With Greek language education high on the Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) agenda, they have set their sights on working towards revitalising the Greek language program at La Trobe University.
Earlier this month members of the GCM Education Committee together with the Greek Education Consul for Australia and New Zealand met with head of the Language and Linguistics Department of La Trobe, Professor James Walker.
Currently responsible for Modern Greek, he expressed support for the Greek program and said that the current priority is to fill the position of coordinator of Greek studies, following the retirement of Maria Herodotus.
Convenor of the Education Committee, Theo Markos said that the GCM would do their part to garner support and interest in the program by engaging with students on campuses across Melbourne and with the Modern Greek Teachers Association.
“We believe that the longevity of the Greek studies program depends not only on the administration of La Trobe University but in the sincere mobilisation of all those in the Greek community who care about the teaching and promotion of our language and culture,” said Mr Markos.
What students may not be aware of is that the program is open to students of all universities and can be credited to the degree being undertaken at the student’s own university.
With over 1,500 students studying Greek at the GCM’s after-hour schools and Alphington Grammar, Spiros Papadopoulos said they would ensure all students would be made aware of the program to be considered in their future study plans.
“We will be spreading the word, telling them to think seriously about studying Greek once they reach tertiary level,” Mr Papadopoulos assured.
Meanwhile to ensure the trek to La Trobe’s Bundoora campus won’t deter prospective students, Nikos Dallas offered the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture conveniently situated in Melbourne’s CBD as a central alternative to conduct classes.
“This will enable students from other campuses to study Greek in a location convenient to students from all over Melbourne,” he explained.
The Greek Education Consul’s Georgia Nikolaidou said the Greek government would continue to show its support with the provision of a qualified Greek teacher to enhance the quality of the program.
The National Union of Greek Australia Students (NUGAS) also jumped on board offering to use their reach across all Victorian tertiary institutions to promote the Greek studies program.
To get further insight into young people and their connection with the Greek language and its future in Australia, together with NUGAS the GCM will be hosting a forum as part of the community’s 120 year anniversary activities later this year.
Find out more about La Trobe University’s Modern Greek program here.