FBP became involved with the Australian Hellenic Medical Charity Incorporated (AHMCI) with one of FBP client’s request for assistance and a genuine desire to help the Greek citizens in relation to the public health sector which was inspired when the FBP client visited the Thessaloniki region.
FBP noticed that the local public health services were struggling to maintain a standard level of care due to the budget cuts and influx of migrating refugees. Upon further investigations, FBP found that the Migration Crisis has taken its burden on the Greek health sector which now struggles to provide for its own citizens due to the Hellenic Republic’s budget cuts in all public sectors due to financial constraints.
One of the reasons behind FBP voluntarily providing the services required by the AHMCI is because of the assistance that one of FBP member’s received from the Hellenic Republic almost 30 years ago.
In September 1986, the FBP member’s family had to depart Poland under hostile circumstances because the Polish Government at that time was displeased with the family – due to their surname and the religion institution based connotations attached to that particular name.
While fleeing Poland, the family applied to Italy and the Hellenic Republic for temporary refuge; however, both stated that they were somewhat full. Nevertheless, the Hellenic Republic ignored their own policy based quota and accepted the family regardless; with the Hellenic Government’s version of the Department of Immigration stating that they will find a solution – at least for the meantime, so that the family could have a reprieve from the Polish authorities in power at that time.
When the family arrived into Athens, the family were granted US$100 a week by the Hellenic Republic in order to allow the family to temporarily settle in Athens while the family waited out the Polish Government’s hostility towards the family’s immediate and extended relatives.
The family were also fortunate to have sympathetic Greek neighbours in Athens that would assist the family with ‘care packages’ throughout their 9 month stay in Greece; during which time the father was employed as an electrician in the local building industry.
In March 1987, the family and trusted close friends employed within the Polish Government, at that time, strongly suggested that the family should not return to Poland because the situation was not going to improve within the foreseeable future.
In stead of moving to New York or Toronto to join the rest of the family members, in June 1987, the parents decided to move as far away from the Soviet linked Polish regime and concluded that Adelaide would be the safest option for their children to grow up in: so that the children would not have to experience the stress and pain that of the parents in having to leave behind the long held family properties and assets – to be in a position to start building a foundation from nothing.
When the FBP client from the AHMCI approached the FPB member to request for FBP to provide a significant discount for the work involved in setting up an incorporated association with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, FBP decided to proceed with the heavily discounted fee for the AHMCI documentation and explaining the ‘long held debt’ to the Hellenic Republic.
The Founder and Director of FBP is of an ethnic Parsi background from Mumbai, India, and aside from their business prowess, the community’s cultural tenet of always paying their debts regardless of the difficulty of the task has been ingrained in FBP culture. FBP’s assistance for this charity, is one of the ways of repaying a moral debt that it owes for a very long time.
It is important to note that the condition that the FBP member undertaking the documentation required for the AHMCI was that the AHMCI members would not be charging for their time – and to the best of FBP knowledge, all of the expenses of the charity have been borne by the Member individuals, to allow for 100% of the donated funds to be used only for the purposes of purchasing medical equipment and supplies, and to transport it to a particular agreed upon hospital. On occasion, the charity’s funds will also be used to pay for the required stringent Australian Government fees and auditing expenses to ensure the charity is DGR status compliant.
To summarise FBP’s connection with the AHMCI: Thirty years ago, the FBP member was in a similar position as the Middle Eastern/African individuals migrating through Greece now. The Hellenic Republic Government assisted the FBP member’s family. The FBP member happened to end up specialising in Australian and European Union based Immigration Law and International Trade, and the member was in a position to help – so, the member did what was required.
In recent years FBP has noticed a gradual increase in Greek nationals approaching the firm to assist them and their families to migrate to Australia in order to join the Australian Greek Communities in the attempt of also becoming as successful as the Greek-Australians who migrated and became an important part of the Australian culture and economy.
With FBP’s Migration Division establishing a new Thessaloniki Office commencing in the next few months, FBP genuinely believes that FBP could assist even more Greek nationals in their questions on how to migrate to Australia or undertake bilateral business between Europe and Australia.
Should there be any further interest to find out FBP’s voluntary community service, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.