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Greek 'newcomers' continue to form strong bonds in Australia

Adelaide's newly arrived Greek migrants group, E.N.A. 2010+ held its second state meeting to discuss and share their experiences

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23 October 2017

With a promise to stick together and help one another adapt to a new life and the demands of a new country, Adelaide's newly arrived Greek migrants group E.N.A. 2010+ completed their second state meeting.

Held at the Parish Hall of the Nativity of Christ in Port Adelaide and hosted by Reverend Father Ioannis Choraitis, the group consists of members who due to the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, left their homes and migrated to Australia seeking a better future and opportunities for themselves and their families.

"It was a great night sharing experiences and exchanging valuable ideas and information," newcomer, Sofie Dimitrakopoulou told Neos Kosmos.

"We had around 50 people, old and new members of the group, who honoured us with their presence and gave us a chance to talk, exchange views, experiences, discuss problems and come up with solutions to overcome difficulties and obstacles that always pervade the everyday life of every immigrant."

Father Ioannis Choraitis and his assistant Alexandra welcomed members with a warm smile and a warm meal.

The main focus of the group is to connect those Greek migrants that arrived in Australia after 2010, and to spread hope and positive vibes on a not-for-profit basis.

The gatherings give members the chance to discuss a number of issues and to share their experiences.

"During the night, a young newly arrived migrant spoke about her efforts towards being granted permanent residency in Australia, whilst a 40-year-old professional opened up and discussed the struggle and disappointment he faced when his academic studies were not recognised in Australia," said Sofie, who was born in Australia but then emigrated back to Greece with her family.

"We all face difficulties. The size of a problem makes little difference in people's lives. What matters is for each one of us, the newcomers, to belong somewhere and also have a supportive group of people around us which will encourage us and provide us with an opportunity to discuss issues and problems, and via deep and meaningful conversations manage to alleviate somewhat the stress a migrant carries, offer hope for the future and heal the pain and nostalgia for the homeland.
"I have lived in Greece the majority of my life and – although I also love Australia – I feel that it is important for us newcomers to do everything in our power to establish our very own little community and get to know and support each other along the way. This will then help us maintain our 'Greekness' for as long as possible," the 29-year-old added.

Sofie contacted founder of the Melbourne Group E.N.A. - Έλληνες Νεομετανάστες 2010+, Petros Gyftopoulos, who arrived in Melbourne in September 2013 and founded the group with the sole purpose to bring together as many new Greek migrants as possible and create a community, which would then assist members of the group to facilitate a smoother transition into Australia.

According to Gyftopoulos, the group's mission is to provide a platform where every newcomer can get acquainted with each other and feel they belong somewhere.

"We want to help in any way we can. Whether this translates into assisting people with their resumes, organising English tutoring or just getting to know one another and creating valuable relationships and friendships amongst us," he said.

"Most newcomers are young educated people that need our help to take the next step in a foreign country like Australia. It seems that our idea is working, if one takes into consideration the overwhelming response and feedback we have been receiving from our members," says Sofie.

"This was our second meeting and we are so excited and pleased with the outcome because we now realise that we are here for each other and we couldn't be happier about that."

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