The Greek Government passed the relevant legislation related to the approval and implementation of the working holiday visa. All relevant Ministers signed the legislation and the Ministry of Education is the responsible authority.
The agreement is in part an initiative of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) over the past six years and it will benefit hundreds of young Greek and Australian nationals up to 31 years of age, who want to holiday in the two countries respectively with the right to work for up to a year.
"The passing of the legislation highlights the endeavour and persistence of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM). The legislation was an initiative of Costas Markos and involved the speedy resolution of them Minister Bowen," said the President of the GCM Mr Bill Papastergiadis. "Australia and Greece share a rich history. The agreement adds to the ties that bind the two countries."
GCM’s Hon General Secretary Mr Costas Markos also noted Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece’s, Mr Terence Quick, swift response upon the GCM's request.
During Mr Quick’s recent visit to Melbourne and to the Greek Centre, the GCM raised the issue once again.
The GCM has been persistent in its promotion of the Working Visa Agreement. Alongside an extensive letter campaign to a variety of Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments was raising the issue at every opportunity in meetings with Australian and Greek politicians.
In 2011, a committee was formed by the GCM and other Greek community organisations to look at issues related to the sharp increase in Greek migration to Australia.
The committee, comprising of GCM president Bill Papastergiadis, GCM secretary Costas Markos, Fronditha and Channel 31 chair Mike Zafiropoulos, Australian Hellenic Council chair Peter Jasonides, lawyer and migration agent Penny Dimopoulos and consultant Elizabeth Hagiefremidis. They met with the then Federal Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Mr Chris Bowen, where the committee tabled a number of recommendations as well as the GCM's Immigration Report. It was during these discussions that it was also agreed that a bilateral agreement should be pursued in regard to working holiday visas between Australia and Greece.