Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. I. Pnevmatikos:
That this council—
1. Congratulates and welcomes His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia on his inaugural visit to South Australia.
2. Congratulates all the parishioners and volunteers of the Greek communities of South Australia and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of South Australia on all their endeavours and preparations to welcome His Eminence to our beautiful state.
3. Thanks His Eminence Archbishop Makarios for his efforts to meet and engage with as many South Australians as he could on his inaugural visit.
4. Thanks the organisers of all the functions and events that hosted His Eminence throughout South Australia, including:
(a) His Excellency the Governor of South Australia, the Hon. Hieu Van Le AC;
(b) the Hon. Chris Kourakis SC, Chief Justice of the South Australian Supreme Court;
(c) Inter-Communities Council of South Australia, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese;
(d) Saint George College;
(e) Saint Basil's Homes SA;
(f) Adelaide Airport Limited;
(g) the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of South Australia parishes and communities, led by His Grace Bishop Nikandros;
(h) the Greek Welfare Centre;
(i) the Premier the Hon. Steven Marshall MP and the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Peter Malinauskas MP;
(j) the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. Vincent Tarzia MP, and the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon. Andrew McLachlan MLC;
(k) the parliamentary library and staff;
(l) the Parliamentary Friends of Greece and Cyprus;
(m) Mr Harry Patsouris, Mr Andrew Psaromatis, Ms Connie Kosti, Ms Angela Gondzioulis;
(n) the thousands of faithful who welcomed His Eminence to South Australia across Adelaide.
5. Encourages His Eminence to visit South Australia as often as possible and wishes him success in his mission here in Australia as the leader of the Orthodox Christian faithful of our nation.
The Hon. J.S. LEE (18:00): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak on behalf of the Marshall government to wholeheartedly support the private member's motion introduced by the Hon. Irene Pnevmatikos. The South Australian community certainly put on a huge welcome for His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia for his first historical pastoral visit to Adelaide on 31 August 2019.
Upon His Eminence's arrival at the airport, the media cited that the heartwarming cheers of 500 faithfuls resembled a rock star's welcome. Many high-ranking dignitaries, including the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall, were at the airport to personally welcome His Eminence. It was a great honour to join the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of South Australia to welcome His Eminence, who was formally elected as the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in June this year.
It is a great fortune and joy for the whole community to have such an influential leader with remarkable presence. He comes into the role with exceptional qualifications and great intellect. His wonderful nature and strong communication skills will have a positive impact on the whole community, as he projects strength and compassion in his role as the new Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia. I had the great honour to attend the welcome dinner in his honour on Monday 2 September 2019 with the Premier and many members of parliament, including the Hons Irene Pnevmatikos and Connie Bonaros from this chamber.
I wish to sincerely thank the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Inter-Communities Council of South Australia for organising a fantastic welcome dinner, attended by distinguished community leaders and volunteers. The main highlights included the memorable presentation by His Eminence, gifts presentation and many memorable performances by local groups and talented young people. It was an outstanding display of generosity and the strong community spirit of the South Australian Greek community.
I also want to thank His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le for hosting a prestigious welcome reception for His Eminence. I also attended that reception with many honourable members, including the Hon. Vincent Tarzia.
At this point, I would like to also place on the record a special thanks to the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon. Andrew McLachlan, and Mr Speaker, the Hon. Vincent Tarzia, for hosting that welcoming lunch reception for His Eminence during his visit. His Eminence was kept very busy, as was already mentioned by other honourable members. He visited churches, community groups, associations and schools, and his time was well spent. He had a very engaging itinerary throughout his stay in Adelaide.
I would like to thank the honourable member for moving this motion. I wholeheartedly support the motion on behalf of the government. I also wish His Eminence many meaningful and fulfilling years of service in Australia. I commend the motion to the council.