President of the Greek Community of Melbourne Visits Psychico College in Athens

Mr. Dimitris Tsigkros, Mr. Apostolos Athanasopoulos, Mr. Richard Jackson, Mr. Bill Papastergiadis, Ms. Georgia Charpantidou, Mr. Dimitris Karamanos and Ms. Alexandra Papazoglou.

The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Mr. Vasilis Papastergiadis and Ms. Georgia Charpantidou, who is responsible for the Historical Archives of the Greek Community of Melbourne, visited Psychico College on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

The visit forms part of the collaboration that began between HAEF (Psychico College) and the Greek Community schools of Melbourne’s Language and Culture Schools, during 2016- 2017, with the commencement of the educational program entitled “Melbourne – Athens: A Journey of Friendship” Program.

The Program was designed and implemented as a result of the initiative of the Sociologist and Psychico College teacher, Ms Maria-Filio Tridimas.

The program – which was implemented with success during the academic year 2016-2017 – will be offered in the new academic year with the utilization of the latest communication technologies. Obliterating the distance between Melbourne – Athens, the program foresaw for Psychico College’s students (Year 10) the mentor-ship role, so as to improve their peer’s (Year 9, students of the Greek Community schools of Melbourne’s Language and Culture Schools, second or third generation Greeks) Greek language learning.

At the same time, it provides to Psychico College students the opportunity to become acquainted with the culture of Australia; in particular the way of life and living conditions, as well as the achievements of Greeks in Melbourne, through their communication with their peers in Australia.

Mr. Apostolos Athanasopoulos and Mr. Bill Papastergiadis while addressing the “Melbourne- Athens: A Journey of Friendship” program’s students

Mr. Papastergiadis and Ms. Charpantidou met with College President, Mr. Richard Jackson, as well as Mr. Dimitris Karamanos – Head of the Scholarship Trust Fund, Mr. Apostolos Athanasopoulos – Coordinator the Psychico College Schools and Director of Psychico College High School, Ms. Alexandra Papazoglou – Director of the HAEF Libraries, and Mr. Dimitris Tsigkros, responsible for the development and supervision of HAEF Schools’ e-learning program.

Following the meeting, Mr. Papastergiadis and Mr. Charpantidou were given a tour around the College’s premises by Mr. A. Athanasopoulos. Afterwards, Mr. Papastergiadis visited the Choremi Auditorium; where he met and spoke with the Psychico College High School students who will participate in the Program “Melbourne – Athens: A Journey of Friendship” as well as with the Club’s Teacher-Advisor, Ms. Ioanna Tsiligianni.

Mr. Papastergiadis was favorably impressed by the facilities and high standards of HAEF and stressed the importance of the Program for our respective student communities as well as for our School’s overall relationship with Hellenism in Melbourne (Victoria).

“We spent 3 wonderful hours at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation. We were introduced to the Head of school, the President and numerous board members. The hospitality was outstanding,” Mr Papastergiadis said.

“What impressed me even more were the school facilities. We are used to schools in Melbourne having state of the art facilities but it seemed to me that this school rivalled if not exceeded those of our best private schools. “Matters which impressed me most were as follows: “The school has an outward looking focus. It is open to the world and in exploring opportunities globally for its students. Its subject offerings are first class.

“Equally, the school assists many students with tuition fees in the difficult economic times that Greece is encountering. It takes a very responsible approach.

“In terms of school grounds, I have never seen such a beautiful campus. It is aesthetically pleasing, well set out and with amazing views. The students are hosted in the best possible environment.

“I also had the opportunity to address the students who participated as mentors in the program “Melbourne – Athens: A Journey of Friendship” between the GCM schools and the College. I explained the importance of student engagement with peers around the world and the significance of making friends. Through the program “Melbourne- Athens: A Journey of Friendship” and students’ interaction their empathy and self-esteem develops. It is is a great honour for GCM to collaborate with Psychico College, via the contribution and input of Ms Tridimas.

The “Melbourne- Athens: A journey of Friendship Program” was nominated for Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2017. This year the number of students participating in the program “Melbourne- Athens: A journey of Friendship Program” has doubled.”