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George Petrou – Painter of Australian veteran heroes receives OAM award

Melbourne based artist George Petrou, born in Cyprus, received the OAM honour on Queen's birthday.

He was honoured for his service to the visual arts and to veterans, as he paints and supports Australian veterans.

Painting by George Petrou – Depiction of VC recipient Dominic McCarthy – Source : supplied

Recently he painted a portrait of the young Cypriot hero of Australia, Hector Vassilis.

Source : supplied

George Petrou was born in Cyprus in 1956 and 8 months later his family, parents and 8 children immigrated to Melbourne Australia.

For 40 years, George Petrou was a graphic design artist, but at some point work took it’s toll on his  health. In 2010 he was stricken with cancer.

Source : supplied

Among the chemotherapy treatments he made a promise to himself:

”If he survived, he would do what he always wanted to do. He would start painting.”

George Petrou survived and turned to painting.

He was always interested in Australian history, the First World War and painted a series of portraits of award-winning Australian veterans, the proceeds of which were offered to veterans.

For his service to the visual arts, and to veterans George Petrou was awarded this year the OAM honour on the Queen’s birthday honours.

  • It was something he did not expect, he confesses to SBS Radio Greek program.

”It makes me feel that I have to offer even more now.”

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