Honouring the promise he gave to the Greek community of Victoria during a recent interview with Neos Kosmos, Premier Daniel Andrews announced exclusively to our paper on Thursday that the government will renew its funding commitment to the ‘Provide Settlement Services for People Newly Arrived from Greece’ project delivered by PRONIA, providing $420,000 for the next four years.

The premier clarified that the funds will consist of $360,000 for the program and an additional one-off boost of $60,000 in the form of recognition on behalf of the government for the “excellent service PRONIA provides to the community”.

“We understand the needs and that it is only the young people who had to leave Greece and settle in Australia but also those who have lived their life here, who have decided to go back to Greece and retire there, but because the things there became tough they have decided to come back. They are a busy place down there at PRONIA, a very busy place and they need the support. I told you their funding will not run out last time and I meant it,” assured the premier.

Daniel Andrews grabbing the traditional koulouri on Ermou St, Athens.

PRONIA’s CEO Tina Douvos-Stathopoulos expressed her gratitude to the premier and his government adding that “this announcement is an acknowledgement of the importance of the program, the significant outcomes it achieved for the clients and participants and it recognises the ongoing settlement needs of the Greek newly arrived”.

George Spiliotis, Pronia’s president, thanked the government for their ongoing support and he said Pronia will ensure the needs of the Greek newly arrived are addressed and will enable them to settle into the wider community.

With fresh memories of his “unforgettable crispy winter morning experience visiting the Acropolis” as Mr Andrews described his first physical encounter with the symbol of western civilisation, the premier briefed Neos Kosmos about the announcements he made while visiting Greece.

The full interview – in which the premier explains in detail the scope, the timeline and the course of action about his recent announcements on strengthening Victoria’s Greek language programs and developing stronger business ties between the two countries – will be published next week.