In 2016 Flinders University celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. For over half of that time – 28 years to be exact – Flinders has been providing a course in Modern Greek with the support of the South Australian Greek Australian community.
Earlier this month, the Vice-Chancellor Colin Stirling hosted a dinner for the leaders of Adelaide’s Greek Community to consider the future of the Greek language in Australia and discuss the challenges faced by universities in sustaining language programs. Bringing together of prominent members of the Australian-Greek community — lawyers, bankers, entrepreneurs, agents, politicians and many more — with the scholars and academics who share a commitment and passion for Greek language and culture. Guests included the Consul General to Greece, Mr Andreas Gouras, the Honourable Greg Crafter AO, and a diverse array of leaders in their fields. Ms Athena Lambetis, Ministerial Liaison Officer and alumna of the Modern Greek program, spoke on the night of her passion for the preservation of Hellenism, sharing her experiences as a Greek language learner and how she continues to apply these learnings in her personal and professional life today. A gallery of images from the evening can be viewed here.
The dinner was held at Alere Restaurant, where guests could see the bust of Aristotle standing proudly overlooking our vibrant new state-of-the-art Flinders Student Hub and Plaza. The statue exemplifies the Greek-Australian community’s commitment to education and to the concept of philanthropy or philanthrōpía. Made possible by the generous donation from the Halkidikeon Society, the bust of Aristotle represents the efforts of the Greek Australian community in South Australia who are committed to the promotion and preservation of Greek language and culture. Our new 2,000 seat terraced amphitheatre – also in Greek tradition – recently featured Greek dancers bringing the Greek culture to the heart of the university.
One of the deepest and most profound roots in Hellenic tradition is education’s role in the development of civilisation. More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle proclaimed education is the best provision for life’s journey.
We have always seen this provision as a partnership between the University and the community. The LOGOS Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture, which is now five years old, was an endeavour made possible by the collaboration of the University, the State government, the Ministry of Education of the Greek government and the state’s Greek-Australian community, which came together through the work of the late Basil Taliangis and our good friend Theo Maras to encourage the State government to do something that no other State government in Australia has done: to invest in Greek education. That $600,000 investment from the State Government enabled Flinders to provide 44 students with LOGOS scholarships to support their studies of Modern Greek and to develop an online language program that has resulted in universities around Australian being able to offer Modern Greek programs once again.
The LOGOS Centre has become a focal point of a state-of-the-art approach to language studies at Flinders, and LOGOS is widely regarded a leading developer of on-line language materials in Australia. Our program is now the largest and most securely established program in Modern Greek in the Australian university system, hosting the oldest and largest international conference on Greek research in the Southern hemisphere. You can preview a snapshot of our achievements in the Modern Greek Report.
Professor Richard Maltby, Executive Dean – Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law, spoke on the night about the vision for the LOGOS Centre at Flinders and how we aim to secure the future of Hellenism, saying:
“Our goal is to offer Modern Greek to any potential learner of the language, anywhere, and at any time, across Australia and beyond. Our vision for the Centre is that it will not only move young people to pursue studies in Modern Greek, but also strengthen Australia’s economic and social ties with Greece through the promotion of Greek culture, traditions and creativity.”
Poised to make Flinders and South Australia the centre of Hellenic education, the LOGOS Centre is inviting the Australian-Greek community to stand with us in this endeavour, to help raise the funds necessary to secure the future for Hellenism in perpetuity, by your own donations, and by your encouragement of others in the community to contribute to this vision. For further information or to discuss the future of Hellenism please contact the Director of LOGOS, Professor Tsianikas.