Σάββατο, 9 Μαρτίου 2013

Can anything be done to avert Greek clubs and regional brotherhoods descending into oblivion?

Giavris: The time is now for succession planning in the community | Neos Kosmos


Vasillios Giavris, a lawyer and ex-member of SAE (Council of Hellenes Abroad) might just have the key to addressing one of the leading issues facing the Greek-Australian community. Namely of the dwindling numbers of second and third generation Greek-Australian involved with community organisations.
Mr Giavris put forward his ideas on Friday night at a public talk which had as it subject:  "The Politics of Transition: The Need for Succession Planning and Generational Leadership Change in Greek Community Organisations. Will the Post-Partisan 2nd and 3rd Generation Greek/Australians stand up?"
The public lecture was held as part of the program of lectures organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pammessinian Brotherhood Papaflessas.
"This is a critical transitionary stage where basically we are seeing the first generation phasing out, and the second and third generations making up the majority of the Hellenic community in Victoria," he said to Neos Kosmos English Edition.
"There are over 200 Greek organisations in Victoria with hundreds of millions in assets but the question is, what will become of these organisations and assets since the organisations are descending into oblivion?"
In this he is referring to the lack of membership as second and third generations are declining to become involved.
Whilst he agreed that there are organisations such as SAE attempting to unite Hellenism, he said that in reality that it is struggling to meet its original aims.
"Having said that, as a Greek community in Victoria and Australia, we must support the concept by electing the right people to represent us, and making sure that SAE and other organisations represents the whole of our community."
Mr Giavris underscored the urgent need for organised succession planning within Greek community organisations; moving away from a focus on politics and bickering.
"We need to as a community seriously discuss where we are at the moment, what defines our generation, pin point our needs, and have a united approach to these topics. The only way can do that is by inviting the whole Greek community to participate in an ideas forum of how it sees its future in next 20, 30, and 50 years."
He envisages that a forum could take place through both oral and written submissions, and involve representatives of all Greek organisations, as well as Greek academics, journalists, politicians, those involved in the culture and arts, and the general community.
Mr Giavris hopes that his speech will generate momentum amongst the Greek community groups to develop an ideas forum in the near future.
"I don't just want it to be another place where people speak and that's it. We need to pick up the mantle quick smart and take a co-coordinated approach. Otherwise my feeling is that unfortunately as a community we are not going to live up to our expectations."


Comments

What Direction Will The Greek Community of Australia Take?


By Nikos Kolendrianos

The various presidents and committees of the many associations, brotherhoods, federations, church groups, sporting clubs of the Greek Community of Victoria and around Australia need to stop their bickering and small politicking and look at the wider picture of the Greek Community in Australia. The older generation need to stop passing their hatreds and bile to the up and coming generations if they want a continuation of their Community. The second and third generation Greek-Australians are appreciative of what the first generation have offered up until now but the Greek Community of Australia requires a transition to take place immediately. It needs to stem away from the divisive elements if it needs to survive and flourish.

There are a large number of second and third generation Greek-Australians who are fed up with the squabbling and power mongering tactics used in various organisations. They want to get involved in the various organisations but are hesitant to do so, as they are faced with the various internal issues and struggles of any particular Greek organisation. Many of the second and third generation Greek-Australians have the knowledge and expertise to take the various organisations and Greek Community to the next century.

The whole Greek Community of Australia needs to unite and envisage where the Greek Community will be in the next 5, 10, 20 and 100 years time. It is the utmost importance that a Greek Community that has endured to exist for 112 years should be able to survive and prosper for another 100 years. How will the Greek Community be able to achieve this? By congregating and holding open forums where the various concerns and needs of the Greek Community are raised and discussed in a civil matter. Thus allowing the leaders and the public of the Greek Community the direction and scope they would like to follow. In other words, the Greek Community needs to formulate clear objectives and goals and try and strive to achieve them; otherwise it will have severe repercussions in the very near future if it doesn’t.

What is the solution the Greek Community requires? It is the investment in the second and third generation Greek-Australians in various Greek-Australian organisations. Many of these Greek-Australians are semi-professionals and professionals in various fields that have a diverse range of experiences in the private sector and governmental positions. Some are just passionate enthusiastic and patriotic Greek-Australians who want to offer their services for the good of the Community.

Therefore, the Greek Community of Victoria and in general Australia need to seriously consider Mr. Bill Giavris’s recommendations and immediately put into action the proposals made in his presentation if the Greek-Australian Community wants a strong, united and prosperous Greek Community in the near future. A complicated task some may say, but very achievable.

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