Background | Objectives
Special Events in Estia's Diary
The word Estia means "Hearth" or warmth.
The Estia Foundation is a Christian organisation - an initiative of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Our President and Patron is His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.
The Estia Foundation's Managing Director is Father Angelo Alifierakis, who is responsible for all of Estia's operations and services.
The Estia Foundation is a non-profit organisation that relies on donations and State Goverment funding to provide it's valuable services to the community.
We are a group of Greek Australians dedicated to helping young adults who have a disability, physical and/or intellectual… to help them reach their full potential…to integrate into society and to participate in everyday activities that they would otherwise not have been able to do. These young adults are people of many talents - many abilities… and we at Estia are proud to be involved in the awakening and the nurturing of these hidden talents.
".I am sure that you have noticed on Estia's Logo three terms: Faith , Love and Hope .
I am sure, though they (Estia's staff) have not asked me, they had not considered the importance of the way they have printed these three names. Instinctively, they have touched the central nerve of Orthodox, of Christian spirituality, FAITH , LOVE HOPE . We all know that these three virtues of the Gospel are the driving force of everthing in the life of a Christian: Faith , LOVE and Hope . But, the way they have printed it says something more.
They are not only the three basic virtues of the Gospel. You see, LOVE is bold (in the centre), which means LOVE is the heart of Faith and Hope .
Faith without LOVE is a dead antiquity, a dead past, a blind past, which has nothing to do with life, and Hope without LOVE is an utopia, no place, an utopian figure.
FAITH, LOVE and HOPE are, if you want, the three dimensions of time.
Faith relates us to the past. Our Faith comes from the past. It is a sanctified past.
Hope relates to the future, we have expectations for the future.
And LOVE relates to the present. Every moment in our presence and in our present is more binding than any point of Faith and Hope . It is for this reason that LOVE is GOD himself.
God has not been characterised in the Gospel as wisdom or as holiness or as of importance. God has been named by one word, only once, by St John " O Theos Agapi Esti ", God is LOVE .
For this reason, the Esia Foundation is based on LOVE .
For this reason, I congratulate them for having printed this piece in bold.
And the Estia Foundation is the triumph of LOVE within our community, here in Sydney and beyond. Because the Estia Foundation is already well-known in all States of this blessed Country. ."
Archbishop STYLIANOS of Australia
(ESTIA'S Annual Dinner 23 rd February 2003)
The Estia Foundation of Australia was established on 29 November, 1994 by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia , to pursue an agenda of facilitating and supporting the establishment and development of enhanced community services and support for citizens of Greek origin who have special needs.
The Estia Foundation serves not only the residents of the Gladesville and Sydney Areas, but all areas covered by the Archdiocese, based on the following philosophy:
"Wherever the need arises, wherever there is a child with special needs, it will be known that the Church has established here its first Estia, its first shelter and that we shall continue to add new ones until all States are endowed with the necessary facilities to serve children with special needs."
[Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, 29 November,1994]
In close co-operation and partnership with the Association of Greek Parents and Friends of People with Disabilities ["ELPIDA"], which was established more than a decade ago by parents concerned about the future of their children, the Foundation seeks to promote the further development of quality services for people with disabilities, their families and carers. Its establishment incorporates the following ideals:
as a positive response to the high demand from the community to provide help to people with a disability and their carers;
to provide a high quality service which will meet and exceed Government Standards;
to provide disability services to people of Greek origin, but not exclude people of other nationalities in need of similar support;
to ensure individuals with a disability are provided services in an appropriate cultural and linguistic environment and that their family or carers experience well-deserved relief and peace of mind.
"To promote the needs, rights, interests and welfare of people with disabilities and their families or care givers and provide opportunities for individual development and independence".
The Objectives of the Estia Foundation are directed towards the provision of respite services that promote the needs, rights and welfare of people with disabilities and assist families or carers to have the freedom to access alternate supports over agreed periods of time. This includes the building of independence, confidence and self-esteem for people with disabilities by providing the opportunity for new experiences and developing other networks outside of the current support system.
To help prevent or significantly delay the need for long-term accommodation away from the family home or from current carers for those individuals referred to the respite services.
To provide support and opportunities for the families and carers to reduce the stress that they may be under as aged persons, in struggling to continue to provide full-time care for one or more individuals with disabilities.
To enable families and carers to take time away from caring and to better plan their lives.
To promote the concept of "integration" of persons with disabilities to allow the individual with a disability to more fully participate in the life of the community.
To provide for quality support to be supplied in circumstances where the absence of such support could result in some risk to the health or well-being of the individual with a disability being cared for and/or their families or carers.
To enable the provision of a service that is accepted by, and respects the cultural and linguistic background of the individual, their family and carers.
29th November 1994
A Vision Realised
His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia announces the formation of the Estia Foundation “The Church‘s Shelter for Children with Special Needs.”
On the eve of the Feast Day of the Apostle Andrew, Patron Saint of the Church in the Parish of Gladesville NSW, included in the Archbishop's historic address were the following:
“...Well, slowly God matures the times. Now that we have solved our more basic problems, and it certainly was natural for those problems to occupy us, we have reached the blessed period when we shall be building our own institutions. And they shall not be exhausted simply by programs, however successful they may be. We shall exercise the Orthodox ethos and phronema towards our fellow man, towards those with special needs, to those children with special needs...
“...So tonight will see the establishment of the “Church's Shelter for children with special needs” and it will serve not only the residents of this area, not only the residents of Sydney, but of all areas covered by our Archdiocese. Wherever the need arises, wherever there is a child with special needs, it will be known that the Church has established here its first Estia, its first shelter and that we shall continue to add new ones until all States are endowed with the necessary facilities to serve children with special needs...
“...For all these children therefore, who have special needs, for their parents and their relatives, who carry their cross with them, there is a martyrdom which one cannot appreciate unless one lives with the family for a while. It is not an easy matter, to live with living pain especially when it is that of your own child, a young child that is suffering...”.
13th July 1995
The Estia Foundation of Australia is duly incorporated and is recognised and registered as a charity.
23rd November 1996
Historical visit to the Estia Foundation at St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church Gladesville by His All Holiness the
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I.
“Your All Holiness, the Premier and Mrs Carr, The Mayor, other parliamentarians, distinguished guests, sisters and brothers, fellow hierarchs accompanying His All Holiness.
We are gathered here today to celebrate the presence of His All Holiness with us and at the same time to honour the honest endeavour of the Church and State, of the Church, assisted by the State to give relief to a special kind of human pain, because we know that pain unites people, regardless of what origins, past or present; pain unites people more than any ideal more than any idea and ideology. For this reason we are extremely grateful Your Holiness, that you came here to bless this special project for special pain of children with special needs. We appreciate deeply that you included this visit and blessing in your tight schedule and in the presence of all the authorities of the area, of the Premier of the State.
I would like to acknowledge their assistance given to us, to our Archdiocese, to this Parish to establish the first Institution of this kind which we would be leading an example for the entire Archdiocese of Australia.
Thank you for being with us and long live our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos Ist”.