The Greek Community of Melbourne’s Board of Management welcomed the newly appointed Hellenic Senior Lecturer of Global Diasporas at the University of Melbourne, Dr Andonis Piperoglou, at the Greek Centre.
After the welcoming, the Board had a discussion on the importance of his role and GCM’s future plans. President Bill Papastergiadis stressed that “this position at Melbourne University solidifies the role of the GCM at all four levels of education, being early learning, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Hopefully, the position will deliver over time well needed research into the issues confronting our broader Greek community and the mechanisms to identify appropriate responses. The GCM appreciates the pre-election commitment by both major parties to help fund this position as it demonstrates the strong support by our governments for the work undertaken by the GCM”.
Education convenor Dr Nick Dallas added, “we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this position, not only because it goes against the global trend in humanities investments but it’s a chance to put migrant history on the map, it’s an opportunity to reflect upon and critically examine the evolution and complexity of the Greek diasporic experience”.
New Board and education committee member, Dr Spiridoula Demetriou remarked “I find it exciting that notions of the diaspora are finally going to be afforded diversity, his ideas have sprung others in me. Namely, of responses to the homeland becoming part of the definition and narrative of Greek identity in Australia today”.
After giving a background on his life journey, Dr Piperoglou proceeded by giving an overview of the subjects he has committed to teach in the near future.
First of the rank in 2023, will be ‘The Long History of Globalisation’, a fourth year Honours subject. This is an important subject for graduating and aspiring post-graduate students who want to understand the complexities and diverse trajectories of the History of our globalized world.
Also in 2023, Dr Piperoglou will be teaching Migrant Nation, a second year Australian History subject offered as a breadth subject that should appeal to those with an interest in immigration, multiculturalism, refugee studies, ethnic and national identity, and those who seek to understand how history continues to shape contemporary society. From 2024 onwards, ‘Global Diasporas, Hellenic Cultures’, a third year Global History breadth subject will be on offer. It will bring students into contact with the diversity of diaspora histories, theories, and experiences across the globe, emphasizing the plurality of Hellenic diaspora experiences. The subject will also have a comparative and interdisciplinary dimension.
Dr Piperoglou was also keen to stress that his role and responsibility went beyond teaching and research at the university, there’s a large community engagement component and he looks forward to working on projects with the Greek Community of Melbourne and other associated entities. He commended the GCM for the initiatives and investments in Greek language education.
Other responsibilities include developing collaborative partnerships with overseas universities and convening international symposiums on global diasporas. Andonis was also keen to stress that the diaspora experience was very multifaceted, even in specific and relatively uniform communities, there still existed a plurality of experiences, and everyone negotiated and engaged identity differently.