The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria initiates dialogue with the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

As a result of the economic and financial crisis that Greece is currently facing the offices of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) are being overwhelmed, on a daily basis, with telephone calls and emails from Greek citizens wishing to migrate to Australia.
Furthermore, many individuals and in certain cases families, that have arrived in Melbourne as tourists have personally visited the Community’s offices seeking information and assistance in regard to permanently settling in Australia. The Board of Management and staff of the GOCMV have endeavoured to provided assistance and guidance to hundreds of queries with respect to Australian visa and work permit requirements.  Additionally, the offices have made available details of potential employers and entities that may assist these Greek citizens.  As a result and in order to coordinate efforts, in recent months the GOCMV has approached Greek Australian politicians, Greek community organisations and businesses as well as trade unions seeking their input and expertise as a matter of urgency.
The GOCMV believed that the matter is of upmost importance and urges all Greek Australians and organisations to contribute in providing assistance to their fellow compatriots. In light of the above the GOCMV corresponded with the Federal Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Mr. Chris Bowen MP seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

The letter to the Minister is as follows:

Dear Minister,
I write to you on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria (‘GOCMV’); the largest member-based Greek organisation in the Southern Hemisphere with many thousands of members and a network that deals with over 120 Greek-based organisations in Victoria.
From the GOCMV’s establishment in 1897 our organisation has been proactive in assisting Greek migrants with respect to passage and settlement in Australia. During the post war migration period our organisation was one of the main centres for newly arrived migrants from Greece.
As you are fully aware the current Greek economy is confronted with an unprecedented crisis causing extreme hardship to its citizens and the social fabric of the society.
The GOCMV is inundated on a daily basis with enquiries and requests for assistance with respect to immigrating to Australia from Greek citizens. The majority of those people seeking to migrate are highly skilled and educated individuals. The effect of high-skilled migration is positive for both knowledge creation and economic growth and will result in more efficient use of skilled labour and increased intellectual flows.
It is our belief that the potential for seeking highly-skilled migrants from Greece would be a positive benefit and investment for Australia and therefore should be further explored by your Department.  
In light of the above we would like to arrange a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss the aforementioned matters.
Yours sincerely,
Bill Papastergiadis
President

 
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