About Us

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 CEO 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 Government funding to provide its valuable services to the community.

Staff and volunteers of Estia are dedicated to helping young adults who have an intellectual and/or physical disability to help them reach their full potential, to integrate and be a valued member of 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 are not to be underestimated by any means. We at Estia are proud to be involved in the awakening and the nurturing of these hidden talents.

Estia Foundation's Head Office is located at 5-7 Pearson St, Gladesville NSW 2111. There is ample on street parking provided on Pearson St and also on 20 Wharf Rd, Gladesville NSW 2111 in the Church carpark.

For further information please contact us.

Estia Logo

 

The following excerpt has been taken from a speech made by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos at a fundraising dinner in 2003. It gives an explanation as to the meaning and symbolism of Estia's logo and motto: Faith Love Hope.

"I am sure that you have noticed on Estia's logo three terms: Faith, Love and Hope.
I am sure, though 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 everything 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 a utopia, no place, a 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 Estia 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..."
Archbishop STYLIANOS of Australia

The objectives of the Estia Foundation are directed towards the provision of accommodation services that promote the needs, rights and welfare of people with disabilities and assist families or carers to have the freedom to access alternate support 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 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"

 

• 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 Estia's 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.

The Estia Foundation of Australia was officially established on November 29, 1994 under the guidance and blessing of his Eminence Archbishop Stylianos and the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia.

Estia was originally a continuation of a weekend day program organised by parents of mainly Greek-Australian background who had a child with an intellectual and physical disability. In its original form, the weekend day program was known as "Elpida Parents and Association".

After much research and in consultation with parents and carers of those with intellectual and physical disabilities, the consensus was that a   centre-based respite facility was needed. Hence Estia was established.

The objective of respite was to provide a safe haven whereby the carers of people with disabilities would be able to leave their child for a few days overnight in a "home away from home" environment.

With the assistance of State Government funding and the generosity of the Greek Australian community, Estia's first centre-based respite, "St Andrews House" in Gladesville, opened its doors on April 17, 1997.

Due to the great demand for centre-based respite services and after much lobbying, Estia was granted another round of State Government funding. This along with the generosity from our community enabled "Elpida House" in Roselands to open on October 22, 2000. Elpida House is also a centre-based respite servicing the Metropolitan South region of Sydney.

Many parents and carers are ageing so the need for permanent accommodation for people with intellectual and physical disabilities continues to be imperative.

In 2004, a substantial contribution made by a family in Sydney made possible the establishment of Estia's first supported group home facility in North Ryde. The home was named "Lixouri House", after the village of Lixouri which is located on the island of Kefalonia in Greece. Lixouri House is now the permanent residence for four adults with intellectual disabilities.

Dearly beloved,

I gladly respond to your request to address a message for the website of the ESTIA FOUNDATION, of which the sacred task has from long ago been well-known throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and beyond.

It would not be superfluous to state once again that the ESTIA FOUNDATION owes its rapid development not only to the recurrent annual funding of the State Government (established by Premier Bob Carr), but also to the esteem in which its work is held by the broader Australian society.

It is indeed especially moving that the very difficult and complex task of ESTIA is morally and materially supported not only by the families of children with disabilities, but also by the most diverse groups of our fellow human beings, both near and afar.

It is true that the philanthropic work of ESTIA which is admired by all, is perhaps the most difficult - and for this reason the most God-pleasing – duty towards those in need. This is why such work is equal in sacredness to the Services conducted within the Church.

In this regard, it is not by accident that the head of this truly exceptional ministry has been, from the very beginning, a Clergyman of widely recognized creative abilities, as well as spiritual strength, so as to be able to deal with the pain that goes hand in hand with a mission such as this.

Yet, this is also the point to confess that our beloved Father Angelo had, from the outset, the privilege of the support not only of his blessed family, but also of excellent and honorable co-workers (both men and women) from the entire Sydney region.

To all these pioneers, and to the great benefactors, supporters and staff of the ESTIA FOUNDATION over the past 15 years, we express warmest congratulations and fervent prayers for the unhindered continuation of this most sacred task.

With deepest love in the Lord

Archbishop S T Y L I A N O S
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia

Message From CEO

It gives me great pleasure to launch this new website for the Estia Foundation of Australia.
Over my 16 years as General Manager of Estia and more recently CEO, I have seen an increasing demand for respite and more so on permanent accommodation placements for adults in our community with intellectual and physical disabilities. This demand is due to ageing primary carers, who are often battling their own health issues, hence no longer able to provide full time care.

Estia's aim has always been to expand its current facilities, in particular its group home operation to cater to those parents who find themselves in a position where they can no longer care for their disabled son or daughter. Estia has also always envisaged a "whole of life program", where a site is established which offers families support from when a child is born with disability right through until that child reaches adulthood and beyond.

2012 was a tremendous year for the Estia Foundation as it saw Estia achieve two major goals of the organisation. Firstly, Estia was granted recurrent funding of $1.16 million by the the NSW Government to establish a group home complex permanently housing ten individuals with intellectual disabilities. Secondly, the Estia Foundation was awarded by the Supreme Court a property of 25 000 square metres in Blakehurst. The Estia Foundation was successful in its bid in response to a call for tenders associated with the will left by Carolyn Milne Williams as the proposal satisfied more faithfully the wishes of the Kyle Williams Trust.

This is a great achievement not only for Estia but for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and more generally for the entire Greek Australian community. It demonstrates that the professionalism of Estia in addressing so lovingly the needs of disabled people, now places the Greek Orthodox Church at the forefront of such specialised service provision in Australia.

I take this opportunity to thank our spiritual Father and President of the Estia Foundation, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos for his continual blessing and support.
I would like to thank Estia's donators because without them Estia would not be able to meet the shortfall and we appreciate their generosity.

Estia's hardworking Social Committee who all contribute to our organisation on a voluntary basis providing new, innovative ideas.

Finally, to my team of hardworking staff, I thank you for your loyalty and care when attending to the people we support. Your work does not go unrecognised, without you Estia would not be able to operate and I thank you for your efforts in providing a quality service.

Very Revd Father Angelo Alifierakis