Clarinda Primary and South Oakleigh College students united last Wednesday, honoured with a visit from the Greek Ambassador H.E. Haris Dafaranos and Mr Vasileios Gkokas, the Education Consul from the Greek Embassy, who alongside other officials visited Clarinda Primary School.
South Oakleigh College principal, staff and students were also in attendance to promote the unique programs offered at both schools.
In his speech to students, Mr Dafaranos stressed the importance of maintaining the Greek culture and heritage in the Australian setting.
“Take pride in your culture for it is one of great beauty. Embrace the opportunities in Australia. Work hard to achieve. Your ancestry is precious and you have every opportunity to succeed,” the Greek Ambassador said.
“The secondary students that attended the presentation are recent arrivals from Greece. Although they are excellent native speakers they need to gain confidence in their ability to speak English. To hear Mr Dafaranos speak so eloquently in both Greek and English about the Greek-Australian identity reminded them about who they are and what they represent,” said to Neos Kosmos Year 8 South Oakleigh College Modern Greek Teacher Sophie Stamatelatos.
Meny Zapantis, head of Modern Greek at Clarinda Primary reinforced the Greek language is alive and well in the public sector.
“The real gift was the visit by all officials who give support to our thriving programs. Greek is flourishing in both schools because of the calibre of students and families we’re attracting.”
Both South Oakleigh College and Clarinda Primary offer Modern Greek at both beginners’ and advanced levels.
Clarinda Primary has a Links and Stepping Up Program for kindergarten students, while South Oakleigh College offers Enrichment and Extension Activities for all year levels.
For further information about programs offered at both schools, contact Jean Hellerud, principal of Clarinda Primary, (03) 9544 3231, and Trevor Smith, principal of South Oakleigh College (03) 9579 2322