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Uphill battle for migration

Uphill battle for migration

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Migration is a key issue once again for the Greek Australian community. A rise in enquiries made to the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), Neos Kosmos and many other Greek Australian organisations, from Greeks wanting to migrate to Australia is the reason behind this. Due to the current economic crisis and rise in unemployment in Greece, highly skilled workers and professionals in Greece are looking for help to migrate Australia to make a sustainable living. The GOCMV has been pro-active in this issue and requested the Federal Government intervene and help Greeks migrate to Australia. Bill Papastergiadis, President, GOCMV told Neos Kosmos they are inundated with requests on a daily basis from highly skilled people – engineers, journalists, teachers and economists – in Greece wanting to migrate to Australia. “We took it upon us to do something about it and to make the appropriate enquiries with the federal authorities who have the ability to respond to these enquiries. Mr Papastergiadis appeared before a bipartisan committee on multiculturalism and discussed the Greek community position on this issue. The committee members (three Labour and three Liberal senators) reported that they know the whole issue and expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Greek community.“We raised the issue of the need for the Federal Government to consider the current position in Greece, particularly the increase in demand for people to migrate to Australia,” said Papastergiadis. The ideal outcome is for the migration process to be made easier for Greeks and for the Federal Government to be sensitive to the plight of the Greek people who want to migrate. Mr Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos he wants the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to recognise that there is a real need and desire of many from Greece to migrate to Australia. “Ideally, we would like to see a direct means for these people to be briefed quickly, and where appropriate, this process is expedited.” Immigration law as it stands today makes it almost impossible for someone from Greece to get a VISA to emigrate to Australia. Exceptions are only for those connected with Australia. For example, those born on Australian soil or those who are children of Australian citizens. Mr Papastergiadis sent a letter to the Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon. Chris Bowen, on behalf of the GOCMV in relation to this issue on Thursday 31 March. The letter stated: ‘Dear Minister, I write to you on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria (GOCMV); the largest member-based Greek organisation in the Southern Hemisphere with many thousands of members and a network that deals with over 120 Greek-based organisations in Victoria. From the GOCMV’s establishment in 1897, our organisation has been proactive in assisting Greek migrants with respect to passage and settlement in Australia. During the post war migration period our organisation was one of the main centres for newly arrived migrants from Greece. As you are fully aware, the current Greek economy is confronted with an unprecedented crisis causing extreme hardship to its citizens and the social fabric of the society. The GOCMV is inundated on a daily basis with enquiries and requests for assistance with respect to immigrating to Australia from Greek citizens. The majority of those people seeking to migrate are highly skilled and educated individuals. The effect of high-skilled migration is positive for both knowledge creation and economic growth and will result in more efficient use of skilled labour and increased intellectual flows. It is our belief that the potential for seeking highly-skilled migrants from Greece would be a positive benefit and investment for Australia and therefore should be further explored by your Department. In light of the above we would like to arrange a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss the aforementioned matters. Yours sincerely, Bill Papastergiadis, President.’ From this letter, Mr Papastergiadis requested a personal meeting with the Federal Government to discuss these matters further and is still waiting on a reply. The GOCMV is committed to this issue and promises to “be on (the Federal Government’s) back and continue to put on the pressure,” Mr Papastergiadis said.last_img read more