Recently-elected local councillor Joseph Haweil wrote a letter to the Chancellor John Brumby of La Trobe University to join in efforts to keep the programme running. He wrote the following:
I write to you as Mayor of Hume City, a linguistically diverse municipality and home to a significant Greek-Australian community, of which I am also a member. I express my concern at the proposed cancellation of the Greek language studies programme at La Trobe University.
Priding ourselves on our commitment to multiculturalism, it is concerning that the cancellation of a programme which teaches such a socially significant community language is being considered.
While the COVID era has caused Universities to face many financial challenges, I understand that the programme is funded, partially by private bequest, and that enrolments have been steadily growing. I also note that the University is situated within a municipality that has the second highest percentage of Greek-speaking residents in all of Victoria.
Should the programme be cancelled, then effectively there will be no opportunity for any Victorian to study Modern Greek at a tertiary level anywhere within the State. Surely, La Trobe University is uniquely positioned to continue to foster the study of Modern Greek.
I would be grateful if you, as the Chancellor of La Trobe University, would reconsider any proposal to terminate the Greek language programme.
Cr Joseph Haweil