Hellenic youth representation is continuing to grow. Headed by 28-year-old Elias Demourtzidis, the committee was elected in October 2008 with the intention to bring young Hellenes together. “Our national database has grown by 30 to 40 per cent since last year,” said Mr Demourtzidis.
The PanHellenic Games, to be held on the November 27-29 in Melbourne, will see young athletes from each state compete head to head across various sporting events.
The members of SAE youth are currently focused on the organisation of the event in the means of fundraising, collaborating volunteers and recruiting athletes.
Yet this has not overshadowed their initial objectives to further the interests of young people and the Greek culture as a whole.
For example Mr Demourtzidis, who is also the president of the South Australia SAE youth committee said that they just held their first official meeting.
The focus was to discuss upcoming youth events that they had organised such as a youth careers information night to be held on October 9 at the Adelaide Pavilion.
“We have organised high profile people to talk at the careers night such as South Australian youth minister, Jane Lomax Smith, and Dr. James Katsaros,” said Demourtzidis.
Others events that they have planned in South Australia include the Show us your Kefi youth talent quest at the Odyssey festival on October 25, and the Hellenic Youth Awards Gala to be held on May 15 2010 at the Adelaide Pavilion.
Demourtzidis said that all 40 young people who attended the meeting signed up to SAE and registered in at least one of the events.
Callie Kalimniou, of SAE Youth Victoria said that the Victorian committee regularly held meetings with the focus on ‘sussing out’ important issues facing Greek Australia youth.
“The preservation of language and culture are a common concern, and we are brainstorming ideas on how to do this,” she said.
Mr Demourtzidis said that SAE youth will also be launching a web based petition this month aimed at returning the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
Signatures will be unveiled at the new Acropolis Museum at a conference later this year.