Modern Greek at Flinders University, located in the ‘Athens of the South’

Adelaide has long rejoiced in the title of ‘The Athens of the South’ for the leading cultural role it has played in Australia. Add to this the natural advantage of a temperate Mediterranean-style climate encouraging a relaxed alfresco lifestyle where olive trees dot the landscape and you have the perfect natural setting for a conference concerned with Greek culture.  It is therefore fitting that the Modern Greek section of the Department of Language Studies should have established its home in this city.

9th International Conference on Greek Research

The international conference on Greek Research is a biennial event hosted by Modern Greek at Flinders University which attracts contributions from learned scholars and postgraduate students around the globe.  In 2011 a main theme was Ageing within the migrant Diaspora. The focus extended beyond the areas of Greek, Greek/Australian and Cypriot studies, commonly presented at the biennial conferences, to provide a platform for international dialogue on an international topic and have a positive influence on healthy ageing.

Papers were presented con-currenlty on a multitude of themes traditionally presented at the Greek international conferences related to Greek culture from antiquity to the present day as well as a special segment devoted to Cypriot studies.  Conference papers presented during parallel sessions were related to the following areas:

•    Cyprus from 1960-2011: 51 years later
•    Ancient Greek Philosophy
•    Classical Studies
•    Greek History and Civilization
•    Greek Australian/Greek Literature and Language Studies
•    Society, Migration and Culture studies with an element of Greek/Greek Australian or Cyprus.

Ageing in the Migrant Diaspora

In 2011 the Modern Greek section at Flinders University and the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity hosted the international conference, Ageing in the Migrant Diaspora. The Southgate Institute is a national centre for research into the social and economic determinants of health and wellbeing, located at Flinders University. It is an inter-disciplinary conference, exploring the theme of ageing and enabling discussion on the reality of ageing within the migrant Diaspora. Papers addressed issues from a number of historical, social and contemporary perspectives. We were particularly (but not exclusively) seeking papers on:

Ageing in the Migrant Diaspora

  • Ageing experiences of first generation migrants
  • Experiences of ageing among the Hellenic Diaspora
  • Health, aged care and social services for older people from NESB*
  • Service access and equity issues
  • Meanings of culture in CALD** ageing
  • Intergenerational support and the role of family care
  • Policy and practice issues for those working with ageing CALD communities

*   NESB – Non English-Speaking Background
** CALD – Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

The main theme of this conference was Ageing and oral presentations, panel discussions and keynote addresses from prominent scholars:

  • Discuss cultural relevance in geronotology
  • Present research in their field of study
  • Raise the profile of CALD and migrant ageing issues and related organizations
  • Examine the challenges of CALD specific aged care service provision to regional and remote areas
  • Provide opportunities to showcase and encourage local research in CALD and migrant ageing and aged care
  • Address the theme of migrant and CALD ageing in rural communities

Representatives of ageing migrant and CALD communities were invited to present on the reality of ageing within their specific communities and to provide feedback on what has worked and areas in which culturally-specific care or services is lacking or would be appropriate.

The conference saught input, papers and representation from the significant array of bodies and agencies active in the area of CALD and migrant ageing and community support. Specifically, we were looking for input from: policy makers, General Practitioners/counsellors with migrant patients, administrators, academics, researchers, service providers (such as housing and residential care), community organizations, community representatives, carers (young and old – the care cycle) and welfare groups.

A major aim of these inter-disciplinary conferences is to celebrate the diachronic achievement of Greek culture, a cross-cultural understanding of migrant ageing communities and to create an environment in which academics from different fields of research can share their knowledge of related areas and investigate the possibilities for collaboration on complex themes, drawing on their different specializations. Delegates were encouraged to attend and be involved with all aspects of the international conference.

Modern Greek at Flinders University

Modern Greek studies in language and culture are offered at Flinders University at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  Modern Greek offers a complete major for degrees taken at Flinders or Adelaide Universities. Subjects can also be taken as minors or electives at Flinders University or through cross-institutional enrolment at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australian or Charles Darwin University. For more information please visit the Flinders University Modern Greek website.

Professional Development

The Conference organizers invite academics from Greece who specialize in the field of education and are attending the conference to provide Professional Development seminars for teachers of Modern Greek in South Australia.  Details will be posted as they become available.