On the eve of Australia Day, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) issued a statement of their unflinching support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament. In the statement issued on Wednesday January 25, the Greek Community said that on Friday January 27 it will meet with other communities to develop a Joint Resolution of Multicultural Organisations in support of the establishment and codification of a First Nations Voice.

The president of the GCM Bill Papastergiadis OAM with fellow board members Jeana Vithoulkas and Nick Koukouvitakis will attend the 27 January meeting.

The GCM said it stands behind “a referendum that leads to a constitutional change and the establishment of a an Indigenous advisory body to advise Government on laws and policies with respect to Indigenous affairs.”

It also said that it was an “important symbolic and practical acknowledgement of our First Nations brothers and sisters.”The GCM in its statement said it stands shoulder to shoulder with with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and called for a discussion on the appropriate date to celebrate the nation.

Papastergiadis, the president of the Greek Community, reflected on both the Voice and Australia Day and said: “The Greek Community is proud to collaborate with other multicultural organisations in supporting the First Nations Voice referendum.”

“The First Nations Voice referendum is a much-needed step in the direction of democratic equity and highlights the immense value of self-determination,” Papastergiadis added.

“As a multicultural organisation, the GCM is honoured to integrate our culture into the ever-growing diversity of Australia.

On the issue of Australia Day, Papastergiadis on behalf of the GCM said: “We acknowledge that the celebrating of our individual and civic roles in contributing to our Nation’s Identity is an important aspect of ‘Australia Day’ for many of our members.

“Moving forward however, we should use this time to listen to Indigenous voices and reflect on the appropriateness of 26 January as our National day.”