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Peter Vlahos was born in Melbourne on the 21 January 1964 to parents Ioanna and Demetrious Vlahos. Peters parents had migrated from a country torn apart by civil war and were determined that their children would benefit from the Australian way of life. It was difficult time for Peter’s parents, but they persevered throughout many years of hardship and brought up their two children, Peter and Lena in a loving and caring environment. Throughout the early years, Peter remembers living in Collingwood, a place well known for its working class families. A time when hard work, absences from home and the daily struggle to provide for the family were common.
It was in this environment that Peter and his sister Lena grew up and which influenced him in later life and endeared him to the working class and to those who well less fortunate. Peter attended Gold street primary school along with many others students from various ethnic groups which exposed him to other cultures and their behaviours. Due to employment opportunities Peter’s parents relocated to Ivanhoe where he attended St Bernadette’s College, being a Catholic school well known for its scholastic as well its disciplines in excellence and social behaviour. It was a thrilling time and peter blended in well in this environment.
Peter became further aware of his environment and its impact on his life was to remain with him in the future. Again at a time when peter was beginning to settle down , Peter was thrust in a new environment once again and this time it was being relocated to his current place of residence being Mt Waverley on the Easter suburbs of Melbourne,. Peter attended Sussex Heights Primary school completing his primary school education before moving to High school, spending g a year at Waverley High school and completing his secondary education at Salesian College Chadstone. On reflection one can see the positive effects of different environments and their effects on his outlook on life.
Peter attended Monash University completing his Bachelor of laws, and associate degrees in political science. With these qualifications peters sense of responsibility in community services led him to pursue of life in the law as well becoming elected to the new city council of Monash in 1997. On Monash council Peter became its first Mayor and was instrumental in establishing the protocols procedures and practices that remained in place and are still relied upon five years after his departure from council (2003)
Peter is well known in the multicultural environment of Victoria having served and assisted the Chinese, Greek and Indian communities through legal, social and personal involvement in assisting these communities to flourish within Victoria multicultural environment. A recent example was when Peter assisted the federation of Indian association of Victoria openly cooperate with the Victorian government in neutralising the negative local and international press reports about attacks on Indian students in Victoria.
This effort by peter is continuing. Peter has travelled to Asia and Europe and has an excellent understanding of various cultures of which he was able to add to his already extensive knowledge of different ethnic groups. Peter has been instrumental in assisting various Greek communities especially the Oakleigh Greek Orthodox community with their strategic planning support to the Father Moutafis memorial, other examples of support to the Greek community is support to the Hellenic War memorial, Hellenic business forum and charities. Furthermore Peter has often provided free legal advice to community groups and individuals that have resulted in positive outcomes.
Despite Peter’s profile in the Indian and Greek community is well known as a quiet achiever reticent to come into the limelight and would prefer to provide support to groups, community and individuals behind the scenes. Peter is also a member of the Victorian, Waverley and Clayton RSL’s, advisor to the International Student Consultative Committee of Victoria, past President of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Benevolent Association and a former member of the Rate payers association of Monash.
Peter has also been a member and Secretary and member of the Oakleigh Greek Orthodox community and continues to play a part in local Indian and Greek communities in assisting them to pursue their goals and objectives. A rare individual who is more than often seen to be involved with developing individuals, community members to grow and blend within the Australian multicultural way of life. Peter’s background and exposure in various cultural environments have made him an unofficial ambassador of multiculturalism within Victoria and Australia. Peter’s long time involvement with many individuals, known and unknown has endeared him to many friends and supporters who often sought out for his advice on many matters.