Both the Annual General Meeting and the Special General Meeting of the Greek Community of Melbourne were held in a calm and constructive atmosphere, on Sunday 29 April 2018, at the ‘Andrianakos Centre’ of the Alphington Grammar School.
Issues discussed at the AGM were the ratification of the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting, the reports of the President and the Treasurer and general issues that had been submitted by various members. The SGM was called pass constitutional changes for the increase of the annual membership fee.
The President, Mr Bill Papastergiadis, welcomed all members in attendance to the AGM. Mr Papastergiadis stated that it is unfortunate, but it has been confirmed by the Victorian Government, that the Bulleen property will be compulsory acquired in order to facilitate the development of the North East Link Freeway Project.
He noted that he had numerous meetings with the Victorian Government. However, it has been articulated by the Government within the last week, that the site will be acquired. The President, on behalf of the GCM, and more generally on behalf of the broader community, has on many occasions voiced the strong disappointment of the community in the loss of this site. He has made it clear to the Victorian Government that the re-development of the Bulleen property had captured the imagination of all, and it was embraced by the broader Greek community of Melbourne.
The President informed the AGM that the battle for this issue now resides with gaining appropriate re-zoning of the site and therefore subsequent appropriate compensation.
Mr Papastergiadis provided an overview of the key achievements made by the GCM over the 2017 calendar year (Click the image left or here to read). The President stated that these collective achievements arguably placed the GCM as the peak Greek global organisation.
The Financial Report was presented to the AGM by the General Secretary, Mr Costas Markos. The GCM Treasurer, Dr Marinis Pirpiris was overseas.
GCM Members Mr E. Tsitas spoke about the importance of the Bulleen property to the GCM and the opportunities which this site has in terms of in aged care, culture, and education. Mr Costas Markos reiterated the point that there was no point discussing the opportunities of this site as this site will be compulsory acquired by the Victorian Government.
Vice President Mr Theo Markos stated that we need to be realistic as there is no doubt that it will be acquired, and that the best we could do was to now pressure the Victorian Government about rezoning the site. That is, all members should apply pressure to the Government so that a good outcome is achieved for the community.
Mr Frixos Ioannidis expressed that the Greek Centre should have a permanent exhibition for artistic and cultural purposes. Mr Papastergiadis noted that the proposal by Mr Ioannidis had been part of the program works of the GCM for the last two years and that within three months a permanent exhibition space will be unveiled at the Greek Centre.
Mr Jorge Menidis, Director of the Greek Centre, updated members about the art/gallery space and invited all members to view the design and drawings he had on display.
Member Mr Chris Fifis proposed the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival to be organised the first week of March. Mr Theo Markos provided an alternative Motion which noted that that the GCM Board will be solely responsible for the finalisation of each year’s Festival dates. The Festival dates will be made in close consideration with the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne, the Greek Community of Sydney, and other factors such as Greek authorities and bodies. This alternate Motion was moved by 97% of the members present.
GCM Vice President Mr Nikos Koukouvitakis noted that the GCM we are now funding over $5 millin dollars in construction works at Alphington Grammar and he encouraged members and organisations to assist in this project.
In the Special General Meeting, the General Secretary read the Minutes of the last Special General Meeting. He also read the special resolution regarding the increase of membership fees. The President noted that the membership fee increase was proposed in order to assist with budgetary difficulties and in particular to cover the costs associated with the preparation and distribution of the GCM quarterly newsletter. The motion was successfully passed.