Greek Orthodox schools from across Australia have gathered at Oakleigh Grammar in Melbourne for the 2023 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia National Schools Event (GOAANSE).

The event began on Tuesday 2 May with a blessing and opening ceremony at the Sts Anargiri Church Oakleigh.

Since 1998, each year, a different Greek Orthodox school has hosted the event, which includes sports competitions, a creative arts festival, and an Orthodox Christian Studies Forum.

The participating schools this year are Oakleigh Grammar, All Saints Grammar (NSW), St Andrew’s Grammar (WA), St Euphemia College (NSW), St George College (SA), St John’s College (VIC), and St Spyridon College (NSW).

Over three days, students will compete in various sports including futsal, volleyball, football, netball, basketball, and table tennis.

Mark Robertson, the principal of Oakleigh Grammar, expressed his joy at finally hosting schools from all over Australia for the event. He highlighted that the event provides a fantastic opportunity for students to not only compete but also develop friendships and bonds that transcend state borders. He urged all students to compete with dignity and be gracious in defeat and humble in victory.

“We are so happy to finally host schools from all over Australia for this magnificent event. It always provides such a wonderful opportunity for students not only to compete, but to develop friendships and bonds that transcend state borders. We are looking forward to the next few days of competition and camaraderie. I urge all students to compete with dignity, be gracious in defeat and humble in defeat,” said Mr Robertson.

In addition to sports, the Creative Arts Festival is also a highlight of the event. Each school will present a song, dance, poem, presentation, or play. The event will conclude with a dinner dance where students and teachers will come together to celebrate. The presentation and closing ceremony will take place on Friday 5 May, after which students will return to their home states.

Oakleigh Grammar was initially supposed to host the event in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed until this year. In 2022, Oakleigh Grammar hosted a smaller event for its Melbourne counterpart, St John’s College, giving students a preview of what was to come.