Coalition commits $590.000 for the programs of the Greek Community of Melbourne

by on 20/06/2016

MELBOURNE | A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will invest $590,000 to support the invaluable contribution the Greek community makes to Melbourne.

The announcement was made by Senator Arthur Sinodinos together with the Federal Member for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer, Liberal Candidate for Chisholm, Julia Banks, Liberal candidate for Hotham, George Hua, and Liberal candidate for Batman, George Souris, during a meeting with the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis, General Secretary, Costas Markos and the Director of the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture, Jorge Menidis, at the Greek Centre, last Saturday.

Senator Sinodinos said with more than 150,000 Melburnians of Greek heritage, Melbourne is home to the largest Greek population of any city outside of Greece. Melburnians of Greek heritage have made a tremendous contribution to Australia and are a unique part of Melbourne’s warm and welcoming multicultural community. “To help support education and multiculturalism, the Coalition will provide $90,000 to support advanced Greek language and culture courses administered by the Greek Community of Melbourne,” Senator Sinodinos said.

The Greek Community of Melbourne runs a number of language and cultural programs, including Greek Language schools for over 2,000 primary and secondary students across 14 campuses in Melbourne. The Greek Community of Melbourne will contribute $254,000 to the program.

We will also provide $300,000 to support the ‘Melbourne Greek Story’ exhibition at the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture Gallery. Our funding will ensure the appointment of a curator, research, and the purchase of exhibition space materials, such as installation screens and computer equipment. The Melbourne Greek Story is an important and open cultural event that will express the heritage of Melbourne’s Greek community, its invaluable contribution to Melbourne, and the ongoing connections between Australia and Greece.

“Understanding and researching the contribution of Greeks to Australia not only expands knowledge of our collective past, but further strengthens the relationship between our two countries,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“We will provide $100,000 so that the Greek Community of Melbourne can engage a historian to publish two non-fiction works on the history of Melbourne’s Greek community,” Senator Sinodinos said.

The Coalition will also provide $100,000 for a study into the economic benefits of three key proponents of Greek Melbourne: the Lonsdale Street Festival, the Historic Lonsdale Street Greek Precinct and the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Greek Centre. “The Greek community is an important part of Melbourne’s social fabric and its contribution, history, and opportunities should be supported and celebrated.” Ms Banks said.

The Coalition’s commitment will help support jobs, investment and education in Melbourne’s Greek community.

“It is a great day for our organisation and for the Greeks of Melbourne,” said Mr. Papastergiadis. “Senator Sinodinos has a deep understanding of the benefits of multiculturalism and the role that the Greek community has played in Australian history and culture. The programs designed by our community highlight the rich history of Greeks in Australia and the Greek Community of Melbourne.

“But our story does not end here and with this grant we can continue the journey of the Greeks in this country and strive to develop and further increase our rich contribution.

“The Greek Community of Melbourne wants to set an example of how a community can work coherently and constructively, and this is more important than ever, as we have so many emerging migrant communities in Australia. The Greek Community wants to work with them and help them in this journey and at the same time to learn even more about itself and its place in Australia. ”

“We would like thank the Coalition because it recognizes our work and the Greek contribution in Australia and is prepared to assist our educational and cultural programs.”