In a recent meeting involving Bill Papastergiadis and Governor Patoulis it was agreed the Greek Community of Melbourne and Attica Prefecture would jointly facilitate a cultural and educational tour next September in the Attica region for students from Australia.
It would be an initiative in addition to the current tour hosted in July jointly by the GCM and Ministry of Foreign of Affairs and which takes place in Macedonia.
Bill Papastergiadis in his discussion with Governor Patoulis highlighted the importance of these tours in the seminal development of young Greek Australians.
He said “the succeses of these joint initiatives with Ministry of Foreign Affairs demonstrated the need for more engagement of our students with Greece. Such engagement is important in developing a broad understanding of Greece beyond the well-known tourist spots of Mykonos and Santorini”.
Bill noted the comments of a recent attendee Helena Kayalikos of the July tour where she remarked “Thessaloniki is a living breathing historical artefact. Throughout the summer camp, we visited dozens of museums, archaeological sites and ancient ruins, each enriched with their own history … I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that I was seeing sites that were over 300 years old … Being surrounded by the culture of my ancestors, hearing their language and eating their food, I immediately felt like I had found my home away from home”.
It is precisely these experiences that the GCM seeks to develop in students who hopefully become future leaders of our community.
Governor Patoulis was enthusiastic about Attica now offering a tour that differs from that put forward in Macedonia by the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
The governor said “I have a long-standing relationship with the GCM where we have successfully collaborated on a number of initiatives. Most recently, we were successful in achieving with Professor Pirpiris the execution of an MOU between the medical faculties of Athens, Patras and Athens. We want to have more of these conversations and relationships with students from Australia."
Bill Papastergiadis noted that “the tours are available to all Greek Australians from all parts of the country hence bringing all of us closer together”.
Noting that this is the last term of Governor Patoulis, we have also spoken to Deputy Minister Chardalias who is the New Democracy candidate for late this year for the Governorship of Attica. Deputy Minister Chardalias expressed his full support for this project and committed to ensuring its success.
The GCM has also written to the candidates of Pasok, Yiannis Sgouros and Syriza, Giorgos Ioakeimidis.
ABOUT THE GREEK COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE
The Greek Community of Melbourne is a community organisation founded in 1897. It represents the large and vibrant Greek community in Victoria presenting Education programs to over 2000 students, Cultural programs that include the landmark Antipodes Festival and advocacy across a broad range of issues