George Halkias

Humanitarian, Community Leader, Inspirational Public Speaker & MC

George Halkias has supported, and changed the lives of some of the most vulnerable members in our community. As Coach of Australia’s Homeless World Cup soccer team, he has developed a range of innovative community sport initiatives that impact the lives of vulnerable Australians. George has coached Australian teams at nine Homeless World Cup tournaments: Edinburgh 2005, Capetown 2006, Copenhagen 2008, Melbourne 2008, Milan 2009, Paris 2011, Posnan 2013, Glasgow 2016 and Oslo 2017.

A powerful advocate and mentor, George developed the nation-wide Community Street Soccer Program of the Big Issue. A passionate and entertaining speaker, he now passes on much of his insight, experience and wisdom to professionals, aspiring leaders and the wider community. He has spoken to audiences or all ages and from all walks of life, among them the National Student Leadership Forum, a Rotary District 9800 Annual Conference, a Sport and Mental Health Conference, and a Human Rights and Arts Film Festival. He has hosted an Aged Care Conference for the Department of Health and events for the Gold Coast Suns Football Club and the Melbourne Heart Football Club. George believes in raising the awareness and educating individuals on a range of social issues while inspiring them to reach higher levels in their own fields.

More about George Halkias:

George Halkias has worked in the government and community sectors on various ground breaking projects. In 1998, he managed the Victims Referral and Assistance Service on behalf of the Department of Justice Victoria. A highly respected statewide service, it supported victims of violent crime and incorporated a call centre/helpline in which up to 20 professional staff responded immediately to victims that needed accurate information and emotional support.

In 2004, George began the street soccer program in Fitzroy with volunteers and staff from the Big Issue. In 2005, he sourced corporate support and coordinated the first Australian team to participate in the Homeless World Cup, Edinburgh, Scotland. He was instrumental in formulating the winning bid to bring the 2008 Homeless World Cup to Melbourne, and subsequently became the public face of the games.

Since then, George has gone on to coordinate community and street soccer tournaments. These have included an annual Parliamentary Cup that sees our Federal political leaders, members of the press gallery and their staff take to the pitch and play soccer against participants of the Community Street Soccer Program who are experiencing homelessness and disadvantage.

Additionally, a tournament at Port Phillip Prison has enabled inmates to compete against employees and leaders from corporate Australia, facilitating the rehabilitation of prisoners with intellectual disabilities by connecting them with the outside. These games also help further the communication and interpersonal skills developed in a number of George’s programs and through his mentoring.

George Halkias talks about:

  • Perspective – George shares his insights into working with vulnerable members of our community, incorporating his personal journey working with homeless and disadvantaged people for over 20 years, and inspiring stories of the Homeless World Cup. Through example, he demonstrates how people have the capacity to overcome adversity with the support of others, particularly through sport.

George also speaks about corporate leadership, and teaches leadership and problem solving skills, with presentations and meaningful soccer and team physical activities designed to promote communication, leadership and problem-solving.

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