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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 February 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2017 3 NEWS The Macquarie Initiative celebrates 30 years of Modern Greek studies Over $23,000 was donated to the Modern Greek Studies Program, helping to cement its future On Saturday 4 February, students both past and present of the Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA), along with the Macquarie University Greek Studies Foundation and AHEPA NSW, came together to celebrate 30 years of the teaching of Modern Greek studies at Macquarie University. More than 250 people attended the Beta Bar Sydney, which was generously supported by the Hellenic Club. The occasion, however, was not merely organised to commemorate the time since Macquarie University began offering lessons of the Modern Greek language, but also history and culture, with teachings exploring various aspects of Greek literature. To understand wholly what MUGA set out to achieve by hosting The Macquarie Initiative, simply think back 10 to 20 years, and all that is needed is a comparison of the attitudes towards learning new languages, more pertinently, Modern Greek. Then observe the enrolment figures in Greek classes of the previous five years. The numbers explain everything. The decline in not only the students undertaking Modern Greek at universities all around Australia and the dissipating interest in Modern Greek studies is the cause of death for several Greek Studies departments all over the country. “We, as the students of Macquarie University, and proud, discerning members of our association, realise that the ship we captain should be steered in the direction of intellect. That is why we launched a new movement with the Macquarie Initiative,” MUGA president George Psihoyios told Neos Kosmos. “We did this to ensure students know that yes, you can still study Modern Greek and that it is still a wonderful and useful thing to know, as much as it is important. We cannot, however, create momentum without raising funds to support the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, to maintain the provision of resources for future students, so we can ensure there are still Greek classes for tomorrow.” Psihoyios was pleased with the attendance and support of everyone who attended the Macquarie Initiative on 4 February, which celebrated 30 years of the Modern Greek Studies Program at Macquarie University. The president praised the dedicated academic staff at Macquarie University, political and diplomatic representatives as well the vast array of business and community individuals and organisations in attendance. The fact that the event also bore witness to the generous amount of over $23,000 donated to the Modern Greek Studies Program also speaks volumes. The clear sentiment on the night, across all stakeholders of the Greek Australian and Philhellene community, was loud and clear: the study of Modern Greek at Macquarie University is here to stay and flourish for the next 30 years and beyond. The president also reflected on the importance of the continuation of the presence of academic programs in Modern Greek, in history, culture, history, language and literature, as well as reflecting the determination of all stakeholders, most importantly academics and students. If Macquarie’s story and achievements have moved you and you wish to be part of their cause please contact the following representatives: Theophilus Premetis 0419 718 159 or email email@example.com George Psihoyios 0414 262 388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org * Michael Maglis is the vice president of the Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA), and a student of Macquarie’s Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies Department. Michael is also recognised with the reintroduction of the association’s trademark publication, The Chronos. Breakthrough test could save hundreds of thousands of premature babies Melbourne-based Dr Harry Georgiou has develop a simple test that determines whether a premature birth is imminent For expectant parents, premature birth is a nightmare scenario, and with very good reason. According to the World Health Organisation, 15 million babies are born worldwide before completing 37 weeks gestation, while in 2015 alone one million premature babies died, and of those who survive, 25 per cent will have at least one or multiple severe disabilities. But Dr Harry Georgiou from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is closer than ever to changing this data for the better. Ten years into a significant research project, Dr Georgiou, together with fellow researcher and gynaecologist Dr Megan Di Quinzio, has developed a simple test that can determine whether a pregnant woman is going to give birth prematurely between seven and 14 days in advance. Said to be “less invasive than the conventional Pap smear”, the test is conducted in a similar manner, taking a swab of fluid from the vagina, where the researchers found there to be hundreds of biomarkers (proteins), of which they have isolated about 10 directly related to childbirth, and present in all women who are just days away from giving birth. Identified after investigations into thousands of pregnant women who volunteered to be considered, Dr Georgiou told Neos Kosmos the aim is now to make the test “accessible in terms of price for all expectant mothers in the world”, which he believes in just five years will be part of the routine examination between 24 and 28 weeks’ gestation. The 10-year research has been made possible thanks to a number of charities and Australian National Research Council, and now Singapore-based Carmentix is also investing into the promising breakthrough. In the final stages, Dr Georgiou is now seeking 2,500 pregnant women to volunteer in clinical trials, which will be submitted for further investigation. “Although we are not currently able to help these women, they understand their help now will save many lives in the future,” Dr Georgiou said in praise of the volunteers, giving expectant mothers and their babies hope for a better and healthier life. Votes overwhelmingly in favour of Bulleen project Ninety-two per cent of members were in agreement, confirming a sense of solidarity among the community For the first time in the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) history, 92 per cent of members were in agreement over the Bulleen Project, giving it the go ahead along with a vote of confidence to president Bill Papastergiadis and the board. The general meeting held on Sunday at Alphington Grammar School was the opportunity to lay to rest a matter that has been of concern to the community for many years and will result in the creation of an additional Greek centre. The overwhelmingly posi- tive result was interpreted as an expression of trust for the members of the current board, who have demonstrated their dedication and professionalism in ensuring the future of the GOCMV and wider Greek community, exemplified by the 15-storey Greek Centre located in Melbourne’s CBD. The results revealed that of the 561 members who voted, 513 voted for the development, while 47 voted against the plans, along with one donkey vote. Following the news, there was a round of applause from members for Mr Papastergiadis and vice-presidents Nick Koukouvitakis and Thodoro Marko, along with those who took to the floor in support of the board’s proposal to embrace the opportunity and finally develop the site in Bulleen. In the lead-up to the meeting, dozens of organisations expressed their support, which Mr Papastergiadis later acknowledged in a speech, also noting the continued support and confidence from the wider community. “The community was always beside us throughout this fight and was demonstrated with the 40 organisations who publicly declared their trust and support to us. Meanwhile, we also had over 40,000 visits to the Community’s Facebook page, where everyone left positive messages This has never before happened in the Community’s history,” Mr Papastergiadis said. He went on to emphasise that the development will also give various organisations and agencies a place to gather and that “it is a project that will unite our community”. “This project, together with the 15-storey Cultural Centre in the city centre, will see Melbourne become the global headquarters of the Hellenic diaspora,” he said, adding that “the community voted in favour of our vision, for our dynamism and in support of our determination”.
4 February 2017
18 February 2017