Australian Hellenic Council looks to younger generations
AHC has taken significant steps to involve second and third generation Hellenic Australians in terms of policy formulation, research and logistical assistance to the AHC.
The Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) has taken steps to significant steps to involve second and third generation Hellenic Australians in terms of policy formulation, research and logistical assistance to the AHC. This is consistent with the stated aims of the AHC, being the peak coordinating body representing all Hellenic Australians.
In order to collectively represent the collective community, the AHC must be inclusive of second and third generation Hellenic Australians, who are an integral and dynamic element of that community.
Further consistent with this overarching aim of inclusivity is the increased coordination and communication between State and Territory AHC's.
It is to these ends that this year's conference in Canberra (June 19-20) and the meetings at Parliament House (June 21) involved seven third generation tertiary students, Eleni Efthymiou, Harry Mavroleutheros, Ian Pelekanakis, Michael Christodoulides, Anastasios Mallis and Sophia Lambadaridis. These students actively participated in the conference discussions and the critique of policy papers which were to be given to the politicians in the meetings the following day.
While 2 of those students had participated in the 2009 meetings with the Federal MPs, this further injection of youth into the AHC proved a great success on June 21 when these students performed superbly in meetings with the Federal MPs. On several occasions these third generation students acted as team leaders in the meetings. The sight of young people discussing national issues affecting Hellenic Australians, including the inclusion of the Greek language in the National Curriculum, certainly assisted in persuading the MPs that those issues are relevant issues in Australian society.
The AHC intends to follow up on the success of this year's Canberra Conference by further increasing the involvement of younger generations an enhancing the organisation's inclusivity and national coordination. AHC National Co-ordinator, Peter Jasonides, intends to further encourage second and third generation Hellenic Australians' involvement through direct contact with peak youth organisations such as NUGAS.
Next year's AHC conference will consist of full day round table analyses of the national issues, which will involve younger and older Hellenic Australians alike, from the different States and Territories, nutting out the best possible position papers to be given to the MPs and most effective way to communicate those policies in the meetings.
Since the Canberra Conference the AHC has established a National Secretariat, consisting mainly of tertiary students and young professionals, which will cater for the research and logistical needs of the AHC.
It is through these changes to the AHC operations and structure, and with further reform in mind, that the AHC will strive to be an inclusive, representative and energetic peak body for Hellenic Australians.
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