The Ambassador of Greece to Australia Ms Ekaterini Xagorari together with the Consul General of Melbourne, Ms Christina Simantiraki, officially visited the Greek Centre and the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), on Wednesday 24 August and met with Mr Bill Papastergiadis (President), Mr Costas Markos (General Secretary), Mr Jim Bossinakis (Board Member) and Mr Jorge Menidis (Director, Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture).
During the meeting Ms Xagorari was informed about GCM’s activities and discussed various issues concerning both the GCM and the Greeks of Melbourne.
Mr Papastergiadis also referred to a series of issues raised in Greece, recently, during his meetings with ministers and other government officials, including education, working holiday visa, investment, culture, the entitlement of Greeks abroad to vote, and cultural exchange programs for students.
The Ambassador said that she would look into these matters by consulting with relevant ministers and authorities.
"It is my first official visit in the Greek Community of Melbourne. I visited Melbourne for the parade of 25th March", said Ms Xagorari talking about her visit to the Greek Centre.
She also said that she was impressed by the GCM and its activities: "Melbourne, apart from the fact that it is a city with the third largest Greek population in the world, has a highly respectable and professional Greek Community which has done tremendous work in recent years.”
"I've been fortunate to work with the GCM and we have opened a channel of communication and I believe in the future we will maximize this cooperation in many areas of common interest and concern. We already discussed several issues and I believe most of the work here in Melbourne passes through the GCM. It is a great achievement, the fact that the Greek community is united and there is an excellent cooperation with the GCM."
Mr Papastergiadis and the other members of the Board who participated in the meeting said they were extremely pleased with the discussion that transpired during Ms Xagoraki’s visit to the Greek Centre.
Mr Papastergiadis stated that the relations between the GCM and the Ambassadors of Greece have always been strong. It reflects well on Greece that the Ambassadors posted to Australia take a keen interest in our affairs and always work cooperatively.”
Mr Papastergiadis “was confident that good outcomes would be achieved with the assistance of the Ambassador in regard to the matters recently raised by him with the Greek Ministers”. He said the “winners in this are the Greek Australians, who hopefully will see the benefits flowing from a proactive relationship between the GCM and Greece (via the Embassy).