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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 APRIL 2015 27 OPINION OPINION TIM CARTWRIGHT Crimes motivated by prejudice Our diverse and multicultural community is one of our state's greatest strengths. The Victorian community collectively comes from more than 200 countries, speaks more than 230 languages and dialects, and follows 135 faiths. It is an honour to serve such a rich and diverse community that so many Victorians are proud of. Sadly, I have seen unacceptable reports of crimes and incidents motivated by prejudice, discrimination LETTERS Family violence This Royal Commission into Family Violence released an issues paper to assist individuals and organisations in lodging written submissions. The issues paper includes themes and questions to aid writers in providing the most valuable information about what works and what doesn't work in the current family violence system. The Royal Commission has been tasked with investigating the problem of family violence from every perspective. This issue makes up 40 per cent of all police work and is the leading contributor to death and disability in women under 45. One in every three women on your train, tram or bus or at your local supermarket is a victim of family violence. The system is broken and we must do more to keep women and children safe. Royal Commissions shine a spotlight on critical issues in a way no other kind of inquiry can. I urge stakeholders, organisations and victims to make their voices heard. Submissions can be made anonymously and confidentially or can be made publicly. Submissions close on May 29. For more information on how to make a written submission and for a copy of the issues paper, visit www.rcfv.com.au Fiona Richardson Victorian Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Women The EOKA uprising Each year passing the memory of all those brave EOKA revolutionaries retells us that without a dream or a vision there is no hope or a future. They victoriously fought for an impossible dream but in the end were betrayed by the political elite. No more than a handful of dedicated young people, they changed the historical turn of events and toppled the powerful British colonial rule on the island. Motivated by the blind desire of freedom, a devoted youth and others joined the secret EOKA organisation. Driven by the romantic vision of liberation, they believed in themselves to do the impossible and free this land; that they did. Rightly or wrongly those were the kind of people that Cyprus bred and produced in the past: people with dignity, principles and faith in themselves to do the right thing. At the threat of their lives and fear of incarceration in the infamous dreaded concentration camps to taste the brutality of Omorphita torture chambers, they did not shy away and many ended up Andantes (guerrillas) to live in the mountains and in hiding, with a price on their heads. Grigorios Afxentiou was one of those heroes; he refused to save his skin for a principle; freedom and justice. For that he was drenched in gasoline and burned alive by the British Army while fighting in his hideout. There were many other warriors who met a similar fate but that was the calibre of youth Cyprus produced; innocent people who loved and fought for their country. Today it's a different sto- ry. There are no heroes to aspire to or to inspire the youth for excellence. There is no resistance, but defeatism controlled by a corrupt politicocracy that puts shame on the entire nation; a nation that has accepted EU serfdom rather than do the right thing and fight for justice. Instead, the new heroes of the day are petty politicians, inglorious presidents, massmedia presenters, EU-troika and crooked bankers. Profit at any cost has become the new religion of the day. The inspiration to do the right thing has vanished and economic colonialism is accepted without a fight. Bravo Cyprus… Andreas C Chrysafis Cyprus Inheriting the Greek language The Greek language is truly a gift to the development of European civilisation, and its culture has influenced many people extending beyond the borders of Europe. Although many educated Europeans carried with them the love for the ancient Greek language and culture upon settling in the New World, not much was known about the Greek culture as a whole. It wasn't until the early 20th and racism occurring in our community. Crimes that are motivated by prejudice take many forms. Some include physical assault, damage to property, harassment, verbal or written abuse, threats or offensive graffiti. In whatever form it takes, this is a very serious crime and should be reported to police. Last year there were reports of women who were assaulted on public transport for wearing a hijab. Some women have been a victim of this, some have witnessed it, and others may simply fear that it will happen to them. When incidents like these are reported to police, we are able to thoroughly investigate and make every attempt to hold offenders accountable. In many cases offenders have been charged and prosecuted. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in the community. This includes when practising their faith and pursuing their values, beliefs and interests. If a person chooses to wear a hijab, habit, burqa, turban, yamaka or any other faith attire, it is a choice that should be respected, as it is their democratic right to do so. Prejudice, discrimination and racism do not belong in the Victorian community. The diversity and multiculturalism of Victoria needs to be protected. I understand some members of the community may feel afraid to report this type of crime or may simply believe that Victoria Police won't take it seriously. I can assure you, we do take these crimes and incidents very seriously. I have reiterated across the organisation for our members to identify, address and respond to any crimes or incidents that are motivated by prejudice. We are here to help. If you are a victim or a witness, inform Victoria Police. We investigate all reports and make every attempt to hold offenders accountable. Our message to the community is that no-one should be afraid to report a crime. If you are in an emergency dial 000 immediately. If you are a victim please contact your local police station or you can call Crime Stoppers confidentially on 1800 333 000. It is everyone's responsibility to make sure crimes motivated by prejudice are brought to the attention of Victoria Police and that all Victorians are accepting of cultural diversity. *Tim Cartwright APM is Acting Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Email your letter to: email@example.com century that Greeks established themselves in the diaspora, creating communities, schools, clubs, and associations, which served as a benchmark of locality, as well as a tool for the spreading of Hellenism. One thing we should never forget is that our culture is in our language. We owe the sole preservation of Hellenism to our Greek language, and the survival of the Greek language abroad to our community schools and to our parents. If it were not for the tireless efforts of our families, our community day schools and afternoon schools to teach all of this to the new generations of Greeks in the United States and around the world, the Greek language would not have been alive now. As the years pass, we, the new generation of Greeks of the diaspora, find ourselves using less of the Greek language, as our interactions in the United States and Australia compel us to speak more English. Unfortunately, as new generations of Greek Americans Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Should Greek Easter be celebrated in the same week as Catholic Easter? 44 % YES 56 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Greece has asked Germany to pay 279 billion euros for war reparations. Is that an exorbitant price? Yes/No Vote online now. Go to neoskosmos.com Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. 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Editor-in-Chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Graphic Design: Peter Kelidis Fotis Petsinis Contributors: Dora Kitinas-Gogos Christopher Gogos Journalists: Proof Reader: Angela Costanzo Maja Jovic, Helen Velissaris, Michael Sweet, Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Alexandra Manatakis and Greek Australians are born, the language gap will widen even more. However, that does not mean that we should give up. We have inherited a huge obligation to pass Hellenism on and keep our Greek culture alive. We are all responsible to learn Greek, pass it on. We must try even harder than our parents and forefathers did, and they did everything possible to keep our culture alive for more than 2,000 years, even under foreign occupations. Many died for our freedom and for the re-establishment of modern Greece and Hellenism. Pass the gift of Greek onwards to the next generation, because it will impact on them for the rest of their lives, as it has done to the world. Our forefathers, the ancient Greeks, made enormous contributions to mankind in the fields of politics, with the invention of democracy, in science, astronomy, medicine, architecture, the theatre, the arts, athletics, music and dance, and they invented the notes for music which are used until this very day ... and much, much more! We have every good reason to be proud of our Hellenic identity and heritage and through the maintenance of our Greek language to keep it alive and pass it on to the next generations. Savvas Grigoropoulos Victoria Please note that the submission of a letter does not guarantee that it will be published. We reserve the right to edit your letter for clarity, grammar, spelling and style. Letters that use inappropriate language will not be published. All letters published will include the author’s name and location. 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18 April 2015