In a new era, with new practices and politics, the Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies (AIMS) continues to maintain its presence both in Australia and internationally. After 36 years of continuous contribution to the history, culture, and service to Macedonian Hellenism, and having organized four international conferences, having published six books, monographs and collective volumes, and managing to become an advisory body of the Australian and Greek governments, AIMS is now well down the path for the promotion and diffusion of Greek culture in general.
In recent months, an effort has been made to reorganize the Board of Directors, with the aim of highlighting and promoting new executives, who are working with dedication after having joined the Board. After the inclusion of the active and prudent professional, Nikolaos Papakonstantinou, innovating Georgios Lioukas was added to the AIMS executive team as Convenor of the Informatics Program. Since his inclusion on the Board at the beginning of this year, George has re-designed and updated the AIMS website (https://aims.edu.au), which includes the following improvements:
- Hosting of the Macedonian Studies Journal, which is fully indexed by Google Scholar. This has eliminated our dependence on intermediary hosting sites for academic material. Since the journal’s hosting directly on the AIMS website, it has already been cited by authors of articles on Wikipedia as well as other digital platforms.
- An archive (site repository) which, in collaboration with the historian Stavros Stavridis of AIMS, currently contains more than 32,000 bibliographic entries about Macedonia and Thrace. This unique development will be a useful research hub for historians and scholars of northern Greece in future.
- A multilingual presentation of the site (English, Greek, French, Italian, German and Dutch).
At the recent AIMS Board meeting held on the 11th of October, the following new Board members were elected by the AIMS Board:
- Evangelos Binos, an accomplished professional in economics, commerce and accounting, who together with the associate Professors in Econometrics, Anastasios Panagiotelis and Vasileios Sarafidis, form the committee on economic issues.
- Christina Kotsifaki-Sarris, who together with Dr. Eleni Kalambouka take over public relations and membership.
“The continuous and successful renewal of the Board of Directors brings a fresh approach and contributes to the success of the objectives of the AIMS”, said AIMS secretary , Panagiotis Gogidis. “The Institute continues to offer to Greece and the Greek Diaspora key reference projects. It supports, via scholarships, Greek and Australian artistic and cultural institutions, supporting the monuments of our history including literary works, poetry collections and the visual arts. AIMS will continue its activities with the same passion, now relying on younger professionals who are filling its ranks“, said Mr. Gogidis.
IN MEMORY OF P. LIBERIADIS, K. CHATZISTAVROU, I. RENTZIS AND D. KONTOLEONTAS
The Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies, in collaboration with the Board of Directors of the Society for Macedonian Studies (Thessaloniki), is organizing in July 2023 a two-day international conference on National Issues and the Greek Diaspora, with keynote speakers historians, ethnologists, anthropologists, political and social scientists, at the Society’s premises, in Thessaloniki. It will be preceded in May 2023 by a Conference in Olympia, on the Greek Way of Life, with leading Philhellenes from all over the world. Keynote speakers from Australia will be the Rector of the University and member of the Academy of Athens, Professor Michael John Osborne, Dr. David Hill on behalf of the International Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles and Professor Anastasios Tamis, President of AIMS.
In addition, the Institute takes special care of the activities of cultural organizations in Australia and Greece. It is noted that the Institute remains an independent economic and academic institution, without having received any state grant from Greece or Australia, for almost thirty years. The annual income of AIMS approximately $AUD50,000 is spent on research, the promotion of Greek culture and annual sponsorships, as well as the publication of the academic journal, The Macedonian Studies Journal, the only magazine published about Macedonia in the global Greek Diaspora. Other activities include the organization of concerts on Macedonia, Asia Minor Hellenism, and publications related to Macedonia.
By decision of the Board of Directors of AIMS, grants have been awarded to the following organizations:
- Alphington Grammar School is being presented with the PANAGIOTIS LIVERIADIS MEMORIAL GRANT, with the amount of $2,000 per year, to support its bilingual program. This sponsorship will be offered at Alphington Grammar School for the next five years (a total of $10,000). The Principal of the School, Dr. Vivianne Nikou, and the President of the Greek Community Mr. Vassilios Papastergiadis OAM, have expressed their gratitude to the President and members of the Board of Directors of AIMS.
- The Museum of Typography and Script based in Chania Crete, the only museum of its kind in the whole of Greece, is being presented with the DEMETRIOS PANDERMALIS MEMORAL AWARD, worth $AUD2,000. Professor of Archaeology Dimitris Pandermalis has been a partner and honorary member of AIMS since 1994. He was also the President of the Academic Committee of the Conference on Ancient Macedonia, together with the late Professor Peter Connor of Melbourne, held in Melbourne by AIMS.
- Sponsorships in memory of AIMS collaborators, the late Konstantinos Chatzistavrou, Elias Rentzis and Dimitrios Kontoleon, individuals who committed to the founding goals of AIMS, totaling $AUD2,000, are donated to the “Eleftherios Venizelos” Research Foundation branch in Melbourne and to the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle in Amyntaio, Florina.
It is noted that in 2022 AIMS published the book Imbros and Tenedos referring to Greek-Turkish relations; organized a concert with Dimitris Bassis and published a booklet promoting Asia Minor Hellenism. Also, actively participated in the publication of the book on the 60th anniversary of the Foundation of History and Folklore of Chalkidiki, Thessaloniki; contributed to anniversary commemorating publications related to Macedonia in newspapers and magazines in Australia and Greece, and organized three book presentations of historical and literary works.