The newly appointed Ambassador to Greece from Australia visited recently the Greek Centre in Melbourne, Victoria before her departure to Greece.
Ambassador Alison Duncan is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will be replacing Ambassador Arthur Spyrou.
Ms Duncan received an enthusiastic welcome from President Bill Papastergiadis OAM of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), along with GCM Vice President Michael Karamitos, Secretary Nick Koukouvitakis, Assistant Secretary Vicky Kyritsis, GCM Board Members Dr Nick Dallas, Dr Spiridoula Demetriou, and Christos Sikavitsas. Also in attendance were Greek Centre Director Jorge Menidis and the GCM staff.
Ms Duncan’s visit to the Greek Centre further solidified the longstanding relationship between Australia and the GCM, highlighting the mutual commitment to promoting cultural understanding and strengthening the ties that bind Australia and Greece together.
During the visit, Ms Duncan engaged in productive discussions with the GCM representatives, where they shared their personal experiences from Greece and applauded Ms Duncan’s determination to learn the Greek language during her 3-year appointment.
In the course of the discussions, the GCM representatives noted the GCM’s involvement in the various bilateral agreements between the two countries. Reference was made to the Tourist Working Visa Agreement. Mr Papastergiadis then noted the GCM’s lobbying on how a bilateral health agreement can be progressed.
The board members delved further into the service centres hosted at the Greek Centre, which included Greek Lawyers, the National Bank of Greece, school facilities, and plans were underway to establish the Greek National Tourism office.
Ms Duncan expressed her excitement upon learning that the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) will soon open an office at the GCM’s iconic Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne. This office is considered a valuable addition to the Greek Centre as it will serve as a bridge between the two countries, fostering stronger connections.
Ms Duncan expressed Australia’s continued support for initiatives that promote Greek language and culture. In addition to cultural collaboration, the Ambassador and the GCM Board explored potential areas of cooperation.
Ms Duncan expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality extended by the GCM and emphasised her desire for the relationship between the GCM and her office to continue to flourish.