In a recent meeting involving President, Bill Papastergiadis, and Governor Patoulis it was agreed GCM and Attica Prefecture would jointly facilitate a cultural and educational tour next September in the Attica region for students from Australia.
It would be an initiative in addition to the current tour hosted in July jointly by GCM and Ministry of Foreign of Affairs which takes place in Macedonia.
In his discussion with Governor Patoulis, Mr Papastergiadis highlighted the importance of these tours in the seminal development of young Greek Australians.
“The success of these joint initiatives with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demonstrated the need for more engagement of our students with Greece. Such engagement is important in developing a broad understanding of Greece beyond the well-known tourist spots of Mykonos and Santorini,” Mr Papastergiadis said.
He noted the comments of a recent attendee Helena Kayalikos of the July tour where she remarked: “Thessaloniki is a living breathing historical artefact. Throughout the summer camp, we visited dozens of museums, archaeological sites and ancient ruins, each enriched with their own history.
“I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that I was seeing sites that were over 300 years old… Being surrounded by the culture of my ancestors, hearing their language and eating their food, I immediately felt like I had found my home away from home”.
It is precisely these experiences that GCM seeks to develop in students who hopefully become future leaders of our community.
Governor Patoulis was enthusiastic about Attica now offering a tour that differs from that put forward in Macedonia by the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
“I have a long-standing relationship with GCM where we have successfully collaborated on a number of initiatives. Most recently, we were successful in achieving, with Professor Pirpiris, the execution of an MOU between the medical faculties of Athens, Patras and Athens. We want to have more of these conversations and relationships with students from Australia,” Governor Patoulis said.
Mr Papastergiadis noted that “the tours are available to all Greek Australians from all parts of the country hence bringing all of us closer together”.
Noting, this is the last term of Governor Patoulis, GCM have also spoken to Deputy Minister Hardalias who is the New Democracy candidate for late this year for the Governorship of Attica.
Deputy Minister Hardalias expressed his full support for this project and committed to ensuring its success.
GCM has also written to the candidates of Pasok, Yiannis Sgouros and Syriza, Giorgos Ioakeimidis.