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Turning People Experiencing Homelessness to Sporting Stars!


George Halkias is a well-respected community leader who has supported, motivated, inspired and educated Australians for almost 20 years.

With post graduate qualifications in psychology, his early work experience included 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 co-founding the Big Issue Street Soccer Program which uses soccer to engage and develop homeless and marginalized people all across the country. In this role he has coached and coordinated Australian teams at ten Homeless World Cup events: Edinburgh 2005, Cape Town 2006, Copenhagen 2007, Melbourne 2008, Milan 2009, Paris 2011, Poznan 2013, Glasgow 2016, Oslo 2017, Cardiff 2019 and Sacramento 2023.

He was also 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.

Whilst still involved in the Community Street Soccer Program which has expanded across Australia George continues to make an impact across the community and sector in different ways.

As well as being a leadership coach/mentor, George is a sport for development consultant to a range of organizations including professional sporting clubs, charities and associations using sport to tackle key social issues like racism, exclusion and gender based violence.

George has also used sport to rehabilitate prisoners for two decades delivering amazing events in correctional facilities that connect prisoners with the wider community including corporate and government employees.

George was also recognised by Vicsport and the State Government of Victoria for his Service to Victorian Community Sport and Recreation at the 2016 Victorian Sports Awards. George and his assistants were also awarded UEFA Best Coaching Team at the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff whilst he also received a UEFA Coaches Award at the 2006 event.

Talking Points

Leadership that inspires change

George’s inspirational and authentic leadership style bring people together to achieve great outcomes at a local and community level. Hear how George had the vision and dedication to develop a pilot program to a government funded national program that is recognised across the world and to bring the Homeless World Cup to Melbourne with government and corporate support.

Overcoming adversity and achieving organisational and personal change

George describes how he has developed innovative and impacting programs that have changed the lives of individuals facing a range of challenges whilst also strengthening communities. He described how he empowers people and drives cultural change and sustainable change by creating environment where people are valued and developed.

Managing complex teams to success

George has coached and supported Australian Teams at 10 Homeless World Cups and shares how he mould a diverse group of people who each with their own personal challenges into a dedicated team that achieves its personal and team goals whilst representing their country with distinction.
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! 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.

CPA Australia

Your 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.


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!

Nectar Creative Communications
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