The campaign for the inclusion of Greek in the national curriculum currently under consideration by the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is gaining momentum as a plethora of Greek Australian organisations are intensifying their efforts.

State and Federal politicians from both major political parties have also added their voices to that of the Greek communities advocating for the cause.

The Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) for Oceania and the Far East organised a meeting on March 27 with the Modern Greek Studies Society of Australia and New Zealand.

During the meeting it was decided to produce a document that will outline the educational, cultural and social arguments for the inclusion of Greek in the national curriculum.

The Greek academics who took part in the meeting included: Dr Vrasidas Karalis, Dr Antonis Dracopoulos and Dr Panayota Nazou from the University of Sydney, Dr Elizabeth Kefallinos from Μacquarie University, Dr Maria Zarimis from the University of NSW, Dr Maria Herodotou and Dr Despina Michael from La Trobe University, Professor Michael Tsianikas and Dr Maria Palaktsoglou from Flinders University, Dr George Frantzis from Charles Darwin University and Savvas Papasavvas from the University of Notre Dame.

The participants decided to circulate the document to all interested parties for consultation in order to form a final submission that will be sent to ACARA as a collective effort of Greek organisations.

It should be noted, that the Australian Hellenic Council is already trying to establish a leading role in the Greek campaign.

The SAE initiative followed another meeting that took place in Adelaide on March 25 regarding the campaign to include Greek in the national curriculum.

The President of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA), Vasilis Elovaris convened the meeting between Co-Ordinator of SAE Oceania George Angelopoulos, Professor Michalis Tsianikas, SA MP Tom Koutsantonis, Federal MP Steve Georganas and Senator Nick Xenophon.

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Victorian Opposition Ted Baillieu sent a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Julia Gillard. Arguing for the inclusion of Greek in the national curriculum Mr Baillieu wrote among other things:

“It is not an overstatement to say that there is no other language or culture to which Europe owes a greater debt for the higher education of its people than Greek.

“I am convinced that the inclusion of Greek in the the National Curriculum Policy will equally enrich the cultural profile of Australia and will reinforce the foundations of learning for our school-aged children.”

Mr Baillieu’s letter is added to a number of representations made to Mrs Gillard by State and Federal politicians for the inclusion of Greek in the national curriculum.

These representations include among others: Victorian Liberal MP Nick Kotsiras, ALP Victorian candidate for Brunswhick Jane Garrett and Victorian MP Jenny Mikakos.