We had to add another page on Harry because his history is too interesting not to tell.
Harry Tsoukalas was born in Corfu Greece and in 1983 he decided to follow the family migration to Australia.
Within a year in Sydney, he started a recycling business after discovering the enormous amounts of reusable waste going to the dumps. Together with a civil engineering business, Petra Recycled Building Materials flourished for almost 20 years, leading the way in reuse and recycling and setting new standards in the industry.
Personal battles and battles with the Building Union forced him to return Greece. Whilst back in Greece he implemented restoration methods he learned from his work in heritage buildings in Australia and started a project to save thousands of derelict heritage village houses. With the help of the British media he managed to encourage many Northern Europeans to help him restore the old historic village homes. Within a 5 year period they restored approximately 4000 homes, most of them from ruins. The income to the island from this achievement overtook that from tourism, bringing new jobs and lots of new capital to the region.
In September 2008 a month before the GFC hit, Harry pushed via BBC and guardian, his new movement for autonomy of his island of Corfu from greece. Harry said he could see what was coming. The corruption was everywhere and his rich island, once an independent state of the United States of the Ionian Islands, was exploited by the then young nation of Greece, after their liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Upon the occurrence of the GFC, many of Harry's clients from the UK and Holland were hit hard, losing much of their savings due to bank closures. With the Greek government making life difficult for Harry, he again loses his fortune and also his new family.
Harry then starts to focus on his new political movement ‘People Power’ based on direct democracy, hoping to bring change to his island and the state of the Ionian Islands. He was one of the 22 European Union (EU) candidates representing Greece in the 2009 European elections. Later, People Power tried to contest local elections but the fast growing party was sabotaged by the corrupt and powerful opposition.
Harry had a long standing presentation in the media with many of his own TV production programs, plus radio programs and his own newspapers bringing to light an incredible corruption to governments and media at all levels. He exposed a lot of this corruption but soon was banned from any media outlets because he wouldn’t accept bribes to stop exposing the corruption. He fought many court battles against him from the corrupted officials and lost a number of cases for defamation, so he decided to come back to Australia.
Another of his achievements was the saving of the ancient olive grove of Corfu from destruction by illegal cutting. The achievement came at a cost of a 12 month suspended sentence and his TV program was axed.
Back in Australia he started his battles again to save heritage icons. One of them was the Sydney Monorail that were destined for scrap metal but Harry managed to save most of the carriages by finding homes for them.