The members of the Education Committee of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) and the Greek Education Consul for Australia and New Zealand, met up recently with professor James Walker, head of the Languages and Linguistics Department of La Trobe University and responsible for Modern Greek on campus. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of Greek at the university and how the community can assist in revitalising the Greek language program.
Professor Walker informed the delegation that all efforts were being made to ensure that the position of coordinator of Greek studies at Latrobe, left vacant following Maria Herodotus's retirement, will be filled as soon as possible.
The Education Committee members, Theo Markos, Nikos Dallas and Spiros Papadopoulos, made the commitment on behalf of the GCM, to contact the higher authorities of the University and express their continued support of the Greek program.
Theo Markos, Convenor of the Education Committee, expressed confidence in Professor Walker’s support of the program and promised that in the coming weeks the GCM will also meet with Greek university students on campuses throughout Melbourne, as well as the Modern Greek Teachers Association, to canvass support for this matter.
"We believe that the longevity of the Greek studies program depends not only on the administration of La Trobe University but in the sincere mobilisation of all those in the Greek community who care about the teaching and promotion of our language and culture," Theo Markos said.
Nikos Dallas stated that the GCM would be more than happy for La Trobe to use the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture as a location to conduct classes. "This will enable students from other campuses to study Greek in a location convenient to students from all over Melbourne," said Nikos Dallas
Spiros Papadopoulos stated that the GCM will make its students aware of what La Trobe University has to offer. "We have over 1500 students studying Greek at our after-hour schools and Alphington Grammar. We will be spreading the word, telling them to think seriously about studying Greek once they reach tertiary level,” he said.
Education Consul Georgia Nikolaidou, stated that the Greek government will continue its support, as it has done in the past, with the provision of a qualified Greek teacher to enhance the quality of the program.
Meeting with NUGAS
Further to the discussion with Latrobe University, the Education Committee called a meeting with members of the NUGAS board on Wednesday 9th of August 2017.
The meeting was also attended by Demitris Gonis and Stephanie Nikoloudis, casual staff of the Greek Studies Department of Latrobe University, as well as Georgia Nikolaidou, the Greek Education Consul.
It was agreed that NUGAS would endeavour to promote the Greek studies program at Latrobe and encourage students from all campuses to enrol in this subject, since they are able to have it credited to their degree at their respective University.
Sam Triandafilopoulos and Kyriakos Antoniou, both members of NUGAS Victoria, commented that students will fully support any campaign aimed at strengthening Greek at tertiary level .
Jordan Moschovitis, NUGAS education representative, made the commitment that they would attend the afterhours GCM Greek schools and talk to senior students about university life, as well as the significance of continuing Greek studies at tertiary level.
NUGAS Victoria President Nick Tzoutzidis also accepted the GCM’s offer to organise a forum which will give students the opportunity to put forward their view on how they see the future of the Greek community in Australia.
This forum will be part of the GCM’s 120 year anniversary activities and will take place later this year.