George Halkias

George Halkias is a well respected community figure who has supported vulnerable Australians for almost 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.

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 9 Homeless World Cup events: Edinburgh 2005, Cape Town 2006, Copenhagen 2007, Melbourne 2008, Milan 2009, Paris 2011, Poznan 2013, Glasgow 2016 and Oslo 2017.

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 an educator, a leadership coach, athlete mentor and works with prisoners with intellectual disabilities and asylum seekers. In 2016 George was awarded a prestigious Vicsport award from the Victorian government for his contribution to community sport.

He is also a Youth Work teacher at Victoria University and is sports for development consultant with experience in working in prisons and immigration detention centres. George has also worked for a range of professional sporting clubs and associations including Melbourne City Football Club where he developed the innovative walking football program targeted at getting seniors active again.

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. They are best described as uplifting and dynamic.

George also has vast experience as an MC and facilitator working on some large scale sporting, corporate and community events.

Achievements

  • Managed the Victims Referral and Assistance Service, UN acclaimed service supporting victims of violent crime
  • Trained Victorian Police graduates in the area of crime victim services, rights and entitlements
  • Co-founded the Big Issue Street Soccer program including developing the program and securing funding to grow the program nationwide ( program using sport to support homeless and marginalised people)
  • Coached and coordinated Australian Teams at the following Homeless World Cup events: Edinburgh 2005, Cape Town 2006, Copenhagen 2007, Melbourne 2008, Milan 2009, Paris 2011, Posnan 2013, Glasgow 2016 and Oslo 2017.
  • Played key role in successfully bidding for and staging the 2008 Melbourne Homeless World Cup
  • Coach and mentor to prisoners with intellectual prisoners (since 2007)
  • Youth work teacher at degree level
  • Mentor to professional athletes
  • Was recognised at the 2017 Victorian Sports Awards by the Victorian Government for his outstanding contribution to community sport.
  • 2016 Set up Walking Football Program at Melbourne City Football Club with support from Vichealth

Current Work

  • National Coach of the Big Issue Community Street Soccer Program, providing mentoring and professional development to staff across Australia
  • Professional Speaker, community educator and MC
  • Personal and professional development facilitator
  • Mentor to community leaders and professional athletes
  • Sports development consultant at Melbourne City Football Club.
  • Youth work teacher Victoria University
  • Chair and Coordinator Community Football Network

Recent Presentations

  • Mars Staff Community Leadership Dinner
  • City of Bayside, Sporting Clubs and Associations Breakfast celebrating volunteerism
  • Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Awards Keynote address
  • Dandenong High School Leadership Camp
  • Australian College of Emergency Medicine
  • Children’s Court of Victoria Staff Conference
  • Tim Cahill Foxtel Ambitions Tour Camp
  • Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne – inspiring international community leaders from the Asian Pacific region
  • Melbourne City Football Club Playing group – informational session
  • Inspiro Annual General Meeting
  • St Vincent’s Health Executive Team
  • Melbourne Travel Industry Conference

Special Corporate Presentations/Workshops

  • Perspective Workshops – Staff development sessions looking at contemporary community and social issues and how we can make a difference
  • Sports and Community Values Workshops – George’s views on professional and community sport linking them to community development and community issues

 Key themes and topics of presentations

  • Leadership that inspires change
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Overcoming adversity and achieving organisational and personal change
  • Managing complex teams
  • The power of sport to build community and achieve social change.
  • Managing Complex and Diverse teams
  • Leadership that inspires Change

Recent Event and Conference MCing

  • Gold Coast Suns Football Club
  • Melbourne Heart Football Club
  • Aged Care Conference, Department of Health
  • Big Issue Street Football Festival including match commentary
  • International Network of Street Papers Conference
  • Volunteering Victoria

Testimonials

Of all the staff training and team building workshops that we have facilitated at our company, the Perspective Workshop held by George Halkias was easily the most talked about and memorable event. This is really different! George captivated our people with his unique message and the impact it had on our team was incredible. The workshop resulted in increased morale, improved team interaction, greater energy and a general shift to a more empathic attitude within our organisation. Aside from the value gained personally, it also reflected well on our company image to our team. Thank you George! We will be having more of these workshops in the future for sure. Highly recommended! – George Moraitis, Managing Director FUESCO

George was an absolute pleasure to work with. I was very moved by the presentation so much so that I am still thinking about it! I highly recommend George as a speaker and I personally look forward to working with him again in the future. – Gabriela Wilson. Event Coordinator CPA Australia

You’re talk most certainly did hit the mark. I had very positive feedback last night and this morning too! You’re a great speaker and your story is very inspirational. Our staff work with marginalised people every day, but hearing other people’s stories helps put our experiences into perspective. And your story did just that. It also re-energises us and reminds us that we can all make a difference in some way – Genieveve Globke, Marketing and Communications Officer INSPIRO

George Halkias is such an engaging storyteller, we were thrilled to have him open the second day of the Melbourne Travel Industry Conference in 2017.  His keynote presentation – “Leadership that Inspires Change” was entertaining, thought provoking and insightful.  He was a pleasure to work with, and he worked to our brief and made a real connection with the audience, ensuring day two of the conference was set up to challenge our delegates thinking!” – Peta Moore, Managing Director, Nectar Creative Communications

Selling points:

  • George’s unique presentations have the power to inspire, motivate, educate and entertain.
  • Be inspired by George’s professional leadership journey that sees him marry his love of sport and helping people to develop an amazing life changing initiative that grows from a small pilot project in Melbourne to an internationally recognised national program supported by the federal government and corporate sector.
  • Be captivated by George’s story telling as he describes how people who have literally been on the streets have overcome a host of life challenges and gone on to represent Australia on an amazing sporting international stage.
  • Enjoy and learn from the inspiring and fun tales of the Homeless World Cup as George describes how he as coach, mentor and motivator empowers his unique teams (that don’t score too many goals on the pitch) achieve their dreams and learn life lessons that will be with them for ever.