You may immediately assume, that as a woman of Greek background (born to Greek parents), my ancestral inclination may lean towards pushing the hard sell on Greece.
But there are millions of Philhellenes in the wider world, without the DNA birth stamp, who are far better placed than me to espouse the values of the country which founded democracy, modern medicine and various other legacy doctrines which remain as prescient as ever.
Greece’s prominent mantle in history will always speak for itself.
Right now in 2014, in media headlines world over, it remains depicted as a Greek tragedy because of the devastating effects of the financial crisis.
Yes, we have some work to do. A lot of work. Perhaps, a massive cultural shift is in order. Maybe the karmic wheel has staged a full revolt on corruption. Maybe the country that founded these democratic principles has been chosen, once again, to lead the way on the world stage, and go from revolution to evolution.
I visit Greece every year, mostly in the winter, because my dad moved there 20 years ago. (I’ve been there around 25 times!). I was also based there in a professional capacity as a reporter for an Australian Network in our year of light, 2004, reporting on the European Championship win and then the Athens Olympics. In the months and days leading up to the event, I witnessed a type of stamina and resolve that led to miraculous endeavours, all executed in brilliant fashion. When those magical few weeks were over, Greek pride was back on full display.
The imported skills of the Greek diaspora played a vital role in the success of the Games.
It is time to mobilize our influential diaspora again, this time for the long haul. We need to remind our motherland that temerity, passion and order will once again prevail against seemingly insurmountable challenges. The challenges are not just economic. One of the largest obstacles remains the Greek mindset, which at times suffers by adopting the stance of victimization. But that’s a storyline that won’t help Greeks, and it certainly won’t mobilize the country in a productive way. Drawing on the country’s many strengths will.
It’s time for Greeks to remind themselves of who they are. It’s not just about rebranding Greece, its about reconnecting Greece and Greeks all over the world in a formidable alliance that showcases our collective strength.
Check out this brilliant video… which is sourced from a global campaign aimed at uniting the diaspora.
It’s known as the Hellenic Initiative (THI) which is a global, nonprofit, secular institution whose vision is to mobilize the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to invest in the future of Greece through programs focused on crisis relief, entrepreneurship and economic development. http://hellenicinitiative.com/web/
Recently I hosted the Australian launch of the Hellenic initiative. The impressive global citizen Andrew N. Liveris gave the keynote speech. Andrew is a truly remarkable Greek. A Darwin boy, Andrew is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, a global specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics company based in Midland, Michigan. In 2012 annual sales were approximately $57 billion. Andrew was most recently appointed Co-Chair of President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in the United States. He is also the Chairman on THI, and such is his pull that he even attracted the support of former US President Bill Clinton to the launch of THI in Athens.
Above are also some pictures from the launch of the Greek Festival earlier this year. As you can see, it attracted our nation’s leaders, and invoked a positive collective consciousness in regards to helping Greece move forward. The conclusion: it’s only through the unqualified support of the wider diaspora that lasting and positive change will ignite enduring change.
It seems we are all on the same page.