In our Centenary Year, the Kytherian Association of Australia hosted its most successful ever Aroney Awards Night at The Lemnos on Saturday April 9th, 2022.
Thanks to a trust established by the late Kytherian benefactor Nicholas Anthony Aroney, the Kytherian Association of Australia, together with trustees, have been hosting the Aroney Encouragement Awards for over 30 years. The Award aims to encourage young Australians with Kytherian descent to further their scholastic endeavours by completing their Higher School Certificate. This year there were 16 Award Recipients.
Billy Bourdaniotis – Top Award recipient with an ATAR of 99.95 placing him in the top 48 students (among 70,000) in the state. Billy is now studying double degree in Actuarial Studies and Advanced Maths (Honours)
Other Recipients in alphabetical order:
Phillip Andrews – now studying Engineering and Science
Emmanuel Aroney – taking a gap year
James Nicholas Aroney – Civil Engineering
Nicholas Aroney – Business
William Aroney – (unable to attend but his cousin received the Award on his behalf)
Chloe Avgoustou – Business and Law
Olivia Cassimaty – (unable to attend – but her proud Papou received the Award on her behalf)
Elly Coolentianos – Business
Theo Fatseas – Business
Hannah Simos – Exercise Physiology
Lily Simos – Media and Communications and Neuroscience
Mia Alice Simos – Communications
Athanasia Stratikopoulos – Advanced Science (pre medicine)
Christopher John Tsolakis – Engineering and BusinessJ
Jake Zantis – Exercise and Sports Science
The Awards were presented by Stephen Aroney, Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust trustee, and Victor Kepreotis, KAA Board member and ex president. Each of the Awardees received a financial prize of up to $1000, a book on Kythera and a free first year membership as an adult with the KAA. This was a special year as so many of the recipients achieved a high nineties in their ATARs. It was also poetic that this year’s cohort contained so many “Aroney”’s albeit they were not direct decedents of our great benefactor.
The Kytherian Youth Scholarship
We also awarded our second Annual Youth Scholarship to Abby Simos. Last year’s winner, Andrea Conomos, and the chair of the Scholarship Committee, Spiro Coolentianos, presented Abby with a certificate and a $2000 prize. The scholarship is aimed at older youth between the ages of 18-25 years old. For this year’s scholarship, young Kytherians were asked to write an essay entitled “This year the Kytherian Association of Australia celebrates 100 years. What is your vision for Kythera for the next 100 years and what do you envisage is the role that youth will play in this journey?” Abby’s essay along with the essays of the other two finalists, Victoria Alfieris and Georgia Galanos, will be published in the Kytherian Newsletter.
The KAA’s dance group performed modern and Kytherian dances where they wore the island’s traditional costumes, Spalleta,which the KAA maintains. Proud parents, grandparents, KAA members and guests all enjoyed the ceremony and dances. There were many representatives from other community organisations such as the Kalymnian Association, the Cyprus Club, the Greek Australian Society, the Jewish Board of Deputies and SATH an organisation aimed at young Austalians of Indian descent.
The event also allowed us to recognise a past president, Peter Vanges, who served twice as President in the 1980s and early 1990s. Peter was unable to join our Centenary Launch where we had a roll call of all past 24 presidents and we were happy that we were able to surprise him with this recognition on the night.
Six of the very popular Limited Edition Kytherian Association of Australia Centenary Gold Medallions, were made available for silent Auction and raised $8,500. The medallion was minted by the Royal Australian Mint and designed by another young member, Zoe Sophios,
Artist Felicia Aroney donated a beautify painting (Jewel) as first prize for the raffle. Fardoulys Chocoloates donated confectionary for all. Our Sub-commitee The Kytherian World Heritage Fund donated books for all guests.
The event was attended by many of the KAA’s Centenary Ball’s 2022 debutante anding an even more youthful festive atmosphere. After a night where dozens of youth “owned” the dance floor, the President, Emmanuel Alfieris closed the night by saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, the future of our Association is here tonight”.