2011 has been a year full of activities in the areas of education, arts, history and culture for the Greek Community.
- The dream of Greek Community Cultural Centre became a reality with an announcement of $2million in funding from the Victorian State Government and $1.3 million in donations from private benefactors. Works are set to commence in 2012.
- Construction on the new multipurpose hall at Alphington Grammar School was completed and the centre was officially opened and named the ‘Andrianakos Centre’ after its major benefactor.
- The enrolments of our afternoon and Saturday Greek Schools has increased significantly to 1,000 from 650 three years ago. The schools run on Monday nights, Friday nights and Saturday mornings at three different campuses and we aim to further expand out catchment region.
- The GOCMV was actively involved in the fight to keep the Greek language in Government Schools. They joined parents, supporters and other community organisations to protest the termination of the Greek program at Wales St. Primary and the potential loss of the Greek Department La Trobe and Monash Universities.
- In conjunction with La Trobe University a successful series of Greek History and Culture Seminars were conducted throughout the year. Over 150 people attended the seminars which ran over 30 weeks and were presented by local Greek academics who donated their time and resources.
- The GOCMV initiated talks with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship regarding the migration of Greek citizens to Australia. These talks led to a SkillsExpo being held in Athens and the commencement of the process for the signing of a Bi-lateral agreement between Australia and Greece which would allow Greek migrants to live and work in Australia.
- The annual Glendi on Lonsdale Street was given a carnivale flavour this year and proved to be a success with over 150,000 people attending over the weekend. The Greek Film Festival also returned with over 8,000 people enjoying the best of contemporary Greek cinema.
Some of the key events of 2011 included:
Welcoming the new Consul General for Greece in Melbourne - 21 February
A function was held to welcome and honour the new Consul General for Greece in Melbourne Ms. Eleni Lianidou with over 150 in attendance including politicians, representatives of Greek community organisations, members and supporters of the GOCMV.
Antipodes Lonsdale Street Glendi - 5-6 March
The Premier of Victoria Mr. Ted Baillieu officially launched the 2011 Antipodes Festival at the annual Glendi on Lonsdale Street and over 150,000 people attended the 2-day event.
Greek History and Culture Seminars - March 17
The GOCMV and the Greek Program of La Trobe University offered a series of Greek History and Culture during the 2011 academic year.
Alphington Grammar Multipurpose Hall Opening - March 20
The Federal Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism Mr. Martin Ferguson officially opened the Andrianakos Centre at Alphington Grammar.
GOCMV honours Greek politicians - March 27
The GOCMV hosted an event in honour of the visiting parliamentarians of the Hellenic Republic and members of the Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad, Mr. Elias Karanikas, Mr. Ioannis Ziogas and Mr. Marios Salmas.
Poetry afternoon with Tsaloumas - April 10
Many friends of poetry had a unique opportunity to meet the 89 year old Greek Australian poet Dimitris Tsaloumas, held in his honour at the Greek Community Centre.
Premier announces $2m funding for the Greek Cultural Centre - April 29
The Premier of Victoria Mr. Ted Baillieu announced the funding of $2million for the Community’s Cultural Centre project, at a function held at the Greek Community Centre. Amongst those present were the Minister for Multiculturalism & Citizenship the Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras, The Consul General of the Hellenic Republic Ms. Eleni Lianidou, representatives of Greek community organisations, Greek community benefactors Messers Koukouvitakis, Andrianakos, Sikavitsas, Argyropoulos and Kalyvas as well as members of the Board of Management of the GOCMV.
The future of the Greek Language - May 3
A meeting was organised by the GOCMV Afternoon/Saturday Greek Language schools, the Modern Greek Teachers Association of Victoria and the Office for Education of the Greek Consulate, at the Greek Community Centre, to discuss the future of the Greek language in Australia.
Meeting with the Ambassador of Greece - May 9
The president and members of the Board of the GOCMV met with the ambassador of Greece Mr A. Christopoulos and the Consul General of Greece Ms E. Lianidou.
Teachers meeting at Alphington Grammar - May 22
The GOCMV, MGTAV and the Education Consulate organised a BBQ at Alphington Grammar School for the teachers of Modern Greek in Melbourne.
Amphibian Fate: A Tribute To Nikos Kavvadias - June 5
Local poets and musicians came together to celebrate the work of Nikos Kavvadias, 50 years after his first visit to Melbourne.
The GOCMV thanks the Cultural Centre Benefactors - June 6
The GOCMV Board of Management organised a special function to thank the first benefactors of the Greek Community Cultural Centre, in the presence of State Government representatives, representatives of the Greek Consul and the Greek media.
The GOCMV Migration Committee meets with Minister Chris Bowen - June 15
The GOCMV Migration Committee met with Minister for Immigration & Citizenship Mr Chris Bowen in Canberra to discuss at length the problems currently faced by Greek citizens who wish to migrate to Australia.
Cross Cultural Women’s Leadership Forum - June 16
Over 120 women attended the inaugural Cross Cultural Women’s Leadership Forum hosted by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) at BMW Edge, Federation Square.
The GOCMV supports and embraces multiculturalism - June 24
An evening was organised at Alphington Grammar’s new Multipurpose Hall to launch the ‘Parliamentary Friends for Multiculturalism’ group in Victoria, an initiative of the Federal Parliamentarians Ms. Maria Vamvakinou, Member for Calwell and Mr. Russel Broadbent, Member for McMillan.
A special event for Cyprus - July 17
A literary memorial "The struggle of Cyprus through literature" was organised at the Greek Community Centre. Board members also participated in the protest for the Cyprus issue outside the Parliament House of Victoria.
Flavours of Greece - August 17
The Antipodes Festival, the GOCMV and Bank of Cyprus Australia launched the Flavours of Greece Festival for 2011. The Festival included events at 5 of Melbourne’s top Greek restaurants.
GOCMV First Minutes (1897) - 24 August
On the occasion of the 114th anniversary of the Greek Community’s establishment, the very first minutes which covered the period 1897 - 1916 were published on the Community’s website.
GOCMV Greek Schools Dance - 17 September
Over 300 students, parents and teachers attended the annual afternoon and Saturday Greek Schools dance at Stars International Receptions.
18th Greek Film Festival - 12-31 October
The 18th Greek Film Festival was launched at Palace Cinema Como with over 700 people in attendance. For two and a half weeks over 8,000 people enjoyed the best of contemporary Greek cinema and three special events including opening night, A Taste of Crete and the Rembetiko Closing Night event,
A Hellenic Sky in the centre of Melbourne - 17 October
Nicholas Kotsiras MP officially launched the installation of new blue and white lights over the intersection of Russel and Lonsdale Streets to signify the entrance to the Greek Precinct.
Seminar by Professor M. Tsianikas at the GOCMV - 3 November
A seminar was presented by Professor M. Tsianikas of Flinders University on the topic of the aging population of first generation Greeks and the Greek Diaspora of Australia.
Lecture by Lambis Englezos - 13 November
Lambis Englezos presented a lecture about his search to find the missing Australian diggers from the Battle of Fromelles in France during the First World War.
Greek History and Culture Seminars Certificate Presentation - 17 November
A function was held to mark the end of the Greek History and Culture Seminar series for 2011 and to present certificates to students and to thank presenters for donating their time and resources
Christiana Aloneftis in Recital - 20 November
The GOCMV organised an evening of Greek song and classical music to support the musical aspirations of young Greek Australian soprano Christiana Aloneftis.