The New South Wales Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP, has called on Macquarie University in Sydney to reconsider its proposal to discontinue several language courses including Modern Greek, Croatian, German, Italian, and Russian.
The future of these language courses is uncertain following a proposal by Macquarie University to move away from the discipline of Languages and Cultures and seek to instead establish a Discipline of Global Studies.
In a letter sent to the President of the Macquarie University Greek Studies Foundation Limited, Theo Premetis, Mr Kamper said he strongly supports “the continuation of modern language studies at a tertiary level.”
The Multicultural Minister also said he had written to Chancellor of Macquarie University Dr Martin Parkinson “urging him to reconsider any reduction in language courses.”
“I feel the continuation of language studies can only enhance our state’s reputation as a beacon of multiculturalism and diversity and strengthen the reputation of our capital city as a place where multinational corporations can do business,” Mr Kamper said.
Mr Kamper added that the state will likely need graduates from Macquarie University to fill scholarship and training positions offered by Multicultural NSW for future generations of translators and interpreters.
“Language studies also enrich the lives of students by offering new perspectives, cementing the university’s place as a centre of excellence and fostering intellectual and cultural diversity,” he said.
Mr Kamper is among a number of other community and political leaders in Greece and Australia who have written to Macquarie University in recent weeks in strong support of the continuation of its languages courses such as the Modern Greek Studies Program.
Other letters have been sent by Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Kotsiras, Greece’s Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy, John Chrysoulakis, the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis, and the former President of the Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra (GOCCC), John Loukadellis.
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.