Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram In its fourth consecutive year, one more series of the Greek History and Culture Seminars hosted by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria will be launched this Thursday. With the main purpose of the seminars, apart from the educational one, being using them as a vehicle for people to reconnect with the community, all the lectures are deliberately given in English to attract interested parties from all ages and generations, as well as from the wider community. With regards to the 2014 program, GOCMV Seminars’ convenor Nick Dallas told Neos Kosmos that this year seminars will comprise of 80 per cent new speakers in the community’s bid to try and promote new faces.“We try and set the benchmark higher every year, bringing quality speakers. This year we’ll have 27 speakers, a third of them from interstate, as we try to get them from all corners of the country. “At the same time we have a balance between speakers of Greek and non-Greek background, which shows there are quite a few people out there in our community who are of non Greek background but are interested in Greek subject areas and have expertise in those,” Mr Dallas said.The first term of the 2014 Greek History and Culture Seminars, that will take off with the launch next Thursday, will feature themes mainly from antiquity and philosophy. Term 2 and Term 3 will deal with more modern topics, as modern history, topics relevant to diaspora and others. “With respect to the subject matter, we don’t shy away from the sensitive or controversial subjects – there will be lectures on Greek civil war, as well as on the future of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia. One of the highlights of this year’s program will certainly be the lecture of Lt Cdr Andrea Argirides, an officer in the Australian armed forces, who is involved on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to preserve Greek and other archaeological and cultural heritage sites.”Advertised to a community membership base which is directly associated with the Greek Orthodox Community, the seminars are mainly attended by Greek Australians. “Often this sort of marketing involves some extra cost. This year we were very fortunate that the Ithacan Society has given us its premises free of charge until the Community building is up and running. In terms of reaching out to the broader audience, it is a challenge for us.”With the expression of interest shown for the seminars at the GOCMV stall during the Lonsdale Street festival, higher attendance is expected this year. Launching the 2014 seminars next Thursday, as a special guest speaker, will be former Labor minister and academic Barry Jones. “We are very honoured to have Barry Jones, a well known intellectual figure and parliamentarian, to launch the seminars.“We are also very honoured to have for our first lecture Professor Alastair Blanshard, Chair of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Queensland. While keeping the seminars free of charge and with a certain level of cost involved in staging the lecture series, this year the community will give people an opportunity to sponsor a lecture, or a speaker. “For $100 they become a sponsor of the lecture, and this is part of the way of mitigating the cost involved in staging these lectures,” Mr Dallas said. All seminars for 2014 will be held at the Ithacan Philanthropic Society building at Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. To see the 2014 program and to enrol in the seminars, visit www.gocmv.com or enrol on the spot at the venue.