The natural progression and evolution of the Greek community requires a new approach to the role, structure and character of Greek community organisations and the wider Greek community.
Unfortunately, leadership is and has been a relatively scarce commodity within the Greek community as a whole. Even today, most Greek community organisations continue to fail to recognise the urgent need to transform and to adopt a holistic and strategic approach to succession planning.
This can be achieved through reflection and open dialogue.
It is imperative that such search and approach must, from its very nature, raise vital existential questions and seek solutions based on new theoretical underpinnings that reflect the changing demographics in the Greek community and the needs of the second and third generation Greek Australians.
Indeed, and third generation Greek-Australians need to stand up and accept that they have a historical and moral obligation to provide immediate post-partisan leadership and act as unifiers that will help eradicate problems, hatreds and political divisions of the past.
They must realise and understand that it is from within their ranks that a new leadership must derive championing a new ethos and vision for the Greek community.
Unfortunately, leadership is and has been a relatively scarce commodity within the Greek community as a whole.
Even today, most Greek community organisations continue to fail to recognise the urgent need to transform and to adopt a holistic and strategic approach to succession planning.
On the contrary, they remain absorbed in behind-the-scenes power games that aim toward the attainment or preservation of the presidential office.
Inevitably, this has resulted in the majority of Greek community organisations to become anachronistic, stagnant and incapable of generating the necessary political and community consensus that will guarantee the future of Hellenism in the Antipodes in the 21st century.
However, now is not the time to play ‘blame politics’. On the contrary, now is the time to do away with outmoded notional understandings of the role of Greek community organizations.
Now is the time for our leadership and for the Greek-Australians born here to call for an Ideas Summit to take place that will secure a blueprint for the future of Hellenism in Australia.
An Ideas Summit that will stimulate debate and will bring together our brightest and the best. That will invite all Greek Australian groups, academics, politicians, journalists, artists, professionals, community leaders, youth, and the wider public to participate and share their vision on the role and the structure of the Greek community in Australia.
An Ideas Summit that will openly pose and seek answers to questions such as:
- What is the identity, and needs of the Greek community in Victoria today? What in the decades to come?
- What concerted, systematic and organized action should be undertaken to ensure the preservation of the Greek language and the future historical, political, social and cultural presence of Hellenism in Australia?
- How do we undertake a holistic and strategic approach to succession planning and ensure 2nd and 3rd generation Greek-Australian involvement in our organizations?
- What will become of over 200 Greek-Australian organisations in Victoria (and many more nationally) that are slowly but surely descending into oblivion? What will become of their assets (exceeding $200 million dollars in value) and how can these assets be best preserved and utilized for the benefit of the wider Greek community?
A new open dialogue with the wider community is a necessity that can no longer be ignored.
Now is the time to stand up and take the urgent and drastic decisions required to motivate, encourage and mobilize our wider community forces and create the essential consents and momentum required to enhance the aspirations of the Greek community and lead it in the 21st century.
This article is a part summary of a recent speech presented by Vasilis
Giavris on the occasion of the 50th year anniversary of the Papaflessas
Vasilis Giavris is a lawyer & political scientist. He is a past SAE Executive Council Member and a past President of the World Pan-Arcadian Congress.