Premier announces national Greek cultural centre at Flinders

aristotle_altemps_inv8575The promotion and preservation of Greek language and culture will be the focus of a new national centre at Flinders University, announced by Premier Mike Rann on Thursday.

The Logos Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture will receive funding of $600,000 over four years from the South Australian Government, as well as the support of the Greek Government as the first of similar centres it has planned around the world.

Centre Director, Professor Michael Tsianikas said the name, Logos, reflected the spirit and all-embracing nature of the Centre.

“The Greek word, logos, has a broad range of meanings – but, essentially, it refers to any idea that has the power to move people,” Professor Tsianikas said.

“Our aspirations for the Logos Centre are to not only move young people to pursue studies in Modern Greek but to strengthen Australia’s economic and social ties with Greece through the promotion of Greek traditions, music and culture,” he said.

“Logos is the most important institution of its type in Australia and the first of many to come in Europe and North America.

“We are thrilled to receive the generous support of the South Australian Government and the Greek Government.”

An important element of the Centre will be the enhanced delivery of Modern Greek through the development of new online content and the conversion of existing teaching materials into a format better suited to the online environment.

“For five years, Flinders has successfully delivered Modern Greek externally to students at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory,” Professor Tsianikas said.

“Logos will be the focal point of a state-of-the-art approach to language studies that we expect to influence the way other languages are taught in Australia.”

The Greek Government will provide an additional staff position within Modern Greek at Flinders for a minimum of five years and a two-week training program for 30 teachers in the years 2012-2013 through the European-funded program Intercultural Greek-language Teaching in Diaspora run by the University of Crete.

Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber said it was appropriate that the official launch of Logos should coincide with the 9th International Greek Conference on Research.

“Since 1997, under Professor Tsianikas’s stewardship, the International Greek Conference on Research has grown to occupy an important place in the diaries of Greek scholars from around the world,” Professor Barber said.

“This year, the conference’s partnership with the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity has produced the Ageing in the Migrant Diaspora conference, an examination of what it means to age in a foreign land, running simultaneously,” he said.

“I congratulate Professor Tsianikas on the launch of Logos, on the continuing success of the Conference, and on the achievements of Modern Greek at Flinders University.”

PICTURE:  Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC; the alabaster mantle is a modern addition.

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