THE Research Centre for Contemporary Greek (RCCG) studies will replace the former National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research also known as EKEME at La Trobe University. EKEME was closed down by the University at the end of 2008. According to Neos Kosmos English Edition exclusive information, La Trobe is considering a draft proposal for the setting up of the new Centre.

Although these plans have not been finalised by the appropriate University authorities pending further consultations, it is understood that some of the key aims of RCCG will be: To be the leading Australian centre for academic research into matters relating to contemporary Greece and people of Greek heritage; to develop high quality academic research focusing on contemporary Greece and people of Greek heritage; to use its research activities to deliver a Greek Studies program in the School of Historical and European Studies; to be a centre through which research relating to Greek Studies can be discussed and communicated to the academic and wider communities; and to collaborate with other research centres and researchers at La Trobe ensuring that the study of contemporary Greece and people of Greek heritage is undertaken within a broad context.

The new Centre will employ a Director who will be responsible for academic and financial matters, seeking research grants, donations and benefactions. His salary will be paid by La Trobe for the next five years. Specific details have yet to be formulated but it is the University’s intention to link the Centre more closely to Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, thus making it more accountable for its academic as well as financial activities.

Community engagement is expected to take the form of a broader participation of the Greek and Cypriot communities, particularly taking account of government representation and the importance of religion in community life. It is anticipated that it will take at least sixmonths before the RCCG becomes operational.