The Greek Community of Melbourne marked its 124th anniversary on August 22 this year, but due to the current lockdown in Victoria they weren’t able to hold their pre-scheduled celebrations.
The Community had planned to raise the Aboriginal, Greek and Australian flags at their Lonsdale St Headquarters to bring together the “Elders” of the Greek and Aboriginal communities acknowledging the strong respect and history that exists between them.
“Rest assured that this event will occur as soon as restrictions are lifted and we can safely return to face to face gatherings. In the meantime it’s great to see that the history of indigenous Australians is included as part of our schools curriculum,” Theo Markos, who is the Education Committee Convenor of the Community, said in a press release.
Covid continues to challenge the way we do things at the Community, especially in the education sector. But as the saying goes we just “keep on keeping on.”
Nick Dallas and his Seminars team continue their excellent work, presenting talks of a high standard every Thursday evening. This year’s theme revolves around the bicentenary of the 1821 Greek War of Independence. Dr Stavroula Nikouloudis head of the Greek studies program at La Trobe University presented an excellent talk on the life and deeds of the legendary Theodoros Kolokotronis. Post-event, most seminars are hosted on the Community’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, and we encourage you to take the time to view them. Our online seminar series wouldn’t be possible without the IT assistance of Kosta Avloniti, who is always there behind the scenes troubleshooting where necessary.
Our devoted team of teachers under the guidance of our new principal Maria Bakalidou continue to offer an excellent online school program. Kudos to our students, parents and teachers for their strong commitment to the teaching and learning of our Greek language and culture.
On the 18th of August, the Greek Community played host to an information evening via Zoom, which discussed the current status of Greek Language teaching in the Victorian public education system. Over 20 participants from a number of public schools were given the opportunity to express their views and network with both parents, teachers and principals from schools where Greek is taught as part of the school’s curriculum. Representatives from Coburg West Primary, Lalor North, Preston South Primary, Serpell Primary, Strathmore Secondary College, Oakleigh Secondary College, Northcote high, Victorian School of Languages, all agreed that the discussion initiated on the night, needs to continue whist also agreeing that an informal network be established to both promote the programs and play and advocatory role to lobby government and other relevant authorities.
The gathering had the support of the Modern Greek Teachers Association, as well as that of the Greek Education Consul, Ms Georgia Nikolaidis, who’s presence and valuable contribution to the discussion was greatly appreciated. Vicky Marinellis from the Central Office of the Department of Education and Training also attended the Zoom gathering, providing us with the good news that a new Greek language program commenced in 2021 at Keilor Views Primary which delighted all those present.
Finally, it’s disappointing that the event planned on the 22nd of August to celebrate the 124th anniversary of the Greek Community of Melbourne as well as the raising of the Aboriginal, Greek and Australian flags at our Lonsdale St Headquarters had to postponed. The event was to bring together the “Elders “ of the Greek and Aboriginal communities acknowledging the strong respect and history that exists between them and to celebrate the Community’s AGMdecision to endorse the Uluru Statement from the heart.
The planned function was to also have a strong education component as our students were to highlight and acknowledge, in their own way, the unique aspects of our First Nations culture and history. Special thanks to our teacher, Christina Soumi, who is overseeing the education component of this initiative.
Rest assured that this event will occur as soon as restrictions are lifted and we can safely return to face to face gatherings. In the meantime it’s great to see that the history of indigenous Australians is included as part of our schools curriculum.
The Education subcommittee always welcomes ideas from everyone with an interest in Greek language and education on “how we can do things better.”
In the meantime STAY SAFE and take care of your loved ones !!!
And of course …. Happy Birthday Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria !!!
Education committee Convenor GOCMV