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Cultural Relations and Greek Community

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The presence of a vibrant Greek-Australian Community in Australia, quickly resulted in the creation of numerous, well organised Communities and associations. In all major cities of Australia, newspapers and radio programs are active. The dynamism of the Hellenic Diaspora in Australia is also expressed via the successful performance of academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, journalists and artists of Greek descent.  

The bilateral cooperation in culture and education is based on an Agreement on cultural cooperation signed in Canberra in 1979. This Agreement covers the fields of education, facilitation of teaching Greek and English respectively, culture, sport as well as cooperation between Media. Respective MOU’s for the implementation of the educational cooperation have been signed periodically with the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Preserving Greek language is of paramount importance for the Greek-australian Diaspora. Modern Greek has been incorporated as second language in the australian primary and secondary school national Curriculum currently under consultation. This promising development empowers modern Greek as an optional language to be the choice of students who do not necessarily possess an hellenic background.

A number of Greek language teachers operate in major cities of Australia, seconded by the Greek Ministry of Education. Locally recruited teachers join forces in the task of teaching the Greek language. The Archbishopric of Australia plays a pioneering role in terms of education, with very successful Greek-Orthodox schools. There are also very successful Grammar Schools in Victoria and in South and West Australia.

In major Australian universities, modern Greek Studies are available. More specifically, in New South Wales, at the University of Sydney, the Chair/Department of modern Hellenic Studies has been operational since 1983, in South Australia, at Flinders University, the LOGOS Centre for Hellenic language and culture has been established for the training and promotion of the Greek language teaching, in West Australia, at the University of Notre Dame, a modern Hellenic Studies program is operational since 1999, and in Victoria, at the University of La Trobe, a course and degree of Hellenic Studies is offered.

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