The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) held its 121st Annual General Meeting at the Andrianakos Centre at its Alphington Grammar School last Sunday 16 December.

In a meeting attended by approximately 150 members, the Board of Management reported on the past financial year of operations of the GCM.

GCM’s Hon Secretary Costas Markos, read the 2017 minutes followed by the Community’s financials and reports.

meanwhile, Treasurer and Associate Professor Marinis Pirpiris, flanked by the new Auditor’s representative from the well-regarded firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers, presented the financials noting the rigorous audit that the GCM had just been subjected to.

President Bill Papastergiadis then tabled his report on behalf of his Board and proceeded to run through some of the highlights and initiatives of the GCM in 2017/18 noting that the Community continued to lead in education, cultural content and advocacy.

“We increased our investment in culture and education,” highlighting the outstanding outcomes in the recent VCE results and the success of the Community’s new campuses at Narre Warren, Point Cook and South Morang.

He then took the opportunity to congratulate the Education team led by Theo Markos and Nick Dallas and under the management of Manos Tzimpragos.

With regard to cultural activity, Mr Papastergiadis went on to highlight a few of the initiatives of the past year which included:

  • The exceptional productions staged by the Community’s Centre for Drama and Arts
  • The 2018 Lonsdale Street Greek festival that played to over 100,000 people and featured Giannis Haroulis and the Momogeroi
  • The staging of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the Greek Centre – Australia’s largest cultural event that had embraced the “Greek” as one if its key venues
  • The regular Live at the Greek presentations celebrating Greek music
  • The 25th Greek Film Festival which in itself now features the much-heralded Student Short Film Festival and the Short Film festival
  • The exceptional lectures and seminars that are staged weekly all throughout the year
  • The live Skype interview with acclaimed Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani from Manus Island

“We have created an organisation that has become a major player in the Greek community, offering services for all Greeks as well as for the wider Australian community, such as the special event for the refugees in cooperation with Australia’s higher education institutions and cultural organisations,” added Mr Papastergiadis.

Moving forward, the GCM president underlined the fact that the Community has become a touchstone for state and Federal governments.

“Federal ministers and politicians, such as most recently Alan Tudge, visited the Greek Centre and congratulated the GCM for its achievements and activities, while others, including the Prime Minister, Premier and Ministers are always present at our major events,” he stressed before tabling two of the declared items for consideration.

The first, saw the Board tasked with establishing a Committee to review the GCM Constitution and the second was an undertaking to examine how the GCM can incorporate the history of the GCM in its Education programs.

The meeting then turned to the procedural matters that occupy it every three years with Mr Markos reading the names of the members that had nominated for the GCM Board.

These were: Tas Sgardelis, Georgina Pattas, Bill Papastergiadis, Nikos Koukouvitakis, Theo Markos, Costas Markos, Tammy Iliou, Marinis Pirpiris, Philip Vassiliadis, Leonidas Vlahakis, Angela Georgalis, Vasso Zagalis, Voula Kallianis, Michael Karamitos, Alexis Costa, Dimitris Bossinakis, Nick Dallas, Spiros Papadopoulos, Christos Sikavitsas, Stella Papas, Christos Fifis, Nontas Tsitas, Kostas Tsakoumis, Michalis Houdalakis and Christos Tsirkas.

Given that there were more nominees than Board positions an election was triggered and as such nominations were called for an Electoral Committee to be formed with Paul Mavroudis (President), Nikos Poulakos (Secretary), Makis Hatzilepos, Chrysoula Stamopoulos, Costas Kyritsis, Anastasios Kalamovrakas, Christos Kalavrytinos, Cathy Alexopoulos and Savvas Grigoropoulos all being appointed.