2016 Speech by Steve Dimopoulos MP at the Victorian Parliament

I would like to raise a matter with the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. I seek that the Minister meet with Mike Zafiropoulos – former General Manager of SBS in Victoria and Stefan Romaniw – former head of Community Languages Australia.

Both these men have had a passion for community languages and have many ideas to progress.

Deputy Speaker, I recently attended the Greek Cultural Centre to help launch the Speak Greek in March campaign.

This event involved community leaders, diplomats – including the Greek Consul General in Melbourne and members of the wider Greek and Australian community.

The Greek language has been in continuous use for over 4,000 years and is made up of around 5 million words.

In fact the Greek language has contributed significantly to the English language, with over 40,000 English words having a Greek origin.

Victoria has had a long and proud association and connection with the Greek Community.

The Greek language is taught widely across Victoria, in particular at many locations on a weekend for school students, something that I was happy to take part in when I was younger.

The role of the Speak Greek in March campaign is to promote the use of the language to the next generation, from parents and grandparents to their children, grandchildren and relatives.

The campaign involves diverse events, like exhibitions, lectures, regular promotion on Greek Media and encouragement for native Greek speakers to share the language.

I believe it is vitally important that cultural heritage is embraced and continued through generations and one of the best ways to do this is through language.

I am pleased to be able to speak about this campaign and congratulate the initiative, in particular the work of Mike Zafiropoulos.

I have no doubt this campaign will continue to grow, I wish it well for the future and I am happy to undertake the challenge personally.

With your indulgence Speaker, I’ll say a few words about Speak Greek in March in the Greek language.

Αξιότιμε κύριε Πρόεδρε,
αξιότιμοι συνάδελφοι της Πολιτειακής Βουλής,

Είμαι υπερήφανος που είμαι Αυστραλός πολίτης, είμαι επίσης υπερήφανος για την Ελληνική μου καταγωγή. Ανεβαίνω σήμερα στο βήμα να σας πω λίγα λόγια στη μητρική μου γλώσσα. Η Ελληνική είναι η γλώσσα με την οποία εκφράστηκαν τα μεγαλύτερα επιτεύγματα της ανθρώπινης νόησης.

Η Ελληνική γλώσσα είναι ζωντανή για περισσότερο από τέσσερις χιλιάδες χρόνια και έχει περίπου πέντε εκατομμύρια λέξεις.

Είναι γεγονός ότι η Ελληνική γλώσσα συνέβαλε σημαντικά στην εμπλούτιση της Αγγλικής. Σαράντα και πλέον χιλιάδες λέξεις στην Αγγλική έχουν ρίζα Ελληνική.

Σκοπός της εκστρατείας «Μιλάμε Ελληνικά το Μάρτιο» είναι να προωθήσει την Ελληνική γλώσσα στις επόμενες γενιές. Σημαντικό ρόλο σ’ αυτό παίζουν γονείς, παππούδες και γιαγιάδες.

Χαίρομαι ιδιαίτερα που μου δίνεται η δυνατότητα να μιλήσω γι αυτή την εκστρατεία stin vouli tis victorias και συγχαίρω όλους εκείνους που πήραν αυτή την πρωτοβουλία.

I thank you speaker and the house for your indulgence

Steve Dimopoulos MP
Βουλευτής στην έδρα του Oakleigh
στην Πολιτεία της Βικτωρίας -Αυστραλίας