The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has been focusing over the past few weeks on developing a coordinated response to assist Greek citizens who do not yet have Australian citizenship and might face problems during this difficult time of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The GCM has been in close consultation with both the state of Victoria and the Australian national governments and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia as well as professional groups and various community organizations and community advocates.
GCM President Bill Papastergiadis and Secretary Costas Markos met with Australia’s Acting Federal Minister for Immigration, the Hon. Alan Tudge recently.
They discussed many matters affecting the broader Greek community during their meeting. In particular, they focused on the plight of Greek temporary residents in Australia who fall outside the government programs now being introduced to support the broader Australian population.
The Greek Community of Melbourne also sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis several days ago, raising the issue of Greek citizens who are currently in Australia on short term visas.
Responding to the plea for support, Greek Minister of the Interior Tasos Theodorikakos noted that any Greek citizen who requires assistance should make contact immediately with the Foreign Ministry of Greece.
Over the last couple of weeks, the GCM has also been in communication with the Archdiocese over the Community’s response to the pandemic and its impact on church operations and the broader community.
There are already places where people can donate goods for those in need, and a bank account has been set up so people can chip in to assist those members of the Greek community who might find themselves in hardship due to the pandemic and its economic repercussions.
People can donate goods at the following locations:
• Holy Monastery of Action (“Axion Estin”) – 7 Hartington St., Northcote.
• St. Paraskevi Parish – 22 Marsden Crescent, St. Albans
• Parish of the Visitation of the Lord – 23-29 Victoria St., Coburg
• Transfiguration Parish of the Savior – 45 Poplar St., Thomastown
Additionally, anyone wishing to make a financial contribution can do so via a bank transfer to the following account:
Account Name: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Consolidated Trust – Northcote District.
BSB: 082 135
Account Number: 42128 9455