The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis OAM, has written to officials at Macquarie University in Sydney, urging them to reconsider the proposed discontinuation of its Modern Greek Studies Program.
The future of the Modern Greek Studies Program at Macquarie University 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 his letter, Mr Papastergiadis said the GCM considers this proposal “an unsettling development.”
“Effective multiculturalism goes hand in hand with multilingualism. This means that widespread efforts are employed in preserving, disseminating, and promoting the use and acquisition of community and
heritage languages. In this respect, the tertiary education sector has quite an important role to play,” Mr Papastergiadis wrote in his letter.
“We urge you strongly to reconsider some of the suggestions in your discussion paper regarding the closing down of language courses. As a society we’ll be poorer for it.”
Mr Papastergiadis added that the GCM would be relaying their concerns regarding this proposal “to the relevant state and federal education ministers.”
This response came after Greece’s Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy, John Chrysoulakis, issued a letter to Macquarie University this week in strong support of the continuation of its Μodern 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.