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Department of Modern Greek students shine at Sydney Uni – The Greek Herald

The University of Sydney’s (USYD) School of Languages and Cultures held its annual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 18 at the Holme Building.

More than 50 students from across the School, including the Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies, were recognised on the night for their achievements in their selected language courses.

sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)

The event kicked off at 6pm sharp with Associate Professor Avril Alba from Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies as Mistress of Ceremonies. Aunty Joan Bell was invited to give a Welcome to Country, and this was followed by the Dean’s Welcome from Professor Lisa Adkins and the Head of School Welcome from Professor Yixu Lu.

Performances by the Andalous Arabic Choir under instruction by Ghada Daher-Elmoh also took place throughout the night.

sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
Associate Professor Avril Alba.
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
Andalous Arabic Choir.

The highlight of the event was the awards presentation for students studying languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Indonesian and Modern Greek.

In Italian Studies, Matthew Platakos was awarded the Beatrice Moran Memorial Prize in Third Year Italian.

Eight awards for the Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies were also presented by Associate Professor Anthony Dracopoulos. The award recipients were:

  • Modern Greek Foundation Award: Olympia Nelson.
  • Order of AHEPA Scholarship in Modern Greek: Theodora Margaris.
  • Robert William Henderson Memorial Prize: Anargyros Kallos.
  • The Modern Greek Studies Foundation Prize in Modern Greek Studies 1: Savvina-Elisavet Turner.
  • The Modern Greek Studies Foundation Prize in Modern Greek Studies 2: Stavroula Nterzoti.
  • The Modern Greek Studies Foundation Prize in Modern Greek Studies 3: Michael How.
  • The Politis Family Scholarship in Modern Greek and/or Byzantine Studies: Pinelopi Sempsis.
  • The Sydney University Greek Society (SUGS) Prize for Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies: Dimitra Anthony.

Dr Dracopoulos congratulated all the students for their achievements and spoke about how the Department of Modern Greek celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. He also pointed to a small display of archived photos and news articles from newspapers such as The Greek Herald, which showcased the 50-year history of the Department and was organised by Dr Panayiotis Diamadis.

sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
Associate Professor Anthony Dracopoulos.
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)

After the presentation ceremony, 18-year-old awardee Theodora Margaris spoke to The Greek Herald and said she decided to study the Greek language because it is an “integral part” of her life.

“It (the Greek language) is something I never want to lose. It’s so important. It has taught me so much about myself, about my culture, about the way I interact with people. I really treasure Greek and it’s been a passion. I am so passionate about the language,” Theodora said, whilst encouraging others to study a language.

sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
Theodora Margaris (left) with Associate Professor Anthony Dracopoulos.
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)

Michael How, who studies Medicine at the University of Sydney and has Greek Singaporean heritage, also said he was honoured to be awarded The Modern Greek Studies Foundation Prize in Modern Greek Studies 3.

“The Greek language is an important part of my heritage and culture and I wanted to be able to communicate better with relatives and just generally, people in Greece and the Greek community in Australia,” Michael told The Greek Herald.

“I think studying a different language opens your eyes to a different way of thinking which is really personally rewarding and enriching.”

sydney university modern greek awards night (25)
Michael How.
sydney university modern greek awards night (25)

At the conclusion of all formal proceedings, refreshments were served as students mingled and congratulated each other on their achievements.

*All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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