In July this year, five students from the University of Western Australia decided to band together to create the Greek Students Association. Currently the Association is the only active Greek Youth group in WA and the only Greek club at any university.
Such an amazing achievement deserves to be recognised and for that reason The Greek Herald spoke with the founding President of the Association, Athena Paizes, who shared with us the future vision of the group for Greek students.
1. How did the idea for a Greek Students Association come about?
We started as just five students who realised the lack of an active Greek student society, not only at UWA, but across Perth. In July, we decided to come together to create the Greek Students Association. We were amazed at how much interest this sparked.
Today we have over 70 members and are continuing to grow. We come from a range of Greek backgrounds, but all have a strong love of our Greek heritage and a longing to connect with other like-minded people. We have had great interest and engagement in our club at UWA and in the Greek community.
2. What is the main aim of the Association?
The Greek Students Association aims to provide all Greek students and philhellenes an opportunity to share and celebrate Greek culture, language, history and traditions.
3. You are the founding President of the Association. How does that feel?
I am very honoured to be the founding President of the Greek Students Association. When I found out that there was no Greek club at UWA, or at any Western Australian University, I felt a responsibility to change this. We were motivated to create the club for our own enjoyment, but we also hoped to create a lasting society for the future generations to connect with their Greek culture.
I have felt incredibly proud to be Greek and to share this experience with my friends. We have achieved so much in such a small amount of time. The biggest challenge was establishing ourselves as a club and gaining recognition. However, we have been incredibly successful with this and have enjoyed every step along the way. This is just the beginning and we are excited for what is to come.
4. Are there any upcoming events?
Not at the moment! We have had a busy semester getting involved in campus activities and hosting a few events of our own, including a Movie Night and our sold out Greek Taverna Night. We plan on holding more cultural activities including Greek cooking classes, language evenings and Greek dancing lessons. We are also planning more social events, including music and food evenings as well as a bigger party event next year. Like our FB and follow our Instagram to see what we are up to!
5. What is the Association’s vision for the future of Greek students in WA?
Our vision is to create a community that welcomes all Greek students and philhellenes. We want to continue to be a dynamic, inclusive, innovative and engaging organisation that forges a new future for Greek students and celebrates the revival of our Greek identity.
We want to reflect the enthusiasm of our members and their love of Greece and create a deeper understanding of our culture. We hope to create a solid foundation for this club to grow and flourish.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
It may not be in our time in GSA, but we can’t wait for travel to open up so the club can do a Greece tour!