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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 01 July 2017
NEWS 4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 JULY 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Cairns Greek Fest a celebration of multiculturalism A record number of people attended the festival this year (L-R) Director of St George Greek Orthodox College, Very Rev Diogenis Patsouris, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis; Trustee of the Hellenic Foundation Theo Maras; Vice Chancellor of Flinders University Colin Stirling; and Director of LOGOS Michael Tsianikas $2 million investment towards the Greek language ‘In order not to lose our identity, we must invest in our language’ THEODORA MAIOS According to an official announcement made last Thursday night by Greek Australian SA Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, at a LOGOS Australian Centre for Greek Language and Culture dinner at the Pavillion on the Park, the SA state government committed to invest $2 million towards establishing a permanent chair at Flinders University. "Unlike other communities, us Greeks, we have kept our language, our culture, and our religion until today but although we have all done so well so far, we need to ask ourselves what happens in the years to come," said the treasurer. "What has been achieved so far has been a miracle but if we are serious about maintaining this language, our heritage, our story, who we are as people, we need to invest in our language. In my small way, today in the State Budget, the government has committed $2 million towards the Foundation, and for me, it's my responsibility as Treasurer to fight for that; for our grandchildren, because we are Hellenes, we are part of something that changed the world forever and we can't forget this because Greeks have done some amazing things in this country. "We are standing on the shoulders of giants who have previously achieved so much within the Greek community and it is now time for us to continue what they have started," Koutsantonis said and his announcement was met with a deafening applause and a buzz of excitement from some 200 guests. "If we are serious about promoting Hellenism, then we must invest towards our Greek heritage and particularly towards maintaining our language," said Koutsantonis before inviting Professor Michael Tsianikas, the Director of the LOGOS Centre to take the stand. "Honestly, I really didn't expect all this and I feel incredibly humbled and grateful because I know now that our language will survive through time," said Profesor Tsianikas who has also been working diligently to grow the department for years. Theo Maras, Trustee of the Foundation for Hellenic Studies also appeared pleasantly surprised by the announcement. "Tonight our dream has come true and you have really amazed me, Tom, because the dream I [have] had since 2005, together with [the] now deceased Bill Taliangis, was to promote our Greek heritage by establishing a permanent Chair at the university. Therefore, personally and on behalf of the foundation, I would like to thank you Tom and all of the previous generations for all they have done and the sacrifices they have made in order for us to be enjoying our culture today," said Mr Maras. The LOGOS Centre was established in 2012 after the state government of the time agreed to contribute $600,000 towards its creation; this remains an event without precedent outside of Greece. "Tonight, the state government has displayed an immense amount of respect towards the Greek people and the flame of Hellenism shines so bright again. Whether we were born here in Australia or in Greece, we were, we still are and we will continue to be Hellenes," Maras told Neos Kosmos after the announcement was made. "What Koutsantonis did tonight will be an everlasting legacy and what it will do is something that in generations to come will help our language and culture to not be forgotten. It will be alive and go strong for another four generations. "We should all remain proud Hellenes and be happy that, as a result of what happened tonight, our Hellenism and language will live forever." FOR THE FUTURE OF HELLENISM IN AMERICA, AUSTRALIA & EU Google: ELLINIKOTITA ELLINISMOS HELLENISM GREECE Do we want to survive as a Hellenic People? Aristotellis Alexandridis Cairns' Greek Festival attracted a record number of attendees this year, with 4,500 people at the event on Sunday. Held at Redlynch since 2012, the annual event run by St John's Community Care was a chance to celebrate the area's Greek community and culture while also embracing its multiculturalism. "It was about the whole community, and not just Greek people in Cairns," coorganiser Theo Bacalakis told Cairns Post. "Many of the smaller groups don't get much of a chance to showcase their cultures." On the day there were a PRONIA improving quality of life for Greeks living in Monash On Wednesday 12 July at the Clayton Community Centre PRONIA hosts a workshop titled Health and Community, as part of a long-standing collaboration with the City of Monash and not-for-profit organisation Link Health and Community Services (Link HC). Through the Greeks Living Healthier in Monash project, PRONIA delivers substantial culturally-appropriate activities and initiatives supporting the health and aged care needs of the local Greek community. According to the latest census data, Monash has the largest concentration of people born in Greece in the eastern region of Melbourne. There are currently 12,860 Greece-born people living in Monash, which is 5.7 per cent of the total population, with the ma- jority of the group aged 65 years and older. It is not uncommon for elderly Greeks to find it difficult to understand and navigate the health and aged care systems due to language and cultural barriers, which is why PRONIA focuses on health information and community education, primarily aged care and local council services as well as maintaining links with local elderly clubs and individuals and families in the City of Monash. Having consulted widely with the community over the years, PRONIA has established support groups for people with chronic illness in Oakleigh and Clayton, and also holds an established monthly grandparents' support group in Clayton for grandparents who do not have access to their grandchildren or are carers of their grandchildren post-separation of adult children. Meanwhile, the Clayton Community Centre has become a hub of bicultural activities and information provision for Greeks of all ages. Greek elderly are linked into library services, computer and iPad learning, English classes, exercise, and recreation groups, as well as counselling, dentists, podiatrists, dietitians, doctors, physiotherapists, and many other services provided by the local council and Link HC. To participate in the workshop, make a booking (essential) by calling PRONIA on (03) 9388 9998. When: Wednesday 12 July 10.30 am to 12 noon Where: Clayton Community Centre, 9-15 Cooke St, Clayton, VIC plethora of delicious Greek food and drinks on offer. Attendees were kept entertained with traditional Greek music and dance performances, while Cypriot, Filipino, and Indian dance groups were amongst those mixing it up and showcasing their cultures on the day. With event planning having commenced in February, to further ensure the event was a success this year 120 volunteers turned out to put in the hard yards. "It gives you great satisfaction to see so many people enjoying themselves," Mr Bacalakis said.
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