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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 March 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2016 5 NEWS Speaking Greek the key to preserving cultural identity Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott has announced that the Andrews Labor government will provide $20,000 towards the Speak Greek in March campaign. Now in its second year, Speak Greek in March promotes the Greek language in the community and encourages upcoming generations to learn Greek. The campaign includes lectures, competitions, exhibitions and promotion in schools. The campaign runs throughout March to coincide with the first term of the school year as well as a number of Greek cultural activities, including the celebration of Greek Independence Day and the Lonsdale Street Festival. Greek is the second most popular language after English in Victoria. According to the 2011 census, approximately 117,000 Victorians spoke Greek at home. By encouraging more people to speak Greek at home, at school, or at social gatherings, the Victorian Greek diaspora will become stronger. In 2015, 2,879 students studied Greek in government primary schools, secondary colleges and the Victorian School of languages. Greek was taught by 22 teachers in 11 primary and six secondary schools. A total of 127 students studied Greek at VCE level. The Department of Education and Training also provided funding to 37 accredited Greek community language schools which provided a Prep-Year 12 Greek language program to 6,169 students. "Melbourne is proud to be the third-largest Greek speaking city outside of Greece, and one of the best ways to preserve and share its culture is through language,” said Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott. "Victoria's diversity is critical to our success as a state. Initiatives such as Speak Greek in March help to maintain and promote that diversity, not just for Greek Aus- tralians, but for all Australians," he added. Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said that preserving community language is an important way for migrants to stay connected to their culture and for future generations to develop such a connection. "As a bilingual speaker myself, I recognise the enormous contribution that the Greek language has had in mathematics, science and other fields of learning," Ms Mikakos said. The Speak Greek in March campaign aims to encourage and to give opportunities to Hellenophiles and speakers of Greek to use the Greek language as much as possible in their everyday lives. L-R: K. Neophytou, Nick Staikos, Jenny Mikakos, Robin Scott, Helen Kapalos and Mike Zafiropoulos. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. Transterritorial Hellenism DIMITRI GONIS This summer, La Trobe University's Greek Studies Program introduced the subject Transterritorial Hellenism: A Journey through some sites as a pilot summer intensive program. The course was an overwhelming success and we look forward to running it again during the 2017 summer break. We were privileged to teach a subject on the Greek diaspora in a space that today epitomises the Greek Australian diaspora and dream. We were also very privileged to work with a team of wonderful and genuinely supportive individuals. The La Trobe University Greek Studies department was established 29 years ago. It has seen thousands of students study the Greek language, history and culture. We are delighted to say that after so many years the program is still strong and remains the only comprehensive Greek Studies program in Victoria. Early 2016 enrolments indicate there is a resurgent interest in Greek studies, with a substantial increase in the number of students. On behalf of program coordinator Dr Maria Herodotou and myself, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to all, and in particular to management of the Greek Cultural Centre who made it all possible. We would also like to thank Neos Kosmos for its generous promotion of the subject.
27 February 2016
12 March 2016