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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 June 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2016 9 NEWS Alex Bartzis, Health Promotion & Community Development Officer at Queensland AIDS Council, studied Business at the University of New South Wales and Political Science at The University of Queensland: "I personally have never been to a Greek and Gay support group though have heard of them. Though born in Greece as I had more of an Anglo/ Dutch upbringing after age two, I may not have needed them. I think though some young gay men raised in strong Greek families in Australia may still need them, though maybe not as much as in the past because there is more online support etc. While the Anglo-Saxons don't need them anymore (because apparently it's easier for them to come out and proud), Greeks, Arabs, Italians etc gays, are still struggling mainly because of their religion and the social stigma within their ethnic community. I am culturally Anglo-Saxon much more than Greek, I can imagine if I was raised in Greece by my family there until say age 16 and then moved Australia, I would need more support to come out, including from Gay and Greek groups. Having said that, my Dutch mother was still not completely accepting when she found out I was gay at age 16." Theodore Timothy Tsipiras, Officer of Senior Voices Project, a group that addresses the challenging issues of HIV and aging, and works for Living Positive Victoria: "I think it’s very important that we build on support groups in our community. As much as the younger generation has it easier, there is a lot that can be learnt through intergenerational communication. People are quick to think that support groups are much like other social media platforms, like screaming in a forest, people think that they're not being heard. A lot of the time, as I've experienced in support groups for people living with HIV and survivors of child abuse, there is always someone there to have a chat... this is incredibly important to have these channels. If one person is able to get their thoughts out, or have the opportunity to learn something from someone who is completely unlike them, we are securing a healthier wider community. One thing that we need to do is encourage the younger generation to engage with these social groups." Greek and Gay’s 21st birthday dinner dance will take place on Saturday 25 June at Stars International Reception, 1C Bell Street, Preston, at 7.00 pm. For more information on the group and event details, visit www.greekandgay. com or the Facebook page www.facebook.com/greekkaigay. To purchase tickets, visit www.trybooking. com/179144 Church expresses concerns over Safe Schools program to educate parents on the program’s ‘concerning radical gender theory’ ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS Two information sessions will be run by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia The anti-bullying program Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) has come under fire by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, who claim that the program aims to "educate children from kindergarten through to high school about a homosexual and transgender life style". While the program claims to be anti-bullying, the Archdiocese's SRI program coordinator in Victoria, Daniel Bellis says the Church opposes the "radical gender theory" which they believe is being presented to students surrounding gender fluidity. "The traditional understanding of male and female gender is being displaced by gender radical theory where a person may no longer identify as male or female, and that is being taught to kids, and potentially confusing them. So that's what we're most concerned about," he told Neos Kosmos. The program which officially commenced in 2014, was designed by the SSCA to protect LGBTI school students from bullying and to further educate teachers and school staff about related issues. Run on a voluntary basis, there are currently 545 participating schools that have access to age appropriate and tailor made learning materials and resources for both staff and students. As it stands, opposition leader Bill Shorten has committed that Labor will continue to fund the program beyond 2017, while the federal government announced earlier this year that it would cease funding the program beyond 2017. Despite an independent expert review into Safe Schools that suggested the curriculum change to achieve its intended anti-bullying outcomes, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has committed the program will remain in place under his watch and that funding will be locked in at a state level regardless of the election outcome on July 2. While the church does not condone changing one's gender through surgery, based on the belief that "all people are made in the image of God", Mr Bellis says society shouldn't be so fixated on defining what it means to be a man or a woman. "It's no longer male or female... there's eight or 10 definitions of sexuality now, which seems to be liberating, but it's having the opposite effect and narrowing the expression of the individual's sexuality," he explains. "We advocate for a broad definition of what it means to be a male or female rather than the narrowing of the definition to include all these other types of genders." Reflecting on feedback from parents, Mr Bellis says the general consensus is that they feel it is their responsibility to discuss these matters with their children, rather than the school. Adding to their concern is the instruction in the Safe School's guide for teacher's that "consideration should be given... whether it would be appropriate to involve