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submitted by Neos Kosmos, Melbourne on 23.06.2012

Queen honours notable Greek Australians

A high profile jeweller, a property developer and a doctor are just some of the Greek Australians who have been awarded with the Queen's Honours

Neos Kosmos 20 June 2012

HELEN VELISSARIS


A high profile jeweller, a property developer and a doctor are just some of the Greek Australians who have been awarded with the Queen's Honours.

Six Greek Australians have been awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Awards which are given every Queen's Birthday and Australia Day.

The honours are awarded to "recognise, celebrate and say thank you to those who make a difference, those who achieve their best and those who serve others."

Paul Dracakis, owner of Dracakis Jewellery, was shocked to receive the honour.

"When I received the letter I thought they were playing games with me," he says.

Now bestowed with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), he will be honoured at a ceremony at Government House with many other recipients.

Building his jewellery empire up from nothing, Dracakis is very thankful for the opportunities Australia has given him.
After migrating by himself at the age of 18, he followed his love for jewellery.
"We started from the ground up," he says.

Another recipient, liver surgeon and professor, Dr Christopher Christophi, is very humble about the award.
Now a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), he had no idea he was nominated and didn't know much about it.
"I'm a novice at it. What it is and what it's about I don't really know... but I'm happy and I'm honoured".

Others nominated include Dr Phillip Tahmindjis (AM), a prominent human rights and constitutional lawyer, Ms Eva Zouppas (OAM) for her work in the Greek Orthodox Community, Mr Archonto Livas (OAM) for his community work and Mr Spiros Konstantinou (AM), a prominent property developer.

Mr Dracakis believes the fact that these awards exist promotes goodwill among the Greek community.

"All Greeks have to do their best for the community. To get these awards, it shows what kind of people we are."

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