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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 November 2015
NEWS 4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM New Box Hill Community Centre officially open Almost two years and $3 million later, members of the Greek Orthodox Community of Box Hill and Districts had their first official look inside the new cultural and community centre. The impressive building was unveiled on Sunday, showcasing a fully-equipped space which will facilitate Greek language lessons, along with various social gatherings and events. A blessing ceremony was conducted by Bishop Ezekiel Dervis, accompanied by Father Dionysios. President of the Community Nick Farlekas then took to the stage to express his enthusiasm for the finished project. Also delivering speeches were community secretary Kostas Tousia, Greek Consul General Christina Simantiraki, and past Community president George Stoupa, who also played a significant role in conceptualising the centre. Among the community members present were a number of political representatives, including state MP Steve Dimopoulos, City of Whitehorse mayor, Cr Philip Daw, and federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke. Following the cutting of the ribbon ceremony, students of the Community's Greek language school entertained those who had gathered fpr the opening with songs and dance performances. The hall set up to entertain its first guests from the Community. President of the Greek Community of Box Hill, Nick Farlekas (L) and president The cultural and community centre in all its glory. of the trustees P. Kiratsis unveil the plaque of the new community centre. PHOTOS: KOSTAS DEVES. Philip Vakos wins culinary race for diversity The brainchild of radio presenter Jon Faine, the Cook Off challenge was broadcast live on 774 ABC VMC chairperson Helen Kapalos joined The Project's Waleed Aly, food writer and editor Tania Cammarano and John Cleary from ABC Radio’s Sunday Nights to judge the exciting fusions of four culturally-diverse chefs from Melbourne's multicultural museums. The four chefs brought their credentials to the chopping board, representing the Hellenic Museum, Museo Italiano, the Islamic Museum of Australia and the Jewish Museum, in a challenge to cook up the culinary delights of cultures other than their own. Hosted by Jon Faine and Libbi Gore, the Cook Off also A multi-purpose space, equipped with a kitchenette. Recovering student loans from overseas residents People who have benefited from Australian student loans and now live overseas will pay for them the same way they would if they lived in Australia following the passage of legislation through parliament. Minister for Education and featured Samira El Khafir, another 2013 MasterChef finalist who published her own cookbook Eat With Love, and the proud owner of Modern Middle Eastern Cafe at the Islamic Museum of Australia, alongside Harrison Lockett, a chef with a passion for Italian cuisine stewed through early experience at the iconic University Cafe in Carlton. "A culinary exchange is a great opportunity to experience the rich identity of Victoria's diverse cultures, deepening our cultural understanding and promoting social harmony," said Ms Kapalos. Philip Vakos, representing the Hellenic Museum, won the main course round with a Greek spin on the Italian artichoke dish carciofi alla romana. Training Senator Simon Birmingham said it was estimated that up to $30 million was lost annually due to graduates moving overseas. Senator Birmingham said the passage of the (Overseas Debt Recovery) Bill 2015 and the Student Loans (Overseas Debtors Repayment Levy) Bill 2015 would ensure Australia's world-class, income-contingent student loans scheme was fairer and more sustainable into the future. "Until now, people who took out a loan under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) or a Trade Support Loan (TSL) and moved overseas were under no obligation to repay their debt as long as they remained offshore residents," Senator Bir- mingham said. "The Turnbull government is committed to ensuring the future sustainability of Australia's student loans scheme and to ensuring it is fair for all Australians. "From 2016-17, anyone who has a Higher Education Loan Program or Trade Support Loan debt who earns above the minimum repayment threshold (currently $54,126) will be required to make repayments regardless of where they live. Australian taxpayers have lost an estimated $400 million to $800 million due to non-repayment of debts from students living overseas since the student loan scheme started in 1989. "It is estimated that around $20-30 million each year was lost due to graduates moving overseas," Senator Birmingham said. "From 1 January 2016, all Australians with current and new HELP and TSL debt who move overseas for six months or more will be required to notify the ATO via the myGov website to facilitate repayments. "And from 1 July 2017, Australians with HELP and TSL debts who are non-residents for tax purposes will be required to assess their total Australian and foreignsourced income in order to make income-contingent repayments, starting with the 2016/17 financial year." Senator Birmingham said the Turnbull government's changes also enabled Australian and overseas authorities to better share data to support debt recovery.
7 November 2015