At an event organised on Wednesday, it was announced that the Greek Studies Program at La Trobe University in Victoria is here to stay.
Vice Chancellor at La Trobe, John Dewar, stated that the three year period for determining the future status of the Greek Studies Program had been brought forward to a positive turnaround for the studies. Mr Dewar said that the 20 percent increase in students made the program viable.
Mr Dewar also said that this announcement coincides with the 40 year celebrations that are to be held next month in regards to the teaching of the Greek Language at La Trobe University.
Nick Bisley, the Dean of Humanities, was particularly delighted with the announcement. He was thankful for the community engagement which had helped increase the student enrolment numbers and broadened the reach of the program. Mr Bisley made particular mention of the community group that worked with the University in the last two years to help consolidate the program.
Nick Bisley invited Bill Papastergiadis, the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), and Bishop Evmenios, to also address the event.
Mr Papastergiadis said: “Language has been the cornerstone for many post-war families of Greek background in Australia. Education was considered a critical part of their children’s’ upbringing.”
“More so, education has been an integral part of the thought process going back to ancient Greece with Plato remarking that, education is a means to achieving both individual justice and social justice while, Aristotle, said that, education was integral to developing a student’s potential for reasoning and to perform ethical character,” the GCM President added.
“The role of education in the Greek Community of Melbourne was one of the main pillars for this organisation, noting that the first Greek schools were set up in the 1920s.”
Mr Papastergiadis congratulated La Trobe University on this announcement and in particular thanked Mr Bisley for his leadership over the last two years with the sub-committee which was formed. The subcommittee was instructive and informative on the steps needed to make the language studies viable.
Mr Papastergiadis also thanked Father Apostellis, as well as Anita and Greg Stamboulidis, for their input in that sub-committee and he pledged the ongoing support of the GCM for the La Trobe Greek Studies Program.
Bishop Evmenios made the announcement at the event that he too would be enrolling in the language program in 2023 and noted that the support by the Archdiocese for the program was one of the first steps of Archbishop Makarios on his arrival to Australia.
Bishop Evmenios referred to the long history and tradition of the church supporting language in all forms.