Talk it over

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram For the first time, the Greek community is introducing innovative new community dialogues that will engage the first generation with the second and third on topical issues. As a joint initiative by La Trobe University’s Centre of Dialogue and the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), the dialogues will be designed to follow the Socratic method, asking questions to promote critical thinking on issues at the heart of our community. Three dialogues have been booked, with the first on December 12, asking the question ‘What will our community look like in 10, 15, 20 years?’. Organiser and deputy director of the Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe University, Dr Michális Michael says the first dialogue comes at a critical time for the Greek community in Australia. ‘The Greek community is at a crossroad, it’s at a point where it’s transferring from the first generation to the second and third generation,” he tells Neos Kosmos. “What will it look like? What will be the issues? What will be the structure? What will be the personalities? What will be the concerns?” Going outside the trend of a one-to-one discussion, the groups will sit in Socratic circles, with the first generation taking their place in the first circle and the second and third generation in the second circle. It’s a completely unique discussion, and is a first for the Greek community and a completely new initiative in the Australian ethnic community. Dr Michael says this type of dialogue is needed in the wider community to give a comprehensive view and opinion on topical issues that has lacked in similar initiatives. “I think one of the things missing in the Greek community, and in Australia as a whole is a dialogical exchange of views,” he says. “There is not a conversation, a public debate even, it’s turned into a monologue, that’s usually conducted at best through social media or it’s done through commentary or editorials… and it seems to be aggressive. “What we’re trying to do is an intervention, it is a pilot thing, and it’s trying to bring any notable representatives, stakeholders, experts of the Greek community (all generations) in a room.” The second lecture will look at the way the Greek economic crisis has affected the Greek Australian community, looking at our philanthropic nature and our apathy at the same time. “Very current, very controversial, but I think very pertinent,” Dr Michael says on the issue. The third is still undecided, but will either look at Greek culture, education and studies in Australia or Greeks in Australian politics. “We’ll bring along all the ex pollies, and the current pollies in Victoria with a few journalists and a few academics and toss the ball around and see if Greeks to politics better,” Dr Michael says. Within just a week of advertising, already 100 people have reserved tickets for the first dialogue and the organisers are expecting many audience members from outside the Greek community. The organisers are now approaching well known people in the Greek community to fill the spots in the circles. The first dialogue will be on December 12, at the St Michael’s Uniting Church, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. For more information and to reserve a seat, email [email protected]last_img

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