first_imgPremier Denis Napthine told Neos Kosmos this week that Victoria’s Greek community were continuing a tradition of nation building, with a new generation adding to the social and economic growth of the state. On walkabout at a wet and blustery Antipodes Festival last Saturday, Dr Napthine spoke for the first time as Premier about his support for multiculturalism. “It’s one of our greatest assets – in terms of our quality of life but also in terms of our businesses. “The multicultural community gives us enormous advantages in doing business not only locally but internationally,” said the Premier. Dr Napthine acknowledged the role Greek immigrants had played following the years of mass migration, describing the Greek community as “one of the major players in the transformation of Victoria into a very modern 21st century society”. “The Greek community have made an enormous contribution to our arts, culture, and our business life.” Asked what his government would be doing to assist Greek Australian pensioners, many of whom voiced concerns last year about concessions not keeping pace with the cost of living and spiralling aged care costs, the Premier said he was “very aware” of the issues facing the community and the importance of providing culturally appropriate services. Reflecting his own personal experience of cultural diversity, Dr Napthine said he was proud of his nieces and nephews who are of Greek and Chinese backgrounds. “My sister married a Greek, and another sister married someone of Chinese Australian background, so my family has a great multicultural history.” Whilst rain and gusting winds kept some away from last weekend’s Glendi, the Premier, along with Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott, spent time sheltering beside the stalls which lined Lonsdale Street, before the festival’s official opening by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “I love the souvlaki and the music,” said the Premier, “but I’m here really to experience the Greek enjoyment of life. “Greeks probably show the way in terms of how they enjoy life and they really do know how to party. Greeks do it ten times better than Australians.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img