For the first time in the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria’s history, 92 per cent of members were in agreement over the Bulleen Project, giving it the go ahead along with a vote of confidence to President Bill Papastergiadis and the board.
The general meeting held on Sunday at Alphington Grammar School, was the opportunity to lay to rest a matter that has been of concern to the community for many years and will result in the creation of an additional Greek centre.
The overwhelmingly positive result was interpreted as an expression of trust for the members of the current board, who have demonstrated their dedication and professionalism in ensuring the future of the GCM and wider Greek community, exemplified by the 15-storey Greek Centre located in Melbourne’s CBD.
The results revealed that of the 561 members who voted, 513 voted for the development, while 47 voted against the plans, along with one donkey vote.
Following the news, there was a round of applause from members for Mr Papastergiadis and vice-presidents Nick Koukouvitakis and Thodoro Marko, along with those who took to the floor in support of the board’s proposal to embrace the opportunity and finally develop the site in Bulleen.
In the lead up to the meeting, dozens of of organisations expressed their support, which Mr Papastergiadis later acknowledged in a speech, also noting the continued support and confidence from the wider community.
“The community was always beside us throughout this fight and was demonstrated with the 40 organisations who publicly declared their trust and support to us. Meanwhile, we also had over 40,000 visits to the Community’s Facebook page, where everyone left positive messages This has never before happened in the Community’s history,” Mr Papastergiadis said.
He went on to emphasise that the development will also give various organisations and agencies a place to gather and that “it is a project that will unite our community”.
“This project, together with the 15-storey Cultural Centre in the city centre, will see Melbourne become the global headquarters of the Hellenic diaspora,” he said, adding that “the community voted in favour of our vision, for our dynamism and in support of our determination.”