Over the last few weeks, there has been confusion among the Greek community regarding the future of the Greek Studies Program at Sydney’s Macquarie University.
In November, former President of the Macquarie University Greek Association, George Mpliokas, under the name of the Greek Studies Foundation, called the community to participate in an open gathering.
The gathering was called to discuss the “continuation of the Greek Studies program and the election of a New Board of Directors of the Foundation.”
At the time, the current Board of the Foundation as led by President Mr Theofilus Premetis, sent a statement to The Greek Herald calling the gathering “false and misleading.”
“We call on those in charge to cancel immediately the announced open gathering because such actions only cause irreparable damage to Macquarie’s Greek Studies,” the statement read.
Despite this call, the gathering went ahead on Thursday, December 3, with approximately 30 attendees.
The gathering leaves Greek community confused:
As reported on by The Greek Herald back in early December, the gathering left many confused.
Secretary of the Greek Studies Foundation, John Theodoridis, was overheard asking Mr Mpliokas under “which constitution” he called the gathering, to which Mr Mpliokas had two reasons: (1) the degradation of the Greek Studies program from a Major in 2020 to a Minor in 2021, and (2) the lack of transparency from the members of the Foundation Committee.
When asked by The Greek Herald what his perspective on the situation was, President Theophilus Premetis, said: “There is no perspective, we have a constitution we followed.”
Statement following the gathering:
Following the gathering, The Greek Herald received a further press release signed by Peter Leondaritis and Mr Mpliokas, again under the name of the Greek Studies Foundation.
The statement documents what occurred at the gathering from their perspective and says that some of the main points established on the night include:
- that “the establishment of a new company in March 2021 was done so without the knowledge of the community’; and
- the new company “is comprised of a total of 14 people, of which at least 4 of these members had no knowledge of its existence, of their status as members, nor had been invited to participate at any point in time.”
“A motion was moved that the Foundation write to representatives of the new company, to call for a Founding and Inaugural General Meeting of the new company within 60 days of the date of the meeting, with elections open to all members of the community and including all those present…” the statement concluded.
This clear division and tension, between those in the community who are meant to be sustaining the future of Greek Studies at Macquarie University, led The Greek Herald to reach out to the university itself to determine who they are in contact with about the program and its funding.
A Macquarie University spokesperson wrote in response to our questions: “Macquarie University appreciates its longstanding and ongoing relationship with the Greek Studies Foundation as represented to the University by Theo Premetis. We are looking into ways to best sustain the teaching of Greek language and culture into the future.”
This endorsement of the Greek Studies Foundation, with Mr Premetis as President, is the latest turn of events in a saga which The Greek Herald will continue to keep on its radar.