The Victorian Premier, John Brumby has expressed his wholehearted support for the inclusion of the Greek language in the national curriculum currently being developed by the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

The statement came on Wednesday night during the reception organised by the Victorian government at the National Gallery of Victoria attended by more than 400 people to commemorate the 189th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence.

“It is therefore my view that because of the large population and long history of the Greek community in Victoria – that the Greek language must be included as one of the eight languages of national importance,” Mr Brumby said.

The Victorian Premier noted that the indication is that there will be eight languages of national importance to be included as part of the national curriculum. “I am aware that the Greek community has commenced a major campaign to have Greek named as one of the eight languages of national importance,” he said pointing out to representations he received from the Greek community as well as from discussions with Victorian MPs Jenny Mikakos and John Pandazopoulos.

“The reality is that Melbourne has the third largest Greek population in the world – after Athens and Thessaloniki.Greek remains one of the most commonly taught languages in Victorian Government schools and is one of four languages with the highest enrolment numbers in the Victorian School of Languages,” Mr Brumby explained while making the case for the inclusion of the Greek language in the national curriculum.

Mr Brumby also talked about the importance and contribution of the Greek community in Victoria and the values that they brought with them.

He outlined the Government’s funding towards the Greek community to help preserve their tradition and culture, namely $2 million into an Antipodes Centre for Greek Culture, Heritage and Language, $1.2 million to transform the Lonsdale Street Greek Precinct and providing over $750,000 in 2009 to Greek community language schools.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Greece in Australia, Alexios Christopoulos in a written message sent to Neos Kosmos on the occasion of the National Independence Day celebrated on the 25th of March said: “The Hellenes of 1821, our ancestors, came from everywhere, with whatever means each one had at their disposal, to attain the same goal: their freedom…we celebrate this anniversary each year to commemorate our struggle and our victory.

“To remind ourselves that the thousands of years of the existence of our Nation and civilization demand a clear knowledge of the past, in order to be able to face the challenges of the future…

“Today, we find ourselves at the dawn of a new era. We are facing a great economic crisis which is at the same time an international economic crisis.
“Our decision is to comply with it, to face it, with readjustment, sacrifice and unity. It is the demand of the new era. We believe we shall overcome obstacles as those we have confronted many times in our past.

“This is the great opportunity given to us. Through the crisis a new Greece will emerge – modern, more organised and more democratic, as the present demands, as the future dictates.”