Hundreds of Greek families in Melbourne are facing desperate times due to the second lockdown that is about to be enforced at midnight tonight.
These people, mainly newly-arrived immigrants from Greece, who survived the first lockdown with the help of Greek organisations, are now faced with even harder circumstances.
They are without work, since the hospitality businesses they work for are shutting down once again for another six weeks. They are not entitled to any support from the government as they are not permanent citizens. And as many of them have stated, the savings they had put aside have been used up, leaving them with nothing, not even the funds to return to Greece.
It is imperative that we support them, as we did when the stay-at-home orders where imposed during the first lockdown on 23 March. And it is important that our associations (the Greek Community and our Church), press the Australian government to show more understanding about their situation.
Fortunately, there is a great effort already underway, initiated by the Merimna Pontion Kyrion (Oceania). This association brought all Greek organisations in Melbourne together, uniting their efforts to help those families most in need. From the start of the pandemic, they have all been collecting and distributing emergency supplies to those hardest hit by the pandemic.
The associations will continue to offer support and contributions to the most vulnerable families in the Greek community for the entirety of the pandemic crisis. To organise these efforts, a meeting was held between representatives of Melbourne associations and Archimandrite Evmeneios Vasilopoulos, on 1 July at the offices of the first Archdiocese of Melbourne, at the church “Axion Esti”.
Greek-Australians who are facing difficulties are encouraged to contact the Archdiocese: (03) 9998 1988.
We also encourage anyone from the community in need of assistance to contact Neos Kosmos at (03) 9482 4433 or send us an email at email@example.com (we will handle these with discretion and confidentiality) and we will refer the matters raised to those in charge.