Go­ing Greek

Keep­ing our Greek her­itage is vi­tal

Townsville Bulletin - - North Queensland: Looking Back, Looking Forward - By JOSH AL­STON

TOWNSVILLE Greek Fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers are keen to pro­mote Greek cul­ture — so keen that they trav­elled to Greece this month to at­tend an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence.

Pres­i­dent and co­or­di­na­tor Bill Ma­lan­dris and se­nior lo­gis­tics of­fi­cer Dim­itri Bour­nas trav­elled to Thes­sa­loniki in North­ern Greece to par­tic­i­pate in the con­fer­ence which is or­gan­ised by the World Coun­cil of Hel­lenes Abroad, a di­vi­sion of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs Greece.

The three day con­fer­ence is held in Greece ev­ery three years, with about 700 del­e­gates from Greek com­mu­ni­ties around the world in­vited by the Greek Gov­ern­ment.

64 Greek del­e­gates at­tended from Aus­tralia and New Zealand along­with del­e­gates from North and South Amer­ica, Canada, Africa, and Europe.

This year’s con­fer­ence was held from De­cem­ber 8 to De­cem­ber 10 and Mr Ma­lan­dris said he had learned sev­eral vi­tal lessons in pro­mot­ingGreek cul­ture.

‘ ‘ T h e c o n f e r e n c e w a s in­valu­able as it en­abled us to keep abreast of what is hap­peningin Greek com­mu­ni­ties a r o u n d t h e wo r l d , ’ ’ Mr Ma­lan­dris said.

‘‘It was an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to net­work, ex­change ideas, es­tab­lish valu­able con­tacts and ap­ply for as­sis­tance through the Min­istries of Cul­ture and Ed­u­ca­tion.’’

‘‘It was through the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence in 2003 and a sub­se­quent meetingat the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion out­lin­ingthe dif­fi­cul­ties of re­gional ar­eas that a po­si­tion was cre­ated ear­lier this year for a Greek teacher funded by the Greek Gov­ern­ment for the Townsville Greek Com­mu­nity.

‘‘Our com­mu­nity is now fourth and fifth gen­er­a­tion Greek, so it is im­por­tant that the Greek teacher helps pre­vent the lan­guage and cul­ture from dyin­gout in our com­mu­nity,’’ Mr Ma­lan­dris said.

Greek Fest Townsville is of­fi­cially recog­nised by the Greek G o v e r n m e n t , a n d M r Ma­lan­dris and Mr Bour­nas had talks with the deputy min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs Theodoros Kas­simis, the di­rec­tor gen­eral of Greeks Abroad Ioan­nis Ky­paris­sidis and pres­i­dent of the Min­istry of Cul­ture Michael Siop­sis dur­ingth­eir stay.

They pre­sented them with let­ters by Mayor Les Tyrell as well as Townsville and Thuringowa cities pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.

BAN­NER HEAD­LINE . . . pres­i­dent and co­or­di­na­tor Bill Ma­lan­dris (left)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.