Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Saturday 4 February, students both past and present of the Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA), along with the Macquarie University Greek Studies Foundation and AHEPA NSW, all came together to celebrate thirty years of the teaching of Modern Greek studies at Macquarie University. Over 250 people attended Beta Bar Sydney, which was generously supported by the Hellenic Club.The occasion, however, was not merely organised to commemorate the time since Macquarie University began offering lessons of the Modern Greek language, but also history and culture, with teachings exploring various aspects of Greek literature. To understand wholly what MUGA set out to achieve by hosting The Macquarie Initiative, one needs to simply think back 10 to 20 years back to the present, and all that is needed is a comparison of the attitudes towards learning new languages, more pertinently, Modern Greek. Then, observe the enrollment figures in Greek classes of the previous five years. The numbers explain everything. The decline in not only in the students undertaking Modern Greek at universities all around Australia, but the dissipating interest in Modern Greek studies as the cause of death for several Greek Studies departments all over the country. “We, as the students of Macquarie University, and proud, discerning members of our association realise that the ship we captain should be steered in the direction of intellect. That is why we launched a new movement with the Macquarie Initiative,” MUGA President, George Psihoyios told Neos Kosmos.“We did this to make sure students know that yes, you can still study Modern Greek and that it is still [a] wonderful and useful thing to know, as much as it is important. We cannot, however, create momentum without raising funds to support the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, to maintain the provision of resources for future students, so we can ensure there are still Greek classes for tomorrow.” Psihoyios praised the dedicated academic staff at Macquarie University, political and diplomatic representatives as well the vast array of business and community individuals and organisations in attendance. He also reflected on the importance of the continuation of the presence of academic programs in Modern Greek history, culture, language and literature, as well as reflecting the determination of all stakeholders, most importantly academics and students. Those present on the night also bared witness to the generous amount of over $23,000 donated to the Modern Greek Studies Program. The clear sentiment on the night, across all stakeholders of the Greek Australian and Philhellene community was loud and clear; the study of Modern Greek at Macquarie University is here to stay and flourish for the next 30 years and beyond.If Macquarie’s story and achievements have moved you and you wish to be part of their cause please contact the following representatives:Theophilus Premetis: 0419 718 159 or [email protected] George Psihoyios: 0414 262 388 or [email protected]* Michael Maglis is the Vice President of the Macquarie University Greek Association and a student of Macquarie’s Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies Department. Michael is also recognised as part of the re-introduction of the Association’s trademark publication, The Chronos.