Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos met with Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GCM) President Bill Papastergiadis and GCM Secretary Costas Marcos on 20 January. The purpose of the meeting was to brief Ms Mikakos on the future plans of the Greek community and to discuss ideas to help enhance the cosmopolitan image of Melbourne.

The $2.5 million grant, to be provided to the Greek Community was discussed and it was pledged that the Greek Community of Melbourne would not be forgotten in a city infrastructure project.

Ms Mikakos also took an active interest in the commencement of the reproduction of the Parthenon Frieze that has been commissioned and undertaken by Greek company, The art of marble and stone P.C. The construction of 25 meters of the Western Parthenon frieze will be carved on Dionysos marble by the renowned sculptor Constantinos Dousis.

Finally, both the Minister and the executive members of the GCM discussed the feasibility of establishing a Chair of Diaspora, at Tertiary level, in Melbourne. The concept of focusing on the Greek diaspora and its extensive networks throughout the world and using such a model to examine and research other communities of the diaspora received the unequivocal support of Ms Mikakos.

After the conclusion of the meeting both the President and the Secretary of the Greek Community noted that “2019 will be a pivotal year for the GOCMV with a number of projects that are due to commence that will benefit the Greek community, build social connectedness with younger generation Greek Australians and strengthen community engagement”.

“Minister Mikakos, has for many years be a fundamental link to the Victorian Government for the Greek Community of Melbourne,” Mr Papastergiadis.

“She has always been responsive to our telephone calls and initiated a number of important programs and policies which are for the benefit of the broader Greek Community. Just her work of maintaining the teaching of Greek language at schools, merits significant applause. Hence, this meeting again initiated by Minister Mikakos demonstrated this commitment by the Minister and the Andrews Labor Government.”