first_imgThe Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) will conduct its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday 16 December.This year’s AGM, one of the most interesting so far, will be held at the Andrianakos Centre in Alphington Grammar School at 12 noon with a Special General Meeting (SGM) to be held at 3.30 pm.Nominations will be open until 5.00 pm on Saturday 15 December, and in order to participate in the AGM and the SGM, one must be a GCM member for a period of no less than six months.Notifications for the AGM and the SGM have already been sent to members by email or post, together with a copy of the Financial Report for the financial year 2017-2018, recording profits of about $644,000.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, GCM General Secretary Costas Markos said that one of the main issues to be discussed will be the fate of the Bulleen property.“It has unfortunately been confirmed by the State Government that the Bulleen property will be compulsorily acquired in order to facilitate the development of the North East Link Freeway Project,” said Mr Markos.“This has been something that the Greek community has been preoccupied with over the past 35 years – that’s now solely up to the state government and statutory authorities – despite the fact that we had supplied preliminary plans. The GCM, and more generally the Greek Community has agreed on a vision for the property which it appears will not be realised.”“Hopefully,” Mr Markos added, “we will be able to receive some form of answer by the state government early in 2019 … however, we have had absolutely no documentation from the state government. We will be seeking resigning, appropriate re-zoning and subsequent compensation to obtain the principle amount of money. Our aim is to pursue the best avenue for the Greek community.”Such a process could be taken up to 2020, when and if the whole project will commence, as there are statutory authorities that will need to be established in early 2019. Mr Markos made it clear that the GCM will continue its pursuit of developing the property; the outcome, which is yet to be determined, will involve experts.Meanwhile, another issue that will be put on the table at the annual meeting is female representation on the board.“There are currently four women on the board; I cannot at this stage preempt how many women will nominate simply because applications close at 5.00 pm tomorrow,” he told Neos Kosmos on Friday.“It is my understanding that the members will sit down and consider exactly its perspective involved in regards with encouraging females on to the board. We will most certainly develop some policies – we have not developed any policies in two years – as it is our goal to develop and establish the grounds for a more equal representation.”When asked about the rumours surrounding the call for the current GCM President to step down, Mr Markos said that Bill Papastergiadis is in fact being re-nominated.“He would have to be re-elected but I would assume he would be running for the president’s position.”The General Secretary did expand on the many proud moments and achievements of the Greek Community in 2018, including being active with regards to the refugee issue on Manus island and Nauru, while actively participating in policy making to promote multiculturalism.An important milestone has been increasing enrolments in all education departments with notable increases in adult courses for ‘Beginners Greek’ and ‘Conversational Greek’ as well as VCE enrolments reaching a record high with an additional three campuses for afternoon Greek classes being opened in the suburbs.“We are actively involved with Greek schools and schools where Greek is taught, and the continuation of our programs for non-Greek adults.“We are trying to preserve Greek language and we are proud to have secured classes in schools where it was in danger of being pushed out of the curriculum,” Mr Markos said.“Our focus, be it events or programs, is to promote both our culture and language – where culture think of it in its broader sense; as in Greek Australian culture and culture that pertains to artists both emerging and established with a connection to Greece whether that’s a Greek background or an interest in Greek heritage.“We have a long road ahead, but a journey to look forward to.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more