Mar 19, 2014

Restoring the Hellenic Military visit

Today in parliament I raised the issue of Federal Government support for the visit of the Hellenic Military delegation from Greece to Australia following representations from the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign.

This delegation is a well-established tradition, having visited various cities across Australia since 1978.

Over that time, and up until 2010, the military delegation was recognised as an official visit, and received support through funding from the Federal Government.

As a consequence of the impact on Greece of the Global Financial Crisis, the Hellenic Military Delegation did not visit and this appears to have broken the annual support that had been provided.

I have asked the Federal Government to consider resuming support for the delegation.

In Australia, there are more than 350 000 people of Greek descent, and the commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign is most relevant for those with this heritage, as well as the many other Australians who have ANZAC ancestry.

Within Grayndler there are nearly 3,500 people originally from Greece and Greek remains the language other than English most spoken.

The Hellenic Military delegation is an important acknowledgement of the ties between Australia and Greece and I believe they should receive Federal Government support.