The National Union of Greek Australian Students (NUGAS) has changed hands for the new 2021/22 season.

The previous committee faced unprecedented challenges with the onset of Victoria’s strict lockdowns, having to miss out on hosting the event of the year, the NUGAS Ball.

“As a new year commences, our aim this year is to return NUGAS to a pre-COVID ‘normal’. We aspire to represent Greek-Australian students’ and to foster an open platform where students can voice their opinions of matters that affect our diaspora,” NUGAS told Neos Kosmos.

Much like in previous years, NUGAS will continue fostering its relationship with the Greek-Australian community of Victoria but also with the Diaspora. This year, the new committee hopes it can jumpstart the projects that had to be put on hold due to the pandemic.

“We are looking forward to actively involving ourselves in the wider community and being a voice for Hellenic students; most of all, we are excited to announce that we are currently working behind the scenes to organise the NUGAS Alumni event to celebrate 50 years of NUGAS Australia and host our annual NUGAS Ball,” NUGAS said.

It seems that one of the main focuses the team has this year, is to reconnect NUGAS alumni with the new generation of Greek-Australians.

“This year, we are hoping to restore NUGAS’ prominent name in the community by representing our association at multiple communal events, hosting memorable events for our members and connecting our Alumni together once again.”

NUGAS President Janna Trifon and Vice President Maria Psomadelli introduce themselves and share the vision they have for their tenure.

READ MORE: Fostering the next generation of leaders: The Greek Community of Melbourne meet with NUGAS

Janna Trifon – President

NUGAS President 21/22 Janna Trifon Photo: Supplied

Having previously been elected into the 2020/2021 committee as an Independent Representative, I was fortunate enough to see first-hand the remarkable things our organisation achieved despite obstacles we all faced. This term again, I wanted to surround myself with like minded individuals who had a strong passion and enthusiasm for our culture. Moreover, I wanted to immerse myself further in our community by giving back as much as I could to a community that has done so much for me and my family.

For this commencing term, I foresee NUGAS having a more active stance within the wider Greek community and not merely the universities. This includes interstate collaborations with other Greek societies. Whilst catering to the desires of our members is our top priority, having a present stance within the wider community will enable all individuals to feel more engaged as Greeks living abroad; thus, allowing for networking opportunities and creating lifelong memories. From the initial meeting, our committee demonstrated a strong dedication to improve our organisation and I am extremely excited to see how the entire year will unfold; most of all, I am excited for our famous NUGAS Ball as last year, unfortunately we were unable to host the event.

Naturally, with all organisations there are unforeseen obstacles that we all face at one-point of another that presents multiple challenges. Personally, I believe the most challenging obstacle that I will face this term as a leader will be adjusting our events if the pandemic were to affect our plans and aspirations (like many others). The previous term’s presidents were extremely proactive and I believe that if we were to face such obstacles again, we will once again strive to be a platform for Hellenic students’ to connect with one another despite the pandemic. The honour of representing the NUGAS committee is something I will cherish for the rest of my life and I would like to thank the past and current committee for giving me this opportunity to represent our organisation.

Maria Psomadelli – Vice President

NUGAS Vice President 21/22 Maria Psomadelli Photo: supplied

Being a part of the NUGAS committee this year is a chance for me to actively engage and participate in activities within the Greek community. Last year a general member, I had the opportunity to experience what NUGAS is about. Even though it was a lot different than expected due to the pandemic, I had a good taste of what being in a united committee feels like. This year as the Vice President, I’m looking forward to contribute all my experiences and skills to our organisation. I believe this year the committee is more than capable to achieve our goals as well as set foundations for the years to come. Being the Vice President of NUGAS, is an experience I will always value and be proud of and I appreciate everyone that believed and supported me.

NUGAS for me stands as an organisation with the main purpose of representing every single voice of our members. From day one, both myself and the rest of the executive committee have decided to make this year one to remember.

All the new members have shown extreme dedication and have fresh ideas which was really fortunate to see. At the moment we are working behind the scenes to organise our famous, annual NUGAS Ball, as well as we getting ready to celebrate our 50 years, which is really important for us to honour. Hopefully there will be no restrictions by that time and we will all be able to commemorate our organisation being active for half a decade.

There are lots of new and existing projects that are being run by our amazing committee. Projects such as ‘Syndagi Sundays’, and the podcast ‘Ta leme’, that we are really proud of. We also have new segments on social media on the way, in which we introduce different dances from all around Greece which is also getting lots of support.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

*Absent members in image: Aristidis Tsoulakos, Tania Koumanelis, Thanos Cheimaras, Yianna Vasiliadis, Jeremy Vallianos
and Andrew Malessinakos