Greek-Australian Labor MP Steve Dimopoulos opted to address his first Victoria Parliament speech in Greek. Dimopoulos was recently elected in the seat of Oakleigh, an area where thousands of Greek Diaspora members reside and where he has served in the past as mayor and city adviser.
His decision to deliver his first parliament speech in the Greek language is associated with the “Speak Greek in March” campaign that is currently underway in Australia.
Furthermore, the campaign was also featured last Saturday, March 14, on public television broadcaster SBS. According to the Australian TV channel, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias congratulated the Diaspora members on their initiatives. He also noted that he is certain this initiative will be welcomed by Greeks across the globe.
Other significant Australian public figures of Greek origin, such as presenter Helen Kapalos and leading chef George Kalombaris, also showed their support in the “Speak Greek in March” campaign.
According to the 2011 census, the Greek language is spoken by 250,000 people in Australia, half of which live in Melbourne.
Sakis Zafeiropoulos, who had the initial idea behind the campaign, noted that it is important for Australian citizens to speak more than one language, given their country’s multicultural background. “There are many benefits, socially, economically and scientifically,” he said, adding that this was just the beginning.
“Next year, the campaign will be even bigger. We want to embrace Greeks all over the world,” he noted.
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