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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 January 2018
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 JANUARY 2018 Australia-Greece working holiday visa still in limbo NIKOS FOTAKIS It was hailed as a long-belated resolution to an issue that had been pending for years, but the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) program is yet to start. The Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and Greece will allow 500 Greek citizens aged between 18 and 31 to travel, stay, and work legally in Australia for an entire year, and had been one of the "loose ends" looming over bilateral relations since 2014. It was supposedly resolved in July, when the Greek parliament ratified the agreement, the result of a Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) initiative, making it law. Despite the official announcement and publication in the Greek Government Gazette (ΦΕΚ B' 4488/2017), so far no progress has been made. Neos Kosmos has received messages from people wishing to lodge an application either for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462), which allows holders to work for up to six or 12 months respectively. They have found that Greece is still not one of the countries eligible for the visa. Some have claimed to have talked with officers from Greece, who say that they have yet to receive the official directives. The same is true for the Greek Embassy in Australia. "We are waiting for a government circular which would outline the framework and provisions of the program," says Ioannis Ferentinos, Head of the Mission at the Canberra Consular Office. It is understood that the authority in charge is the Greek General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning & Youth (GGDVMNG) of the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs, but according to some of our readers who have tried to contact the Secretariat, there has been no official timeframe for the start of the program. Instead they have been encouraged to call again by the end of February. Neos Kosmos spoke to the Australian Department of Home Affairs for comment: “Australia remains committed to progressing discussions with Greece on a reciprocal Work and Holiday visa arrangement between our countries,” a spokesperson for the department said. “We welcome the recent steps by the Greek Government to progress legislation that will allow for the implementation of a reciprocal arrangement between Australia and Greece. “Once a commencement date for the arrangement has been mutually agreed by both partner countries, details of the Work and Holiday visa program will be published on the Department of Home Affairs’ website. Once implemented, the arrangements will have reciprocal conditions and will also allow young Australians to work and holiday in Greece.” Sorrento beach, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Bringing back the age-old tradition of the Greek Australia Day picnic Almost every Greek Australian who grew up between the 60s and 90s will remember those picnic gatherings, where thousands of intergenerational families gathered to socialise, dance, and eat. This year the Messinians are teaming up to bring it back ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS This weekend Greeks from all over Melbourne and Victoria will gather in sunny Sorrento to simultaneously celebrate Australia and being Greek. The longstanding tradition is one that has taken place each summer in various locations across the state since the arrival of Greek migrants at Station Pier in the weeks following the Theofania. 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. 5990 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: Intern: 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 Editorial director: Nelly Skoufatoglou Journalists: Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Stamatina Hasiotis Contributors: Theo Theophanous, Dean Kalymniou, Jim Claven, Con Stamocostas, George Stogiannou, Billy Cotsis, Thanos Pappas Graphic design: Peter Kelidis, Vangelis Karakasis Proofreader: Allyson Griffith Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 It first started to give members of the Greek community a chance to take time out of their busy schedules to meet up with one another. "Everyone would work in factories, different hours; no-one would see each other. But everyone knew Australia Day when they all had the public holiday, and the only one during summer," Paul Sougleris, committee member of the Panmessinian Brotherhood 'Papaflessas' told Neos Kosmos. Over the years, as the children grew up, and the first generation got even older, the numbers started to dwindle. But Mr Sougleris says that interest is growing, and that's why they're looking to bring the tradition back. "A lot of people catch up with each other on Facebook but they rarely see each other face-to-face and all at the same time. Usually it's at funerals, but this is a social occasion with decent weather, just like the old days," he said. Former mayor of Manningham and president of the Federation of Messinian Organisations of Melbourne and Victoria, Jim Grivas shared the sentiment and says it will be a good opportunity for the second generation, and those either side, to get back in touch with their Messinian and Greek roots as a whole. "We remember the early years of our trips to the Peninsular where 2,000 to 5,000 people turning up to these events, with two or three bands playing all day. It was a big family day outing. So we are trying to get that back with the second and third generations coming together again and bringing all their family and friends to celebrate Australia Day weekend with a Greek twist," he told Neos Kosmos. Organised by the Pantrifylian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, the Panmessinian Brotherhood 'Papaflessas', the Society of Kalamata '23rd March', and the Panpylian Brotherhood 'Navarino', there will also be other regional groups in attendance including the Panarcadian Association of Melbourne 'O Kolokotronis' and the Nafpaktian Association of Melbourne, and the event is open to all Greeks and philhellenes. With a hot and humid day forecast with a high of 39 °C, they are expecting a big turn out, and with a number of events taking place in the Mornington Peninsula over the long weekend, attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Buses have been organ- ised to accommodate those without other means of attending, and there will be live music and dancing on the day. Keeping with the picnic theme, people can bring along their own food, and there will also be a number of cafes and eateries open in the area. "A big thank you goes out to all the presidents and committees of all four clubs in coming together and making this picnic possible," said Mr Grivas. "We are looking forward to a great day out with our Messinian family and friends and also the whole Greek community." The Greek Picnic is taking place on Sunday 28 January at Sorrento Park from 8.30 am - 5.00 pm. Attendance is free. For more information, visit greekpicnic. com.au Note: Given the high temperatures on the day, if bringing a barbecue do keep in mind any fire warnings.
20 January 2018
03 February 2018