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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 February 2015
24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015 NEWS Greece defiant CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Eurozone finance ministers will meet today (Australian time) in Brussels to consider the request, the chairman of their Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said in a tweet. That raised hopes of a deal to avert possible bankruptcy and a Greek exit from the 19-nation currency area. Murdoch pushes Grexit CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The twitterings of the 84-year-old media mogul have become something of a phenomenon since he opened his account three years ago; a window into the private and politically sensitive thoughts of one of the most influential men on earth. Before social media he was known for keeping in the background and avoiding airing his own views publicly, all the while seeking to sway elections and policies through the editorial of his news media across the world. But today the octogenarian (reportedly worth over $13bn) is happy to share his not inconsiderable opinions with 562,000 followers and through them, millions more. Highlights from Mr Murdoch's colourful tweeting history include the one where he insulted an entire nation - the UK, on the occasion of a public holiday. "Maybe Brits have too many holidays for a broke country!" said the man who played no small role in the victories of successive British prime ministers from the 1980s onwards. In less than 140 characters, Mr Murdoch's tweets have gone on to push his forthright views on - amongst other subjects - Mitt Romney's suitability for the Republican US presidential candidacy, Tony Abbott's performance (and the need for Peta Credlin to be sacked) and the removal of the British monarchy. Unfiltered, Mr Murdoch's ponderings have at times caused offence on a global scale. One recent tweet gained immediate notoriety when he delved into definitions of Islamic extremism. "Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognise and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible," he tweeted in January. The notion that all Muslims should be held responsible for the actions of a tiny minority was widely condemned. Perhaps Margaret Simons, director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, put it best in her interview with The Guardian last month. "Twitter has been very bad for him," said Simons. "It has revealed something that those closest to him have always known: that his personal politics, and the way he intervenes in politics, are quite crude. It's there for everyone to see now: Rupert Murdoch is not the world's deepest thinker." Marble replicas coming soon CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The statues were commissioned through the building's architects, Bruce Henderson Architects, and was a part the GOCMV's planning proposal to the council from the start. "It was part of the process we went through to commit to the council that this is a project worth supporting and that's why it was approved in record time," says Mr Papastergiadis. Being so visible to the public, Mr Papastergiadis believes it will act as a reminder of the situation to Greeks and non-Greeks. "It will serve that purpose of providing direct education about the current situation of the Parthenon Marbles," he says. GOCMV hopes to unveil the statues in the next month or so and will host a small celebration for the unveiling. Never too early: babies and bilingualism Protypo Greek Centre’s Dr Maria Gindidis says the benefits of immersing your child in a bilingual environment as early as possible are staggering HELEN VELISSARIS Bilingual babies have a much bigger advantage than their monolingual counterparts. They have improved listening, problem-solving and reasoning skills, all thanks to tackling two languages at once. New research has shown that from seven months old, a baby can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures. Bilingual babies can also easily adjust to environmental changes and have the ability to distinguish and process sounds of foreign languages from very early on. All of these benefits happen even before they can talk. Dr Maria Gindidis, a Monash University lecturer in teacher education and unit coordinator languages education has seen this first hand with her Bilingual Bubs program at Protypo Greek Centre. As the principal of the school for more than 30 years, Dr Gindidis has seen a huge demand in parents seeking bilingual playgroups and teaching environments as more parents become informed of the benefits. "The greatest gift they're giving their child is cogni- Bilingual bubs program at Protypo Greek Centre. tive flexibility," she tells Neos Kosmos. "By exposing their baby to different sounds, to different words, what you're allowing the brain to do is very simply understand that there is more than one way to say something. "A monolingual child just accepts that this word is, for instance, 'chair'. Yet a bilingual child will recognise chair as karekla and they're starting to think, ‘OK, there are two ways to describe something’." Having introduced the baby and toddler program to her school five years ago, she's seen a strong progression in language skills from those students. "What we've seen is an incredible confidence with the language, confidence with using music and taking those risks that you need to." Parents from non-ethnic backgrounds are also heading the call. Dr Gindidis says that around 50 per cent of the children enrolled at the school are coming from mixed families. "We've attacked a clientèle that is not your usual Greek school clientèle," Dr Gindidis says. Even the federal govern- ment is trailing a new online language program this year in 40 early learning centres with the hopes of introducing children to languages that are part of the national curriculum. Dr Gindidis says even by the age of eight, language learning might be too late. "They'll never be able to say a strong R sound if they're introduced to it after the age of eight, because the vocal cords are already formed," she says. Demand for her Bilingual Bubs program has reached capacity, with Dr Gindidis now looking for new larger venues to house the parents and children already on the waiting list. Protypo Greek Centre operates out of Oakleigh Primary School and teaches more than 600 students from infants all the way up to VCE level in Greek. Classes are held on Saturday mornings for the baby and toddler program, Friday evenings for the years 5-9 students and Monday evenings for VCE students. For more information, visit www.protypo.com.au or follow the school on Twitter or Facebook. AHEPA Youth’s Path to Paradise Fun Run Athletically-inclined Greeks and the not-so-fit will be joining forces to raise funds to help Father Themi's Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone next week in AHEPA Youth's Path to Paradise Fun Run. The run will be divided into two levels, with runners able to choose from a 3.2 kilometre run or walk and a 6.4 kilometre run. The event will also host a barbeque and a cake stall, allowing participants to make the most of Melbourne's first autumn afternoon for 2015, and to allow them to start the new season on a healthy foot. Newly elected AHEPA Youth president Anthea Tsaousis has continued the organi- sation's support of Father Themis' mission and the charity Paradise 4 Kids and says all the funds raised will go towards buying much needed supplies. She says the fun run is "instrumental in helping support a worthy cause, as every dollar raised will buy tangible supplies, such as chlorine sachets, that are needed to prevent the spread of the tragic Ebola virus". Father Themis has been helping more than 3,000 families who are currently suffering at the hands of Ebola. To register for the fun run, head to: www.trybooking. com/GSSK All members of the public DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Father Themis in Sierra Leone. are invited to join, with tickets for adults at $25 and tickets for children at just $10. If you are unable to attend the event, donations can also be made through the above website.
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