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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 06 January 2018
2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 JANUARY 2018 NEWS Working holiday visa finally approved for Greeks visiting Australia Terence Quick: “As of now, each year and for 12 months, 500 young Greeks will be able to experience holidays in Australia with the right to legal employment, in a country with one of the most dynamic Greek diasporas.” The long-awaited work and holiday visa legislation for Australian and Greek citizens finally saw the bill published in the Greek Official Government Gazette (ΦΕΚ) this week, making it official. Hopeful applicants from 18 to 31 years of age had been waiting for the Greek and Australian governments to complete ‘necessary domestic processes’. As of Wednesday, 500 applicants a year coming from Greece will be able to travel, reside, and legally work in Australia for up to 12 months under the ΦΕΚ B' 4488/2017 specifications as listed in the Gazette. The agreement is an outcome of a Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GCM) initiative with talks spanning six years. Following Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick's visit to Melbourne last year, the issue was reopened with the promise to accelerate procedures. "Another commitment to the Greek diaspora in Australia and the Australian Government has been fulfilled, for an issue presented to me by Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop during our meeting in Canberra," Mr Quick stated recently, adding that this has been a loose end since 2014. "The passing of the legislation highlights the endeavor and persistence of the Greek Community of Melbourne. The legislation was an initiative of Costas Markos and involved the speedy resolution of talks with Minister Bowen. Australia and Greece share a rich history. “The agreement adds to the ties that bind the two countries," President of the GCM Bill Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos in a previous interview. Neos Kosmos will be following up for updates. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Bill Papastergiadis GCM is full steam ahead for 2018 GCM president Bill Papastergiadis talks to Neos Kosmos about how he plans on adapting to the changing needs of the Greek community ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick. 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. No. 5981 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Web: www.neoskosmos.com letters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: Editor-in-chief: Editorial director: Journalists: Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a day time telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Christopher Gogos Sotiris Hatzimanolis Nelly Skoufatoglou Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Contributors: Theodora Maios, Billy Cotsis, Nick Metallinos Michael Sweet, Maria Filio Tridimas, John Vithoulkas Proofreader: Allyson Griffith Graphic design: Thanos Pappas, Vangelis Karakasis Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Over the past nine years with president Bill Papastergiadis at the helm, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has significantly evolved and developed to become a driving force in the celebration and maintenance of the Greek diaspora in Melbourne. Since the unveiling of the Greek Centre of Contemporary Culture in 2014 in the original Greek hub of Lonsdale Street, it has become a bustling venue bringing Greeks and philhellenes in touch with the Greek language through engaging classes, and it also hosts events year round, many of which are free to attend. With a new year kicking off, the community is well prepared and excited to commence another year with the impending 31st Lonsdale Street Greek Festival running over two days in February and the anticipated opening of the centre's dedicated gallery space not far behind. "When we first set up our building we proposed to dedicate a number of levels to culture and education for our parikia, and not only Greeks but all Australians. So one of the levels is going to be a dedicated gallery space," Mr Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos. "One section will deal with the history of the Greek Community of Melbourne and another part will have revolving exhibitions, both local and international." A dedicated curator is working on a number of exhibitions and programs involving upand-coming artists, which the president expects will be "an amazing opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talents of Greek Australians but also of Greeks globally". The centre will further build on its offering to the community with a library. The GCM has entered into an agreement with the National Library of Greece - the first the library has made with an external body. Boasting an impressive catalogue of material that has been digitised, including original copies of the bible, it will be made available via screen to members and students of the GCM, and the general public. "We're talking about, argua- bly, some of the richest work globally, particularly from the Classical period," said Mr Papastergiadis. The library will also house physical books providing a platform to showcase authors from the global Greek disapora. With the GCM having a history of offering intergenerational support services, this year they are taking it one step further by offering a club space for first-generation Greek Australians to meet, have discussions, and play games. The first club to gain access is Argos Orestikon following their impressive $1 million donation to the GCM in 2017, and the opportunity to use the amenities will also be made available to other clubs who offer significant support. "What we are doing is simply a continuation of the hard work and effort of the first generation. It's important to recognise the contribution they made to our community structure and also to our lives and I think this is a fitting tribute," said the community pres- ident. These are just a few in a long line of plans the GCM has in store for the community over the next 12 months, including a series of seminars, festivals, conferences, and physical expansions with three schools due to open in emerging suburbs, and the expansion and refurbishment of Alphington Grammar School. Meanwhile, acknowledging the change in demographics with recently arrived migrants from Greece, Mr Papastergiadis said the GCM is also working on programs for greater inclusion. "We have never been more collaborative or more open to working relationships between different community groups and I think this is going to deliver excellent results," he said. "You need to evolve and you need to be innovative - that's the only way that you're going to attract new members and be relevant in our society, and I think the GCM has demonstrated that it has been prepared to continually reinvent itself and meet the needs of our community."
23 December 2017
13 January 2018