Greek Australian women in politics are promoting the arena to third-generation Greek women.

Whittlesea Councillor, Kris Pavlidis said it’s important to promote women in the Greek community and the political sector. “We have only one woman in state politics,” Ms Pavlidis said, “our message is that women of Greek background have to think seriously about this.”

The Greek language is spoken widely in the community and the community needs to be represented, Ms Pavlidis said. “Women represent 51 percent of the population, we feel that women should be represented at a decision-making level like in the level of budget allocation.”

Ms Pavlidis is involved in a project that started about a year ago when a forum was held with 200 women and it was not a surprise to her that most of them were of Greek background. “It was a cross-generational project, we had the older and more established age group, then we had some of my generation and we had a lot of the third generation,” Ms Pavlidis said.

“The older women spent their life building upon the economy and they did not have enough time to get involved in the public life. The girls that were there, were high school girls and they were really motivated, they’ve got a lot of interest, they want to get involved, they want to use politics to promote their interests and be represented.”

A lot of women said they wanted more forums, Ms Pavlidis said, which has led to organising another for the end of August. “Next term we will go into the schools to promote this program as there was a lot of interest on behalf of the principals and we believe that the project will evolve,” she said.

Hume Mayor Helen Patsikatheodorou is another woman representing Greeks at local government level she shares Ms Pavlidis’ aspirations in inspiring more Greek Australian women to get involved in politics. “I started my involvement in the community as an advocate and I experienced first hand that the needs of the community were not met.

That’s why I decided to take up the challenge and enter local politics. It is a very demanding job but I feel that if you want to make a difference and make a valuable contribution to your community it is the necessary step someone should take,” said the Hume City Mayor.

Stella Karyofillidis, former Mayor and current Councillor for Moreland said that young women have a lot on their plate and that is probably one of the reasons that prevents them from getting involved with their community in roles that might lead them to the decision-making arena of politics.

“I feel that it is very important for Greek Australian women to realise their potential not just for themselves but for their community as well” said Mrs Karyofillidis. Ms Pavlidis extended the invitation to all Greek Australian Colleges to take up this unique opportunity and support the program.

For more information on the project please contact Kris Pavlidis on 0407 689 032