In a written statement to La Trobe University, not-for-profit aged care provider, Fronditha Care, has expressed its disappointment at the university’s proposal to terminate the Modern Greek Studies Program.
The consultation period between the university and the community ends tomorrow on November 25. Tomorrow is also the last day to sign a petition set up by university students to save the program. So far, over 5,100 people have already signed.
It comes as no surprise then that the CEO of Fronditha Care, Michael Malakonas, and President, Professor Eugenia Pedagogos, have sent this letter to La Trobe, making the important point that “the decision to abolish the Modern Greek Studies program will have a negative impact on the aged care sector.”
“Significant verbal and written competence in the Greek language is central to our capacity to provide care to the elderly members of our community,” the letter states.
“The termination of this program has the potential to negatively impact the elders we care for, the language and cultural competence of our workforce, aged care in the CALD space and the social fabric of Victoria.”
The letter goes on to say that the continuation of the Modern Greek Studies program is crucial as it “facilitates the ability for elderly Australians of Greek background to live with dignity.”
“If our workforce lacked the ability to produce and use bilingual (Greek and English) communications, it could be detrimental to the quality of care the elderly members of our community receive,” Fronditha Care writes.
Full Statement from Fronditha Care:
This letter comes in the face of a meeting last Friday between representatives of the Greek community and La Trobe University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Susan Dodds, the Head of the School of Humanities Professor, Simon Evans, and two other leading academics.
They met to discuss viable solutions for the continuation of the program but Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, told The Greek Herald on Monday that La Trobe expects “the number of students to triple for the program to be sustainable.”
In a statement to The Greek Herald on Monday afternoon, La Trobe University mentioned the meeting and said it would carefully consider “staff consultations” and “representations made from members of the community” before making any decision on the future of the program.
Full Statement from La Trobe University:
“La Trobe was pleased to meet with members of the Greek community in Victoria last Friday to discuss the change proposal and hear their concerns. It is clear there is a strong desire from members of the community for La Trobe’s Greek Studies program to continue.
We discussed the significant financial impacts to the University as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, our subsequent Strategic Plan, and the fact that student demand for the program would need to increase substantially before the program could be financially viable. La Trobe will carefully consider the outcomes of staff consultation, as well as representations made from members of the community, regarding the future of the program before making any decision.“