Melbourne Uni sets up fellowship for Greek researchers

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The university expects to welcome its first Greek researcher in 2016 In an effort to assist Greek researchers during the economic crisis, the University of Melbourne has set up the first Greek Australian fellowship. Neos Kosmos – Anastasia Tsirtsakis The initiative, led by Professors Christos Pantelis and Dennis Velakoulis from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, will give up to two candidates the opportunity to venture Down Under and train under the professors at Melbourne University. “We’ve managed to secure a fellowship ... Read More »

Forgotten origins of Iraqi music celebrated in award-winning doco

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It’s hard to say what’s most remarkable about an Australian film winning best documentary at the 2015 Baghdad Film Festival. The Age – Michael Dwyer, Music writer Yes, the revelations in Melbourne filmmaker Marsha Emerman’s On the Banks of the Tigris are profound – for Iraqis at home and in diaspora, for the Jewish songwriters it reinstates in the nation’s cultural history, and for an anxious world looking always for signs of unity and reconciliation. But from this distance, the casual ... Read More »

Comment: I’m Muslim and I’m glad Geert Wilders is coming to Australia

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Anti-Islam, far-right politician Geert Wilders has been granted a visa to Australia. And I’m glad – because haters are always going to hate, writes Irfan Yusuf. SBS – By Irfan Yusuf Since the brutal murder of police worker Curtis Cheng in Parramatta last week by a schoolboy believed to have been influenced by extremists, columnist Andrew Bolt has been alleging a conspiracy between politicians and police. On 5 October he wrote: “They treat us like fools. Police and politicians are ... Read More »

Human face of refugees and migrants strike a chord with Australians on Facebook

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Hassan came to Australia from Afghanistan in 1999, at the age of 17. He was alone and without any family. The Sydney Morning Herald – Anna Patty, Workplace Editor The Taliban had killed his father and abducted his older brother. “The only reason they didn’t get me was because I was visiting my uncle that day. My uncle was very worried about our safety, so he took me and my cousin and hid us in the mountains for a day, ... Read More »

E.U. nations pull welcome mats for migrants, imposing new restrictions

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ZAGREB, Croatia — European nations once friendly to refugees abruptly yanked their welcome mats Thursday, as Germany considered slashing its benefits and Croatia announced it was closing most of its road links with Serbia “until further notice.” The Washington Post – By William Booth, Anthony Faiola and Michael Birnbaum Video The German measures would overhaul asylum codes to stem the massive flow of migrants into Europe, scaling back the generous policies that have made Germany a beacon for desperate war ... Read More »

Some German universities will educate refugees for free

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Migrant crisis: full coverage From Syria to Turkey: a migrant’s story While affordable tuition for undocumented immigrants is a remote prospect in some parts of the world, about 60 German universities are employing a radical strategy. The Sydney Morning Herald – Rick Noack They are offering refugees the chance to attend courses as guest students, without charging tuition fees. In fact, they even pay for transport and offer scholarships to pay for books, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported. Germany’s higher education system ... Read More »

Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’

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The word migrant has become a largely inaccurate umbrella term for this complex story. Source: Al Jazeera – About the Author: Barry Malone Imagine waking your children in the morning. Imagine feeding and dressing them. Imagine pulling a little girl’s hair into a ponytail, arguing with a little boy about which pair of shoes he wants to wear. ””” There is no “migrant crisis” in the Mediterranean.””” Now imagine, as you are doing that, you know later today you will strap their ... Read More »

Is it time for ethnic quotas?

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As government tussles with gender representation, Fotis Kapetopolous asks whether cultural diversity targets should be on the table. OnLineOpinion – By Fotis Kapetopoulos There has been talk about increasing the number of women in Australia’s parliaments and in major political parties. The current Coalition Government’s front bench looks does not reflect 2015 in terms of female participation. Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer a few weeks ago called on her party to set targets to increase female representation. The late Joan Kirner, ... Read More »

What Crisis?

