Jim Raptis, a designer and architect, born on the island of Evia in Greece, changed the face of the most cosmopolitan region of Australia—the Gold Coast.
He came to Australia with his family in 1954 as a young boy and lived in Ingham, North Queensland until the family moved to Sydney.
He began developing property in Sydney in 1967, and his passion for design and architecture has been evident from the beginning.
However, the Raptis name became synonymous with the Gold Coast in Queensland. Raptis arrived on the Gold Coast in 1973.
For more than forty years, the Raptis company has developed and constructed some of the most iconic landmarks along the coast and have substantially shaped the city’s distinctive skyline.
It all started with the launch of the Mykonos development in 1978. From then on, his company has contributed significantly to creating the region’s iconic, easygoing lifestyle.
Raptis has developed many buildings, including well-known buildings on the Gold Coast, such as Chevron Renaissance, The Corporate Centre, Southport Central, and the Hilton Hotel and Residences.
His companies have won numerous awards for their designs, construction, and marketing over the years, including a number of state and national awards.
In 1987, the company was named “Australian Developer of the Year,” and in 2008, it was named hotel developer of the year.
In 2005, he was appointed Honorary Consul for Greece in Queensland. He also serves on the Clergy Laity Finance Committee with Greek Archdiocese.
Gold Coast a major tourist destination
Raptis bounced back after his company lost one billion dollars and went bankrupt in 2008 due to the global financial crisis.
Even when the Raptis Group was under a special administration regime, Raptis found a way to construct the expensive Sapphire Block project. The total cost of the construction was estimated at approximately $60 million.
The Gold Coast in the Australian state of Queensland is a major tourist destination with a sunny, subtropical climate.
It has become widely known for its world-class surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland.
The city is part of the nation’s entertainment industry with television productions and a major film industry.
Greeks in Australia keep traditions strong
Numbering over six hundred thousand, according to recent estimates, Greek-Australians are the seventh-largest ethnic group in Australia, adding their culture, traditions, and language to the fabric of the country.
Melbourne, located in the state of Victoria, is currently the most concentrated center of the Greek diaspora, as it is the city home to the largest Greek population outside of Greece.
There are as many as four hundred thousand Greek-Australians residing in the city although some conservative estimates say this only just over 170,000. Nonetheless, Melbourne is home to the most Greek-Australians in the entire country.
Greek immigration to Melbourne has a long history, spanning back to the 1850s, when the region experienced a gold rush, inspiring a massive wave of immigrants from Greece.
Since that time, Greeks in Melbourne have retained their connection to their culture and language. The city is home to the most Greek speakers outside of Greece, and it is one of the most frequently heard languages on the streets of Melbourne.
Many Greek-Australians have made a home for themselves in Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, as well, but the community in Melbourne is widely considered the most well-established in the country.
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