Sandwich Carers’ - those caught in the middle,” he explains. Co-facilitated with Carers Victoria, the information session will take place in Clayton next month. Attendees will have the chance to learn tips on the importance of planning ahead, along with information on free support services and programs available in their area. The session will take place on Wednesday 14 September at the Clayton Community Centre, Youth & Family Services, 8-15 Cooke Street, Clayton, VIC, 10.30am to 12.30pm. RSVP by calling (03) 9388 9998 and for further information ask to speak with Adonis Maglis. "One more successful exhibition, the sixth in just as many years," is the sentiment expressed by coordinator of art exhibition Antipodean Palette, Frixos Ioannides in the wake of the event. Presented by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL) of Melbourne, the anticipated opening ceremony took place on Tuesday 16 August. Receiving an overwhelming response from the get go, close to 150 guests filled the Steps Gallery where Multicultural Arts Victoria's CEO, Jill Morgan officially kicked off the event. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Connie Gregory, who took the opportunity to praise the high calibre of work on show and highlighted the important role played by the GACL in promoting the visual arts across, and beyond, the Greek Australian community. To follow, the GACL's General Secretary John Georgiou addressed those gathered, congratulating the artists and wished them well in their creative endeavours. The arts event went one step further, giving guests the chance to enjoy an entertaining program with an engaging 6th Antipodean Palette draws to a successful close musical interval. Opera singers and members of the Melbourne Opera Company, tenor Othon Charalambous and baritone Aristomenis Argyropoulos sang arias of their choice, filling the room with applause. Before the ceremony concluded, guests also had the opportunity to meet and mingle with exhibiting arts, while enjoying the works on display. A total of 15 artists participated this year, showcasing a variety of artworks including paintings, sculpture, photography, etchings and digital art. And for all those wondering and hoping, the exhibition will most certainly be returning in 2017. "A particular characteristic of this year's exhibition was that the majority of participants are Australian born, something that promises the successful continuation of this event with the new generation," said Mr Ioannides. "The organising committee views with particular optimism the evolution of the visual arts in the Greek Australian community and encourages artists to continue with enthusiasm their creative work, and art lovers to continue their support." Work by exhibiting artist Angy Labiris ‘Along the river bed’.
20 August 2016
3 September 2016