President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GOCMV), Bill Papastergiadis and Georgia Charpantidou who is responsible for the Historical Archives of the Greek Community of Melbourne, visited the Psychico College on Tuesday 10 October.

The visit took place on the grounds of the collaboration that begun between HAEF (Psychico College) and the Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) Language and Culture Schools during 2016-17, with the commencement of the educational program entitled Melbourne-Athens: A Journey of Friendship.

The program, which has been nominated for Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2017, was designed and implemented as a result of the initiative of the Sociologist and Psychico College teacher Maria-Filio Tridimas during the academic year 2016-17, and will be offered this new academic year with the utilisation of the latest communication technologies.

Obliterating the distance between Melbourne and Athens, this Journey of Friendship foresaw the mentorship role for Year 10 Psychico College’s students, so as to improve their Year 9 peers, the students of the GCM’s schools.

At the same time, the program provided the opportunity to Psyhico students to become acquainted with the culture of Australia, in particular the way of life and living conditions, as well as the achievements of Greeks in Melbourne, through their communication with their second or third generation peers in Australia.

Mr Papastergiadis and Ms Charpantidou met with College President Richard Jackson and the Head of the Scholarship Trust Fund Dimitris Karamanos, alongside Apostolos Athanasopoulos, the Coordinator the Psychico College Schools and Director of Psychico College High School, Alexandra Papazoglou. Dimitris Tsigkros, director of the HAEF Libraries who is responsible for the development and supervision of HAEF Schools’ e-learning program, was also present.

Following the meeting, the GOCMV officials were given a tour of the College’s premises during which they also visited the Choremi Auditorium where Mr Papastergiadis met and spoke with the Psychico College High School students that will participate in the program and the Club’s Teacher-Advisor, Ioanna Tsiligianni.

The GOCMV President was favourably impressed by the facilities and high standards of HAEF and stressed the importance of the program for each respective student community as well as for the school’s overall relationship with Hellenism in Melbourne (Victoria).

“What impressed me even more were the school facilities. We are used to schools in Melbourne having state of the art facilities but it seemed to me that this school rivalled if not exceeded those of our best private schools,” he said.

“The school has an outward looking focus. It is open to the world and in exploring opportunities globally for its students. Its subject offerings are first class.
“Equally, the school assists many students with tuition fees in the difficult economic times that Greece is encountering. It takes a very responsible approach. In terms of school grounds, I have never seen such a beautiful campus. It is aesthetically pleasing, well set out and with amazing views. The students are hosted in the best possible environment.”

Mr Papastergiadis also had the opportunity to address the students who participated as mentors in the program between the GCM schools and the College.

He explained the importance of student engagement with peers around the world and the significance of this two-way interaction in terms of further developing empathy and self-esteem.

“It is is a great honour for GCM to collaborate with Psychico College, via the contribution and input of Ms Tridimas,” he said, proudly adding that “this year the number of students participating in the program Melbourne-Athens: A journey of Friendship Program has doubled.”