George Lekakis AO has been awarded Life Membership of ECCV, in recognition of his more than 40-year service to multicultural communities in Australia.
The honour was announced at our Annual General Meeting on 30 November 2023 by ECCV Deputy Chairperson Jill Morgan AM, who paid tribute to George’s commitment and contributions to the ECCV.
George served as the Deputy Chairperson of the ECCV from 1995 to 1997, before becoming Chairperson from 1997 to 2001.
During his tenure, George strongly advocated for migrant and refugee communities’ political, social, economic, and cultural interests.
His visionary leadership and passion helped pave the way for three foundational Victorian multicultural policies – the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, and the Multicultural Victoria Act 2011.
As ECCV Chair, he successfully increased the profile and media presence of the organisation, as well as forging robust partnerships with key stakeholders such as the Trades Hall Council. Additionally, he was an influential proponent for funding to support community infrastructure and actively engaged with new and emerging communities.
He lobbied for settlement, on-arrival humanitarian support, employment and aged care programs for migrants and refugees. George was also a vocal advocate for diverse communities’ representation at the federal level, championing their cause through his active involvement and engagement with the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA).
In 2010, George’s outstanding contributions to the multicultural sector were recognised through an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
“George’s leadership, advocacy, and legacy in multicultural affairs in Victoria have left an indelible impact on the community, and I wholeheartedly recommend this nomination,” Ms Morgan said.
ECCV Life Membership Awards are recognition for outstanding contributions to the values and objectives of the ECCV. Life Membership is an honour bestowed upon individuals to express gratitude for their service to our communities.