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Crisis? What crisis? This is the caption posted by a facebook ‘friend,’ below a photograph of a stereotypical Aegean beach. Agora Dialogue – Dean Kalimniou All the accoutrements of a ‘perfect’ holiday are present: the impossibly blue waters, the sun-bleached pebbles, the pastel multi-coloured beach umbrellas, the oiled skin of the southerners in various gradations of burn, a half finished frappe fermenting within arm’s reach, all revealed within the context of an implacably omnipresent but unobtrusive light. Truly there is ... Read More »

Immigration: How much is too much?

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Economist Paul Collier on why he wants to slow down migration from developing countries and impose stricter controls. Video In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Sir Paul Collier, the former head of Development Research at the World Bank, author of Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism, and professor at Oxford University, on the costs and benefits of migration. ””” People should come, get skills, get education, go back.””” Collier tells Hasan that he is not “advocating stopping migration” but that “too ... Read More »

Talking Point: A spear through our nation’s heart

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GROWING up in Melbourne’s working-class suburb of Carlton in the 1940s and 1950s, my father copped more than his fair share of verbal abuse. The Mercury – Simon Bevilacqua He was the youngest son in a migrant Italian family. His mum and dad spoke only Italian at home; an old and bucolic Sammarchesi dialect now extinct in their homeland but that survives in fragments in Victoria and NSW. In Australia, Dad’s family ate Italian food, practised Italian culture and mixed ... Read More »

History hangs heavily in the struggle against evil

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Jan Kozielewski was always tormented by his inability to stop the Holocaust. “I hated humanity,” he blurted after the nightmare ended. “The Lord assigned me a role – to speak and write during the war when, as it seemed, it might help. It did not.” The Sydney Morning Herald – Vic Alhadeff * The extraordinary story of Jan Karski, as he became known – about to be reprised on stage in Sydney – is the stuff of legend. The remarkable ... Read More »

Suffering For Cyprus

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This photograph of a sorrowful young refugee holding his missing parents’ wedding photograph has haunted me ever since I first saw it, at the age of five. When in my youthful imagination I could barely just conceive of the idea of being abandoned or losing one’s parents, I would become overwhelmed with fear and cry. Agora Dialogue – Dean Kalimniou Furthermore, this photograph has been responsible for procuring recurring childhood nightmares, nightmares which have even persisted intermittently into adulthood,  wherein ... Read More »

Standing Somewhere With Greece

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“From Melbourne to Greece, for justice, for peace,” came the faint, puerile, unenthusiastic cry of the small gathering. “Let Greece breathe,” “Ellas, Ellas, Eleutheria,” and even, bizarrely enough, “Ellas, Ellas, Makedonia,” were some of the chants with which the barely audible organisers of the “Melbourne Stands with Greece” Rally, on the steps of State Parliament last Saturday, tried vainly for the most part, to inspire the miniscule crowd, whose paucity of numbers made the annual Justice for Cyprus march appear ... Read More »

The Retreat Hotel, Rebetika And The Perpetual Foreigner

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In “From Foreigner to Citizen: Greek Migrants and Social Change in White Australia 1897-2000” one of the most important critiques of Australian multiculturalism I have ever read, LaTrobe University Philosophy Lecturer George Vassilacopoulos and Toula Nikolakopoulou postulate that despite the veneer of formal equality characterizing race relations in this country, there lurks within the substratum, a fundamental concept of the ‘perpetual foreigner.’ Agora Dialogue – Dean Kalimniou Whereas Australian law is founded upon respect for proprietary rights and the individual, ... Read More »

Special Issue : Greek Citizenship

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INTERVIEW: Alternate Minister of Migration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou on New Citizenship Bill GNA – Alternate Minister for Migration Policy, Tasia Christodoulopoulou, was interviewed by Greek News Agenda on the subject of proposed citizenship legislation, which was uploaded for public consultation atOpenGov.gr yesterday (May 15). The Bill regulates the granting of citizenship to second generation immigrants, amending Law 3838/2010. 1) Could you explain the necessity of a new citizenship law? The necessity is great. In the last twenty years or so, ... Read More »