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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 November 2017
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Cr Pavlidis helping young people crack the cultural glass ceiling Liberal MP Alex Hawke. Liberal MP Alex Hawke denies Greek citizenship The latest to be caught up in the dual citizenship saga, the assistant immigration minister’s mother was born in Greece and immigrated to Australia in the 1950s Just when you may have thought the dual citizenship 'saga', as it is so aptly referred to, was over, Alex Hawke is the latest parliamentarian to have their heritage called into question. The Liberal MP has been accused of potentially holding Greek citizenship, as his mother was born in Greece and immigrated to Australia in the 1950s. However the Australianborn minister has denied he is a dual citizen, and maintains he only holds Australian citizenship. "I am an Australian citizen only and have never held or acquired or sought Greek or any other citizenship," Mr Hawke told News Corp Australia. Meanwhile the Greek Embassy in Canberra has reportedly said that a child acquires Greek citizenship at birth, whether activated or not when born to a parent of Greek nationality. Currently both the Liberal and Labor parties are carrying out internal audits of all MPs to ensure they do not hold dual citizenship, and the Greens will be setting up a committee for when the Senate next sits, to force senators to prove their citizenship status. Another Greek mayor for Stonnington Stonnington Council representatives were sworn in at a Special Council Meeting in November last year, and on Thursday 2 November this year they elected their new mayor. Taking over from Jami Klisaris, Melbourne's youngest mayor, is another Greek, Cr Steve Stefanopoulos. Cr Stefanopoulos has been a resident of Stonnington for more than 40 years, firstly in Malvern, then in Prahran and now in Armadale. "My aim is to bring the community along on an engaged journey whereby we all develop the strategic direction for the future of Stonnington," he said shortly after his election. "My high level, strategic thinking, heritage expertise, openmindedness and engaging personality will all contribute to my ability to make positive changes for the whole community." Cr Stefanopoulos has a strong interest in a wide array of ini- NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by ACM Printing, 126 Fairbank Road, Clayton South 3168. 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Christopher Gogos Sotiris Hatzimanolis Nelly Skoufatoglou Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Contributors: Gerry Georgatos, Theodora Maios, Jim Claven, Dan Georgakas, Alexander Billinis, Maria Filio Tridimas, Con Stamocostas, Konstantinos Kalimnios, George Stogiannou, Stuart McLennan, Stamatina Hasiotis Proofreader: Allyson Griffith Graphic design: Peter Kelidis, Nicole Denton Cr Steve Stefanopoulos, Stonnington’s new mayor. Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 tiatives that promote sustainability and is determined to bring those views to the table in an effort to contribute to and improve the area’s valued quality lifestyle. He expressed his optimism about what all nine elected representatives can do collaboratively as a council and said that he looks forward to "working together to achieve wonderful outcomes", whilst focusing on heritage, lifestyle, character, and the creation of open space. "I enjoy the cosmopolitan inner city feel of [this area]," he added. "One thing I enjoy doing is going for an early Sunday morning walk in the neighbourhood with my partner, and saying hello to fellow residents and meeting new residents. That is what I call community." Elected for the second time as mayor of the City of Whittlesea, Cr Kris Pavlidis is rolling out an initiative to tackle the misconceptions about politics ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS Cr Kris Pavlidis has been elected as mayor of the City of Whittlesea for the second time following a council meeting last week. Now in her fourth term as a councillor, she was the first female mayor of Greek background to serve the municipality. To ensure she is not the last, as one of her first matters of business in the top job, Cr Pavlidis acknowledged her commitment to "gender balance and equity through the creation of concrete opportunities" and is kicking off with an initiative to encourage young people to get involved in politics. "More than 50 per cent of our demographic are women and yet that isn’t reflected in the decisionmaking structures, positions and levels," Cr Pavlidis told Neos Kosmos. "If we go back to quite a few years ago, it was a similar drive that I was pushing and this is going back many years now and we've made little progress." While women are continuously working towards shattering the glass ceiling, she says one of the reasons women have sometimes shied away from getting involved in politics is that traditionally they have not been encouraged to enter the space which for decades was overwhelmingly maledominated. "What I've understood is that a lot of women see politics as a much more difficult space to enter. I want to break it down a little bit so it's a lot more meaningful and the comprehension around it is more real, rather than the perception. Some of the perceptions are accurate, but some of them are not," she explains. For the newly elected mayor, entering politics wasn't particularly intimidating given she grew up Cr Kris Pavlidis being exposed to her migrant father's involvement in politics at a community level, and being passionate about pursuing real change, she knew it could only be addressed systemically. But not everyone comes from a politically engaged household, and as a result she says through her exposure speaking to young people, when it comes to both young men and women, that there is not enough interest at a grassroots levels, negatively impacted by a lack of understanding of the significance of the political processes. "People turn around and say 'I'm not interested in politics, I couldn't care less about it, why should I?'. Well, politics are everywhere: they're in the schoolyard, they're in the office. We're all involved in it, we're all impacted by it, and not enough of us are taking enough interest or responsibility in how we drive the politics around us. It's not about learning the science of politics, that's a degree in itself. This is about how you can use politics as a tool so you're a more effective practitioner in your sector, whatever that may be," she explains. The mayor plans on addressing this with a mentoring program offered to schools and tertiary institutions and aimed at both genders with the chance to 'walk with a mayor' to spend a week or a month with Cr Pavlidis to be exposed to the different approaches to decisionmaking, structures, the various positions in local government, and budgets. "Sometimes they say if people don't understand something it develops a fear, well I want to break that down a little bit and say it's around you anyway, it's not such an intimidating concept. Come and have a look and see how decisions are made at a senior level."
04 November 2017
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