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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 October 2017
COMMUNITY 6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM John Perry: the son of migrants who fought for human rights in Australia The Perry family hopes their father’s story will continue to inspire others of Hellenic origin to achieve all that they can THEODORA MAIOS The SA Chapter of The Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association and their national patron, Chief Justice Chris Kourakis (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia), hosted the annual John Perry Oration at the Adelaide Pavillion last month. Michael Kirby AC CMG was the keynote speaker on 'Justice Perry and the beneficial interface between Australian and International Law'. According to his family, Per- ry’s life was rich and complete because he sought to share all that he could with others, and particularly young people. "I wish to say how very honoured and touched my family and I are that the South Australian Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers As- sociation should celebrate my father's life and contribution to the law and the community [with] this annual oration," said Perry's daughter, Justice Melissa Perry, who also serves in the RAAF Legal Specialist Reserves as a squadron leader. John Perry was the son of migrants, his father arrived in Australia during the Depression as a young man from Farmagusta, Cyprus and John’s mother came from Liverpool in England. Both came from seafaring families. "My grandfather worked as a waterside worker at Port Adelaide. Like many migrant families at that time, he decided to anglicise his name from 'Pieris' to 'Perry' – a decision which my father later regretted – and he did not speak Greek at home," she revealed. "It was not until my father met my mother that he grew to appreciate his Greek heritage. They were both students at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, with my father continuing his love of the violin and my mother, her love of the piano." The charismatic man also studied law and served the Law Society in many capacities, including as Chair of the Common Law and Continuing Legal Education Committees, a member of its Statutory Committee and later, the Disciplinary Tribunal, and was also Law Society president (1984-1985). His sense of social justice and equality was reflected in his passion for representing migrants. In March 1988, Perry was appointed to the Supreme Court of South Australia, join- ing his former principal, partner and mentor, the late Justice Michael White AO. Perry served on the Court for 19 years, presiding over many substantial trials and appeals. His energy and commitment to public service was recognised shortly before his untimely death with his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the judiciary and to the law, namely as a contributor to the activities of professional regulatory committees, legal education and for service to the public. "What my father's story shows is that no matter how modest our beginnings, there is truly nothing that we cannot aspire to achieve, and that we are all the more likely to achieve our dreams if we embrace who we are," Melissa said. "These achievements, in turn, are so much more rewarding when life is approached with the kind of generosity of spirit that my father exemplified and which exemplifies Greek culture and tradition. "Whether it was hospitality, friendship, encouragement, experience, knowledge, compassion or time, my father gave without ever counting the cost. I think it is true to say that he has left much behind and my family and I hope that, through this annual oration, my father's story will continue to inspire others of Hellenic origin to achieve all that they may, with the generosity of heart and joy of life that was in my father's genes and is embedded in the Hellenic way of life," she said. John Perry passed away aged 69, shortly after his retirement in 2007. John Perry PHOTO: SUPPLIED The Hellenic Initiative’s One Greece 2017 campaign raises over $1.1 million Members of the Greek community together with philhellenes have shown spectacular support for Greece, helping The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia to raise more than $1.1 million through their One Greece 2017 national campaign. Held over 10 days, more than 1,300 people attended events across five major Australian cities. The premier event was the sold-out Sydney gala dinner hosted on Friday 6 October at the Sydney Town Hall, where 650 guests were treated to a special performance by Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti in her only Australian show. Special international guest speakers included THI's inaugural International Ambassa- dor, Tatiana Blatnik, and cofounder of Boroume, Alexander Theodoridis. "One Greece 2017 has been a fantastic representation of how the Greek Australian community across the country galvanises in support of the people of Greece," said president of THI Australia, Nicholas Pappas AM. THI Australia has announced that $500,000 of the One Greece 2017 proceeds will be committed to their Crisis Relief Program over the next three years, and will go towards providing care and medical support to children, aiding the homeless and vulnerable groups, and providing food and assistance to charities supporting people throughout Greece. The Sydney Gala Dinner was held at the stunning Sydney Town Hall. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED The Melbourne welcome dinner at the Stamoulis residence in Toorak.
14 October 2017
28 October 2017