Canberra’s Greek Community joins fight to protect Modern Greek at Macquarie University

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The Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra (GOCCC) has joined the fight alongside other Greek communities calling on Macquarie University to reconsider its proposed discontinuation of the Modern Greek Studies Program.

The future of the Modern Greek Studies Program at Macquarie University in Sydney is uncertain following a proposal by the University to move away from the discipline of Languages and Cultures and seek to instead establish a Discipline of Global Studies.

To this end, the University is considering discontinuing studies in Modern Greek language (along with Croatian, German, Italian, and Russian).

In a letter sent by the GOCCC’s outgoing President John Loukadellis to officials at Macquarie University, he stressed the importance of Greek language for the diaspora.

“I know from experience, that the extended Greek I learnt at university provided me with greater opportunities in my life and it would be a shame to remove this beacon of hope and learning,” Mr Loukadellis wrote.

john loukadellis
John Loukadellis (left) has stressed the importance of Greek language and culture.

Mr Loukadellis also highlighted how the Modern Greek Studies program at Macquarie University “is one of the best in Australia with the finest Greek educators.”

“The program has strong relationships with Greek universities and has been at the forefront of organising international academic conferences and formed great partnerships, such as the Greek Language Centre in Thessaloniki, Greece,” Mr Loukadellis wrote.

“The recognition from this body, makes Macquarie University the only certified location in New South Wales to conduct the official annual Greek language proficiency exams, which we encourage our students here in Canberra to pursue.”

Mr Loukadellis signed off his letter by calling on the university to “review and reconsider their position” on the Modern Greek Studies Program.

“We… and other communities and establishments around Australia will get behind and support the program to remain today and for future generations to come,” he wrote.

Macquarie University.

Mr Loukadellis’ letter is among a number of others sent in recent weeks by Greek community leaders.

Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Kotsiras, Greece’s Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy, John Chrysoulakis, and the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis, have all written to Macquarie University in strong support of the continuation of its Modern Greek Studies Program.

The Greek Herald newspaper, in partnership with the Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA), have also initiated a petition to rally community support and save the beloved Modern Greek Studies program at Macquarie University.

The petition aims to draw attention to the potential elimination of this valuable discipline, urging the university administration to reconsider its proposed changes.

The Greek Herald newspaper and MUGA are urging all supporters of Modern Greek Studies – Greek Australians, academics, students, and allies alike – to sign the petition and make their voices heard.

To sign the petition, visit https://chng.it/xFrjHM4fpz.

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