On Tuesday, 19 December 2023, the Greek Community of Melbourne organised a special celebration and awarded the outstanding achievements of the highest scoring VCE graduates with Greek heritage.
The atmosphere at the Greek Centre was most special, as families, friends and members of the Greek Community of Melbourne Board of Directors gathered to applaud the efforts and academic excellence of the winners.
The Host for the evening’s events was Mr. Odysseas Kripotos who opened the event and welcomed the attendees.
The President of GCM, Mr. Bill Papastergiadis OAM, began his speech by quoting excerpts from the moving and encouraging article by Professor Nikos Papastergiadis entitled: “On Not Being an Idiot”, encouraging students to continue to pursue excellence and highlighting the importance of education for a prosperous future.
“Looking beyond the school fence, we can see what the rest of the world has to offer us. Education begins with the question “why”, and learning lies in tracing the new path of life. These small moments in life may seem insignificant and untimely, but they are pivotal points. Staying connected with people who share your values and sharing your thoughts, concerns and vision is one of life’s most valuable lessons.”
Mr. Papastergiadis then addressed the students and said: “These awards are an important moment, highlighting not only the individual successes of the students, but also those of both teachers and parents, who form the central core of their efforts. May you continue to be an active member of our community, become a member of the Greek Community, attend our events, become a volunteer. Your successes reflect not only your personal dedication, but also the strength of our community. You are the ambassadors of Greek excellence, the future of the Greek community. You are the people who will lead in changing the landscape of this great multicultural city in which we live. Become citizens of the world.”
The moving speech of the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, had a profound impact on all who attended. In his speech, he encouraged the students to persevere in the pursuit of excellence. He warmly congratulated all the students for their achievements, stressing the importance of education in preserving cultural heritage.
The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis said: “This is the beginning of your journey in life. Set goals with persistence and patience to achieve them. Go forth and be guided by “filotimo”, a word that doesn’t translate, a code to respect yourself and others, do your duty and stand up for what you love. The democracy in which you were born and raised is not a given, nor is it eternal. Read the ancient writers. Read poetry, the theatre. We Greeks excelled in both. Find a saying that inspires you. It’s ‘cool’ to be Greek!”.
The formal speeches were followed by the awarding ceremony of the certificates of excellence by the Members of the Board of Directors of the Greek Community of Melbourne. The Head of Educational Programs of the GCM, Dr. Nick Dallas, said: “It is a very moving event to recognise the achievements of students who have stood out in the VCE. Hopefully this recognition will act as a catalyst for these students to develop closer ties with Greek Community of Melbourne as this is the next generation to take the reins.”
Several students were awarded, which shows their enormous efforts, combined with the support of their teachers and families. The Greek Community of Melbourne awarded excellence awards to 15 students who had a grade above 40 in the Modern Greek Language course. One student managed to achieve a grade of 35 in Ancient Greek, while more than 80 students who scored above 47 received an award of excellence.
One of the highlights of the evening was the recognition of the student, Alexandros Petros Georgiou from Melbourne Grammar School, who achieved a perfect grade in 3 subjects, unit 3+4. He was awarded a special prize, a return ticket to Greece, kindly sponsored by the Vice President of GCM, Mr. Michael Karamitos, who stated: “It is inspiring to watch the passion and determination of these young people. We hope to encourage them in turn to pursue further knowledge and excellence in their respective areas of life. This therefore reflects the community’s commitment to promoting and celebrating the academic success of our young people.”
The evening ended in an atmosphere of success, happiness and collegiality, as the community celebrated the successes of these outstanding students.