On Monday 25th March 2019, for the first time in Melbourne, the Greek National flags have been raised on the eight Federation Square masts along St Kilda Road, right opposite Flinders Street station, at the very center of our city. Greece may be a distant memory or recollection of history but the spirit of Melburnians of Greek background is rife and well. Ten exemplary students from five different member schools have come to Federation Square on a cold windy day, wearing their school diacritics, to participate in the humble and free from speeches celebration of the Greek struggle for independence and freedom started in 1821.
The students that participated should remember it for the rest of their lives. They will forget what was said, they may forget exactly what happened, but they will never forget how they felt, proud and gratified. The photos that were taken and the feeling of satisfaction and euphoria present should make sure of that. Participating schools were AHEPA Greek School, Mavraganis Greek School, Nestoras College, Protypo Greek Centre and Zenon Education Centre.
The names of the Zenon students who have received this special priviledge were Helena Papakos and James Ganas. We’re proud of both of them.
Representing their member schools and community organisations on the day were:
- Mr Iakovos Garivaldis OAM from Zenon Education Centre
- Mrs Andrea Garivaldis from Zenon Education Centre
- Mr Chris Gindidis from Protypo Greek Centre
- Mr Elias Doufas from AHEPA Greek School
- Mr Peter Patisteas from AHEPA Greek School
- Mrs Stella from AHEPA Greek School
- The President of Thessaloniki Association Mr Paul Mavroudis
- The Chairman of the Committee for Greek National Day Mr Tony Tsourdalakis
- The President of The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne Mr Bill Papastergiadis
- The President of the campaign “Speak Greek in March” Mr Makis Zafiropoulos OAM
- Parents of the students and teachers of their respective member schools
- Media organisation photographers from Neos Kosmos, SBS Radio etc
- Members of the Thessaloniki Association Executive