the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) in each decision" in the case of gender identity transition or affirmation, leading parents to feel out of the loop. To further inform parents of the Safe Schools program's content, the Archdiocese will run two information sessions this month in Victoria. Taking part as speakers over the two days will be president of the Australian Marriage Forum, Dr David van Gend, and rehabilitation counsellor and Sydney University associate professor Dr James Athanasou. Mother of four, Cella White, will also give a firsthand account of her experiences with the program. "We encourage parents to respond and to communicate with their schools that they believe it's their responsibility, and their right as well, to communicate these sensitive or complex issues to their own children when they believe the child is ready," says Mr Bellis. "A family unit knows their children and knows when it's best to have those conversations, as opposed to a teacher who has a class of 30 and only sees them for a limited number of hours each day." * Neos Kosmos reached out to a SSCA member school, yet they were unavailable for comment. The information sessions will be held on Saturday 25 June at 15 Blyth St, Brunswick, VIC at 5.30 pm and on Sunday 26 June at 8387 Wilesden Rd, Oakleigh,VIC at 5.00 pm. The wonders of ancient Cypriot pottery Melbourne's University's Dr Petronella Nel will be presenting a lecture on 'Ancient Cypriot Pottery – Analysis and Preservation' next week as part of the Greek Community of Melbourne's Greek History and Culture Seminars. Set to take place at the Greek Centre on Thursday 23 June, the presentation will explore a Cypriot pottery collection excavated in the early 20th century. Since its discovery, it has been used in exhibitions and as a reference in training archaeology students and archaeological research. More recently however, the collection has found a new role in the field of cultural materials conservation, given that many of the reconstructed vessels feature old repairs, which are now failing, making vessels difficult to store or handle, and unavailable for exhibition. Since the advent of the masters program in cultural materials con- servation in 2004 at the University of Melbourne's Grimwade Centre for Cultural Material Conservation (GCCMC), the collection has been used to train conservation students. The lecture will also reflect on the collection's role in an ARC funded project, which illustrated how use of the collection has evolved over time, and how conserving objects complements research into adhesive testing, potentially altering the types of adhesives used on ar- chaeological pottery. Given her role as a lecturer, researcher and objects conservator at the GCCMC, Dr Nel's presentation will give greater insight into the Cypriot collection and its continued benefits in the modern world. The lecture will take place on Thursday 23 June at the Greek Centre, Level 3, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC at 7:00 pm. Attendance is free of charge. 2016 GACL literary competition now open for submissions The Greek-Australian Cultural League of Melbourne annual Literary Competition, covers work written in either Greek or English in the following categories: poetry, short stories and one-act theatrical plays, by writers residing in Australia and is open to all ages. Participants are required to complete a registration form which can be downloaded from the Greek-Australian Cultural League website (www.gacl.com.au) and should be emailed to the Literary Competition address: email@example.com The adjudication will be separate Theodore Timothy Tsipiras for each language and submissions are accepted in one or all the categories and in one or both languages, with only one piece in each catego- ry they choose. Works with mixed language content, eg: parts of a dialogue in a poem, a short story or a one-act play, are acceptable, but they will be classified according to the language used in the largest part of the text, at the discretion of the judging panel. Works that do not comply with the limits of content, as prescribed below, will be automatically rejected and will not be forwarded to the panel of judges. All submissions should be the original work(s) of the authors and should not have been submitted in another competition or have been previously published. Poems can be up to 100 verses (lines) long, short stories up to 2000 words and one-act plays up to 15 minutes' duration. Each work submitted should be signed by a pseudonym (nom de plume) and the same pseudonym should be used in signing all the entries submitted by the same person. All competition entries should be sent only electronically (Word document attachment) to the competition email address: gaclitcomp@ gmail.com . Additionally, in a separate text sent to the same email address, participants are required to forward their particulars, including the pseudonym, the full name, address and telephone numbers and also, the number of verses in their poems and number of words in their short stories. The first prize in each category and in each language will be a commemorative trophy and a monetary prize. The second and third prizes and any commendations will be a relevant award certificate and books. In all categories and languages, the works awarded first prize will be published in the 62nd issue of the periodical Antipodes which will be launched on the day of the announcement of the awards. The deadline for the submission of works for participation in the Literary Competition 2016 is Friday 24 June 2016 and results will be announced on the day of the launch of the 62nd issue of the periodical Antipodes in October this year.
11 June 2016
25 June 2016