Ms Julia Banks MP, Federal Member for Chisholm, together with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, is today honoured to host the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Mr Terens-Nikolaos Quick and Greek Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency Ms Ekaterini Xagorari, at the Parliament of Australia.
Ms Banks was deeply honoured to formally welcome Deputy Foreign Minister Quick and his delegation to Parliament during Question Time, where she rose and welcomed Mr Quick in his native tongue Greek as a preamble to a question to Minister for Social Services the Honourable Christian Porter MP. This is considered the first time foreign dignitaries have been welcomed in the Greek language to the House of Representatives during Question Time.
“Θα ήθελα να σας καλωσορίσω εδώ σήμερα. Η Ελληνική διασπορά είναι πόλη σημαντική εδώ στην Αυστραλία (I would like to warmly welcome you here today. The Greek Diaspora is very important here in Australia).” Ms Banks said.
With a proud Greek migrant heritage, Ms Banks is the Chair of the Australia/Greece Parliamentary Group and the Federal Member for Chisholm – the third most culturally diverse electorate in Australia.
Joined by cross party Parliamentary colleagues at an afternoon reception, Ms Banks was pleased to share with Mr Quick and Ms Xagorari the significant contribution of Greek Australians to the Chisholm community and the considerable Hellenic contribution to life in Melbourne and across Australia.
In particular, the electorate of Chisholm is home to a significant concentration of Greek-Australians (by birth and by ancestry). In Chisholm, there are 3497 people who declared they were born in Greece and a total of 9691 people who identify as being of Greek ancestry. Furthermore, in total there are 8142 Greek speakers in Chisholm.
“The vibrancy and warmth of the Greek community has made an indelible mark in our local community, and indeed the contributions of Greek born Australians and Australians of Greek heritage has been an integral reason for Australia being the most successful multicultural nation in the world.” Ms Banks said.
“It was a great pleasure to speak in Greek, the language of my ancestors, and welcome Deputy Foreign Minister Quick to the House of Representatives” Ms Banks said.
“I am deeply honoured to host Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Terens-Nikolaos Quick and Ambassador Ekaterini Xagorari today as the Chair of the Australia/Greece Friendship Group, and acknowledge the deep connection and shared history between Australia and Greece”.