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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 26 March 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 26 MARCH 2016 9 NEWS Hellenism and Anzac at the forefront It was standing room only in the Strangers' Room of Parliament House of NSW for the function of the Consulate-General for the 195th anniversary of the War of Independence. Speakers were NSW Premier Mike Baird MP, the Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley MP and Consul-General Dr Stavros Kyrimis. Among the audience was a large number of parliamentarians of all parties, including Eleni Pettinos MP (Liberal; Miranda), Sophie Cotsis MLC (ALP), Courtney Houssos MLC (ALP) and Steve Kamper (ALP; Rockdale), along with Philhellenes David Elliott (Minister for Veterans' Affairs and chair of the NSW-Hellas Parliamentary Friendship Group), David Clarke MLC (Liberal) and the Rev. Fred Nile MLC (Christian Democrats). The simple celebration included an orchestral ensemble and the Greek Orthodox Christian Society Choir, who performed the songs Exodus from Messolonghi, 40 Pallikaria, Poune ta Hronia and Aprili mou. Rabbi Dr Dovid Slaven and Mr Amir Salem, from Alexandria, Egypt, flawlessly performed MC duties, informing the assembly about the Hellenic War of Independence (1821-1829), about the first Hellenes of Australia who were fighters in the war, and about the diachronic contributions of Hellenic civilisation through democracy, literature and the arts. Greek Consul-General Dr Stavros Kyrimis (C) among some of the guests. The highlight of the event was the announcement by the consul-general that the Australian Hellenic community of Sydney is preparing 400 marble plaques with bilingual inscriptions related to Hellenism and Anzac. As 2016 marks the Centenary of the Anzacs on the Macedonian Front (1916) and the 75th anniversary of the 1941 Greek Campaign, the plaques are another marker of the Hellenic-Anzac relationship. They are replicas of an inscription of a war memorial of the ancient Athenians, erected in 447BC to the memory of their fallen during expeditions to the Thracian Chersonese - modern Gallipoli. The stele bears the names of the fallen hoplites and the following inscription: ΗΟΙΔΕΠΑΡΗΕΛΛΗΣΠΟΝ ΤΟΝΑΠΟΛΕΣΑΝΑΓΛΑΟΝΗ ΕΒΕΝ ΒΑΡΝΑΜΕΝΟΙΣΦΕΤΕΡΑΝ ΛΕΥΚΛΕΙΣΑΜΠΑΤΡΙΔΑ ΙΟΣΤΕΧΟΡΟΣΣΤΕΝΑΧΕΜΠ ΟΛΕΜΟΘΕΡΟΣΕΚΚΟΜΙΣΑΝ ΤΑΣΑΥΤΟΙΣΔΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΝΜ ΝΕΜΑΡΕΤΕΣΕΘΕΣΑΝ All three men immediately recognised how apt this ancient Hellenic inscription related to the Anzacs - young men fighting and dying on the same strip of ground more than 2,400 years apart. John Treloar, director of the Australian War Memorial (then under construction), arranged to have a plaster cast of the inscription made through the offices of Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Hughes. He worked with the Imperial War Graves Commission in the Eastern Mediterranean. Initially Hughes acquired a 'squeeze' - an impression made of thick paper. However, as this would not make a satisfactory display item, Treloar asked him to acquire a plaster cast for the memorial. The stele once stood in the section of the ancient Kerameikos Cemetery. [Doing battle beside the Hellespont these men lost their shining youth. They brought honour to their homeland, so that the enemy groaned as it carried off the harvest of war, and for themselves they set up a deathless memorial of their courage.] Under the leadership of the Hellenic Village organisation (formerly the Federation of Hellenic Philanthropic Associations, under the presi- dency of John Kallimanis), 400 replicas in marble will be installed in public spaces across New South Wales: museums, clubs, public service offices, and schools. The stele once stood in the section of the ancient Kerameikos Cemetery, towards Akademias Platonos Street, north of the present-day Church of the Holy Trinity. That space was the military cemetery of ancient Athens, known as the 'Demosion Sema'. It has been at the National Epigraphic Museum in Athens since 1881. In 1932 the Australian poet and Classical Greek scholar Christopher Brennan brought the original inscription to the attention of his friend, solicitor Robert Innes Kay. Kay then brought it to the attention of Australian Official Historian CEW Bean. In November and December 1935, a plaster cast was made and received by the memorial in February 1936. It was initially housed in Melbourne and later in Sydney. It was not displayed in the memorial's permanent building in Canberra until 1954. The cast was on display in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Valour for some time, but has since been set into a wall in the administration area of the memorial complex, out of the public view. Through the Hellenic Village organisation under the presidency of John Kallimanis, this neglected aspect of Hellenism in the Antipodes is returning to the light. FECCA welcomes ALP’s plan to tackle inequality and support early childhood The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) has welcomed the Australian Labor Party's social policy agenda, 'Our Future - Growing Together', that aims to tackle inequality. Major national social re- forms are imperative to provide unique pathways for achieving positive outcomes for all individuals. FECCA highlights the importance of child care and early childhood education for CALD children. The quality of life of migrant and refugee children is directly affected by their access to appropriate early childhood education and care services. Social reforms that are both inclusive and responsive are necessary to meet the needs of this group. "We welcome federal Labor's agenda outline targeted strategies for CALD families, to ensure children from CALD backgrounds are given the same opportunities as every other Australian child," said FECCA chairperson Joe Caputo. "We are pleased to see that the ALP's agenda recognises that families from culturally and linguistically diverse communities may require greater support in the early years of their children's lives." Childcare and preschool attendance have been consist- ently found to affect early child development. Children of migrants and refugees may not have much or any exposure to English language at home, so early childhood education is particularly important for the development of their language skills. Childcare also provides an important opportunity for migrant children to be exposed to Australian social culture, assisting with their later transition to formal schooling. FECCA believes that the right resources must be invested into early childhood development and education, to ensure that children from CALD backgrounds develop a sense of belonging, have ac- cess to adequate support, and are empowered to preserve and develop their cultural identity. Mr Caputo said FECCA is also pleased to see a focus on strengthening community engagement in policy development, including CALD communities and organisations. “With migrants and their children making up a significant proportion of the Australian population, for society to be harmonious, fair, equitable and prosperous, there is a need for policies that ensure all Australians, regardless of their background, can contribute to Australian society and, in turn, benefit from it,” he said. FECCA chair Joe Caputo.
19 March 2016
2 April 2016