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Greek Summer Festival - Speech from The Hon. Mark Coure MP

It is an absolute pleasure to join you at this fantastic Greek Summer Festival.

This is a wonderful occasion for families to enjoy the best of Greek dancing, music, arts and food. And it is great to see so many second, third and even fourth generations here, taking pride in your culture and heritage.

One of the most significant services you can do for yourself and for our great State is to preserve the language, morals and customs of your family.

I encourage each of you to continue embracing your mother tongue and to remain engaged with the Greek traditions that trace back a millennium. But most of all, I want you to make sure these ideals are passed to forthcoming generations.

I have had a bright friendship with the Greek Australian community both within my electorate and beyond and for years, you have all felt like an extended family to me. You have never failed to make me feel right at home, whether it be at your festivals, Greek balls, or community gatherings.

This is because your hospitality and generosity allow anyone to come and learn if they have an open mind, open heart and an empty stomach. Proudly, New South Wales is home to more than 133,000 people of Greek ancestry. Greek migrants and their families have played an important hand in shaping our great State’s path to excellence.

You have sacrificed much to build such high regard. You are business and entrepreneurial pioneers. And you are thought leaders who contribute to the betterment of our education system, public life and civic service. You’ve achieved this through your diligence, your dedication and your determination.

And while the Greek community here embodies these noble values, they are shared by all in our great multicultural society. This is what makes New South Wales such an inviting place for people from around the world to live, study and work.

As Minister for Multiculturalism, I’d also like to take a moment to reflect on the NSW Government’s gratitude for our wonderful Greek community organisations. St Basil’s, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW have worked so hard to keep the community culture alive in NSW.

You have also worked to preserve a piece of Greece right here in NSW for everyone to enjoy. St Basil’s, of course, supports more than a thousand Greek Australian seniors in aged care homes across Sydney.

As Minister for Seniors, I also know how important it is that we receive culturally appropriate support in our old age. Because we know that we are home when we hear, see and smell the things that remind us of who we are and where we come from.

Finally, of course, we are grateful for the profound leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios. On behalf of the NSW Government, I thank St Basil’s and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia for your invaluable contributions to our society.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your support for these valued organisations. And thank you for your support for their worthy and commendable aims. May today be a great success!