Dr Alfred Vincent, Associate Professor Nick Doumanis made life members of UTS Hellenic

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Dr Alfred Vincent and Associate Professor Nick Doumanis have been made inaugural life members of UTS Hellenic at the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The two academics were voted in unanimously on Monday, November 28 at UTS Hellenic’s 2022 AGM, after the life member initiative was introduced into a revamped, updated constitution.

A/Prof Doumanis of the University of New South Wales presented a talk on the 100-year anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe in May. 

Dr Vincent, who led the Department of Modern Greek at the University of Sydney before retirement, explored the history of Mediterranean cuisine at a UTS Hellenic event in August. 

Both academics are well-known in Sydney’s Greek community, with Dr Vincent teaching Modern Greek at the University of Sydney for 25 years and continuing to support Modern Greek culture during his retirement. 

Dr Alfred Vincent at a UTS Hellenic talk.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Vincent reflected on the impact the community has had on him.

“Living in Sydney, as I have for over 50 years, meeting the Greek community has been my university,” Dr Vincent said.

He also addressed the decline of the Modern Greek language in Australia, encouraging the youth to consider learning a language not as a burden but rather an adventure with something new to learn all the time. 

Ever the teacher, he expressed that: “One of my mottos with language is ‘use it or lose it.’ But even losing it need not be permanent. There are always chances to pick it up again. So that’s my hope for everyone here.”

Dr Vincent then offered his best wishes to the very students who voted unanimously to make him an inaugural life member of their society, applauding their enthusiasm. 

A/Prof Doumanis has likewise been active in the community, specialising in History at the University of NSW. He expressed sincere gratitude upon his nomination as a Life Member by UTS Hellenic, though also offering some words of honest reflection on tertiary education. 

Associate Professor Doumanis giving his talk on the Asia Minor Catastrophe in May.

“Thank you so much for the invitation. I was so touched,” A/Prof Doumanis said.

“I feel a bit depressed about the state of our education system at the moment, particularly at university level, because the powers that be are attacking the humanities. Each year, I see languages disappearing and other languages, once well-established, being reduced to first-year courses.”

Nevertheless, he acknowledged the genuine attempt the young people have made to contribute to Modern Greek culture at universities. 

“One hope I have is seeing the enterprise that the UTS Hellenic Society is showing. I commend you,” A/Prof Doumanis said. 

“I’m actually proud to be associated with the society and very honoured to be asked to become a Life Member… I am honoured to be asked and honoured to be in the company of Dr Alfred Vincent as well.”

The gesture of gratitude by UTS Hellenic was due to the introduction of a new constitutional clause to provide honorary Life Membership to individuals who have “significantly contributed to the society”. 

Two constitutional votes were passed unanimously to add their names into the society’s revamped governing document.

UTS Hellenic 2022 President, Dimitri Kallos, expressed his deep appreciation for both intellectuals. 

“Both Dr Vincent and Associate Professor Doumanis were invaluable in the cultural direction of the society this year. I am eternally grateful for their significant contributions and I can think of no more worthy individuals to be our inaugural Life Members,” the outgoing President said. 

Following the passed constitutional vote to elect the life members and the remaining AGM items, the 2022 Committee formally stood down to mark the end of their term. 

Elections were then held to elect the 2023 Committee, with expansion planned in the new year to conduct elections for First Year Representatives which will take place in March 2023, according to the new constitution.

The new UTS Hellenic Committee.

Outgoing 2022 Committee:

President: Dimitri Kallos, Vice-President: Yanni Marathocabitis, Treasurer: Constance Botsikas, Secretary: Antonia Moulos, Social Media and Events Coordinator: Karly Vouros, Cultural Officer: Katerina Andrews, General Committee: Peter Litsas, Ellen Kalantzis, Despina Tsolakis, Nadine Zeritis, Jacquelene Tzovolos, First Year Representatives: Olivia Cambouris, Philippa Botsikas, Nathan Politis, Matthew Politis

Incoming 2023 Committee:

President: Despina Tsolakis, Vice-President: Antonia Moulos, Treasurer: Olivia Cambouris, Secretary: Matthew Politis, Social Media and Events Coordinator: Victoria Demos, Cultural Officer: Nadine Zeritis, General Committee: Nathan Politis, Athanasia Stratikopoulos, Elly Vazouras, George Pachos

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