A committee to assist the New South Wales Government form stronger links with the Greek community has been formed. The NSW Government has launched 15 new Ministerial Consultative Committees that will comprise of different ethnic groups, including Greek, to discuss and address multicultural issues as part of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s new direction for multiculturalism in NSW.

In the speech delivered by the Hon Victor Dominello, minister for citizenship and communities, he said the reason the NSW Government has chosen to do this is because “NSW recognises the need to engage with all people because the O’Farrell Government knows that when we have strong multicultural communities in NSW, then NSW will have strong economic links to the rest of the world”. Philhellene David Clarke has been appointed chair of the 12-person Greek committee.

The members of the committee include: John Kallimanis, head of the Greek Australian Coalition; Michael Kitmiridis, ex Mayor of Kogarah; Dr Panayioti Diamandis, Australian Hellenic Council NSW; Nia Karteris, vice president of the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales (GOCNSW); Steven Magdas, president of the Greek Welfare Centre of NSW; Nick Pappas, lawyer; Fr Nicholas Skordilis; Fr Andrew Joannou; Peter Kepreotos, president of the Kytherian Brotherhood; Helen Tzikas, Estia Foundation of Australia; and Anthony Tsoutsas. Member John Kallimanis told the SBS Greek program that one of the first issues they will raise to the parliament will be the use of the name Macedonia.

The committees – which include Chinese, Egyptian, Filipino, Indian, Italian, Jewish, Korean, Lebanese, Macedonian, Maori and Pacific Island Communities, Russian, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, Vietnamese as well as Greek – are all chaired by current serving Liberal politicians.