His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos with the NSW Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. Andrew Constance, Minister for Fair
Trading, the Hon. Anthony Roberts, and Minister for Citizenship and Communities the Hon. Victor Dominello
(Source: Greek-Australia Vema – June 2012)
The Barry O’Farrell NSW Government has consolidated the view that the Estia Foundation of Australia, the mission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese supporting young people with disabilities, is one of the finest institutions of its kind in Australia.
In a glowing appraisal of the quality service offered, the approval of a further 1.16 million dollars in recurrent funding to Estia through the Stronger Together phase 2 programme was announced on Friday 1st June in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and President of the Estia Foundation, by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Andrew Constance.
Also present at the historic announcement were the Minister for Fair Trading the Hon Anthony Roberts MP, the Minister for Citizenship and Communities the Hon Victor Dominello MP, members of the community formerly in residence whom the Foundation continues to
support, as well asMr Paul and Mrs Sophia Nicolaou, Mrs Metty Cassimatis, and the exceptional staff of Estia.
The Archbishop thanked the NSW Government “for the sensitivity demonstrated towards people with disabilities and especially for its acknowledgment that the Estia Foundation is now a recognised leader in the provision of quality service and a truly caring environment for people with special needs”. His Eminence expressed the gratitude of the Church to the three responsible Ministers present and also offered his heartfelt appreciation for the love extended to Estia by the thousands of faithful who support the Foundation so generously.
Commenting on the increase in recurrent funding, the indefatigable Managing Director of the Estia Foundation, Father Angelo Alifierakis, explained that “in addition to the existing centre-based respites and the current group home, this announcement means that Estia can now expand and establish two more permanent group homes for young adults with disabilities whose parents or primary carers can no longer care for them. It will enable them to live a more independent lifestyle as Estia will focus on the person-centered approach and individual needs”.
Father Angelo would like to acknowledge his two colleagues, the long serving Mrs Helen Tzikas (Administration Officer) and Mrs Katerina Formosa (Services Manager) for the dedication and perseverance in achieving this much needed outcome. As a result, with the assistance of Professor Angelo Candalepas, renowned award-winning architect, two new modern facilities for young people with disabilities will now be designed and built accordingly at Gladesville in Sydney. Each residence will house five people in each home. Each resident will have their own living quarters complete with ensuite, community access, within walking distance to shops and transport and 24-hour care.
The Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Andrew Constance, concluded by stating “The new villas are an example of the NSW Liberals and Nationals commitment to people with a disability through the implementation of Stronger Together 2, the Government’s five year, $2 billion strategy to reform disability support services.” In view of this development, it is timely to recall that when announcing the establishment of this crucial missionary effort of the Church in November 1994, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos expressed the certainty that the Estia Foundation of Australia would become not only the umbrella organization for similar efforts in other States, but also the point of reference for the level of commitment and sacrifice required in order to serve young people with special needs.
The Vema of the Church congratulates Father Angelo and his dedicated team of co-workers at the Estia Foundation and looks forward to hearing more good news in the future.