Andrew Giles MP: It’s impossible to think of Australia without the Greek influence

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There were hundreds of spectators at the Mill Park soccer club ground in Melbourne, Victoria on Saturday, February 11 during the inaugural Greek Community Cup finals between South Melbourne Hellas and Mill Park.

Among these spectators was the Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles MP. Mr Giles was first elected to the Australian Parliament in September 2013 as a Labor Member for Scullin in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and is currently serving his fourth term.

The Greek Herald spoke with Mr Giles at the soccer match about his priorities when it comes to multicultural communities in Australia and he stressed the important role of the Greek community.

South Melbourne Hellas

“I guess I see my role as Minister of Multicultural Affairs is not speaking through multicultural Australia, but ensuring that all communities can have their own voice and that obviously applies to the Greek community,” Mr Giles said.

“I often say it’s impossible to think of Australia and impossible, in particular, to think of Melbourne without thinking of the Greek influence and I guess we see that today.”

Around him, Greek people of different ages had come together and were watching the Greek Community Cup finals match united by a proper festive spirit.

Mr Giles said it was great to see this sense of community amongst the Greeks and explained how sports can become a tool for different communities to expand their presence here in Australia.

“Sport is such a great entry point for people to connect to each other and I think we see that in the men’s World Cup a little while ago where Australia’s team was so diverse,” the Minister said.

“We saw so many faces of modern Australia come together on the field and I think that’s why so many Australians love to follow our two national football teams.”

Later, when South Melbourne Hellas were crowned champions of the Cup, Mr Giles spoke to the public gathered nearby and said the finals were “a celebration of football, but also a celebration of culture.”

“This is a big part of what multiculturalism in Australia is all about,” the Minister added, whilst giving a final message to the readers of The Greek Herald and the community.

“To all your readers, I am really pleased that this Greek Community Cup and Shield is coming back again, bringing the Greek community together through football,” Mr Giles concluded.

“I am excited that is going to come back bigger next year.”

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