George Halkias is a well-respected community figure who has supported vulnerable Australians for over 20 years.
With post graduate qualifications in psychology, his experience includes managing a state-wide support service for victims of violent crime and training police graduates in the area of victim rights and support. He is a sessional teacher - youth work at Victoria University.
George is best known for the development of the Big Issue Street Soccer Program which uses soccer to engage and develop homeless and marginalized people. In this role he has coached and coordinated Australian teams at 8 Homeless World Cup events including: Edinburgh 2005, Cape Town 2006, Copenhagen 2007, Melbourne 2008, Milan 2009, Paris 2011 and Poland 2013 and Glasgow in 2016.
He was instrumental in successfully bidding for and staging the 2008 Melbourne Homeless World Cup and his role included sourcing corporate sponsorship and acting as the public face of the event.
George’s experience with his team in Cape Town was profiled on the ABC’s Australian Story while his Melbourne campaign was documented by Channel 10. He has made countless appearances on television and radio and is a brilliant media performer.
Whilst still involved in the Street Soccer Program which has expanded across Australia, George also acts as a leadership coach, athlete mentor and works with prisoners providing counselling and mentoring (to get healthy and play more sport) as part of their rehabilitation. He's also headed back to University to lecture on youth work.
George is also managing the innovative and ground-breaking City Strikers Program with the Melbourne City Football Club which was developed to address inactivity and social isolation in seniors. This program has been recognised as a world leader in promoting healthy ageing.
A unique speaker, George blends confidence, charisma and passion with insight and knowledge. His sincere and heart-felt presentations make sometimes serious topics stimulating, entertaining and uplifting. His speeches have a huge impact on his audiences and have the power not only to educate but to inspire and motivate people to achieve their best and also contribute to society. His fun and interesting stories are drawn from his unique work experience and travels captivating those who are fortunate to listen to him.
George’s presentations have been adapted to different forums that have included business functions, corporate staff development sessions, sporting functions and fundraisers.
George also has vast experience as an MC and facilitator working on some large scale sporting, corporate and community events.
Some of the work done by George
George facilitated a special soccer tournament in a Victorian prison which saw the prisoners that George mentors play against some staff from Melbourne Heart FC, Cricket Australia and the Department of Human Services. The tournament incorporated a special motivational presentation from George to the 40 participants from the outside including training on interacting and communicating with prisoners with intellectual disabilities.
He has also presented to the Leadership Executive of St Vincent’s Health who gathered from across Australia for strategic planning. His presentation was aimed at inspiring staff and creating a positive and uplifting atmosphere for them to look at the services their organisation delivers.
George’s other presentations include the North Melbourne Football Club where he developed and delivered a presentation and training package to motivate and coach athletes to conduct valuable and effective work in the community. He has provided a special presentation at the Men’s Health Forum at Melton City Council Men’s Shed.
George has also trained ambassadors and guest speakers of Cystic Fibrosis Victoria.