The Foundation for Hellenic Studies has joined countless organisations and individuals across the country in supporting the Modern Greek Studies program at Macquarie University during this time of proposed discontinuation.

The Foundation sent out a letter earlier this month addressed to the Vice Chancellor and President S. Bruce Dowton and the Executive Dean of Macquarie University, Professor Chris Dixon emphasizing the importance of maintaining the Modern Greek Studies Program within the university’s curriculum.

“The Foundation takes very seriously its role in promoting the ongoing teaching of Modern Greek not only at tertiary level but also at primary school and secondary school level” said the Hon Greg Crafter, chair of the Foundation, to Neos Kosmos.

“It is through language that one’s cultural identity remains strong which contributes to multiculturalism and in a broader sense nation building.”

Speaking to the Foundation, they revealed the core messages conveyed in their letter (sent out on November 20) emphasised:

  • The importance of maintaining linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • The significance of the Modern Greek Studies Program for the Greek community and its cultural identity.
  • The alignment of Modern Greek Studies with the university’s interest in global studies and its contribution to intellectual diversity.
  • The demonstrated significance through partnerships, conferences, and exclusive agreements.

The Foundation’s Executive Officer Nancy Karvouniari said that they received a reply on the same day which acknowledging their letter and highlighted that the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University was in an initial phase of consultation regarding the direction of Language and Cultures.

“(Their reply) noted that these discussions are part of a structured consultation process anticipated to take place in the first quarter of 2024. The university was receptive to our representations,” said Ms Karvouniari to Neos Kosmos.

The South Australian organisation stressed the significance of supporting the preservation of Modern Greek at the tertiary level due to several reasons:

  •      Cultural Preservation: It ensures the preservation and dissemination of Greek language, history, and heritage, contributing to cultural continuity and identity.
  •      Educational Enrichment: It provides students with access to a rich cultural and linguistic experience, fostering a deeper understanding of global diversity and history.
  •      Community Connection: It strengthens ties with the Greek community, offering a sense of belonging and connection for students of Greek descent.
  •      Academic Significance: It aligns with the university’s academic goals, promoting intellectual diversity and global perspectives.

The initiative displayed by the South Australian group showcases the true impact that has been felt nationally by Macquarie University’s proposal to discontinue Modern Greek.

We will now have to wait to see whether the public outcry has any influence on the university’s official decision regarding this proposal moving forward.