Melbourne’s Greek Community backs First Nations Voice

On the eve of Australia Day, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) published a statement expressing their unwavering support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

The message was released in the Greek language. In a statement that was released on Wednesday, January 25, the Greek Community stated that on Friday, January 27, it would meet with other communities to develop a Joint Resolution of Multicultural Organizations in support of the establishment and codification of a First Nations Voice. This resolution will be presented at a meeting that will take place on Friday, January 27.

The meeting that will take place on January 27 will be attended by the president of the GCM, Bill Papastergiadis OAM, and fellow board members Jeana Vithoulkas and Nick Koukouvitakis.

The GCM has stated that it agrees with and supports “a referendum that leads to a constitutional reform and the establishment of an Indigenous advisory council to advise Government on legislation and policies with relation to Indigenous matters.”
In addition, it stated that it was an “essential symbolic and practical acknowledgement of our First Nations brothers and sisters.”

The GCM stated that it stood in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and asked for a conversation on the most appropriate day to honour the nation. The GCM also called for a dialogue on a proper day to commemorate Australia Day.

Reflecting on both the Voice and Australia Day, the president of the Greek Community made the following statement: “The Greek Community is happy to join with other multicultural organizations in supporting the First Nations Voice referendum.” Australia Day was celebrated on January 26.

“As a multicultural organization, the GCM is honoured to include our culture in the ever-increasing diversity of Australia,” said the GCM president.

Regarding the topic of Australia Day, Papastergiadis, speaking on behalf of the GCM, made the following statement: “We realize that the celebrating of our individual and civic roles in contributing to our Nation’s Identity is a vital aspect of ‘Australia Day’ for many of our members.”

Moving forward, however, we should use this opportunity to pay attention to the perspectives of indigenous people and consider whether or not January 26 should continue to serve as our national holiday.

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