This year the Cretan Brotherhood Youth wanted to really explore the ways we give back to our local community. With a long history of calling Brunswick home for over 30 years, we felt like our connection to the neighbourhood was an important part of the club’s story and one we wanted to continue developing.
As our youth committee by-laws state;
The primary objectives of the Youth Committee are to:
- Foster, preserve and promote Hellenic and Cretan culture and traditions, primarily to the Cretan Brotherhood Youth, but also to the wider Greek youth community;
- Create and maintain a hub for support, social activity and networking primarily for Cretan Brotherhood Youth, but also to the wider Greek youth community;
- Support the Cretan Brotherhood to make a positive contribution to the community, including the local community in Moreland and the wider Greek community in Melbourne.
Off the back of successful events and fundraising campaigns earlier this year for our Brotherhood family, it was clear we had a strong and committed team that could enact genuine change. The resources, skills and ethics were all there.
So – where to start?
Over the past few years, it’s been a tradition to host a family movie night at the club and fundraise for a large corporate non-profit organisation. What we felt was lacking, however, was a personal connection and point of relevance to the fundraising – we were all there at the end of the day because we are passionate about preserving, developing and enjoying Greek culture. We knew we could use this opportunity to fundraise for something truly meaningful to us, something that would make a direct difference in our community and something that would contribute towards the strength of Greek culture here in Australia.
After some back and forth, the committee decided to approach the club’s local library, Brunswick Library, just off Sydney Road. After getting in touch with the library’s Multicultural Manager, Lyn McFarland, we learned about the series of Moreland Libraries and their individual Greek collections, particularly the collections at Brunswick and Coburg. With an expansive range of fiction, non-fiction, magazines, childrens’ books and audiovisual material, it was exciting to know that the City of Moreland had such a strong resource on their hands. It was something that resonated with us, and it was something we wanted to be a part of.
After our family movie night screening of Hercules, we decided to use our fundraising dollars to help this Greek collection grow. A range of 20 children’s books were purchased, some of them translations of classic stories, others original Greek stories, and others still telling stories of ancient Greek mythology. Purchased directly in-store at one of Crete’s most well-loved book stores and carefully toted back to Australia, these books were chosen to represent a range of age groups and interests, with the hope that they would be used for language acquisition and Greek language learning for young children here in Brunswick.
Last Friday the 18th of October, we were lucky enough to head down to the library and meet Lyn herself to officially donate the books, and hear more about the Greek collection and a Greek storytime program that is held on Wednesdays locally. We’re so proud to see this cultural presence in our neighbourhood, and we know that this is just the beginning of our continued efforts to give back and connect with the our local community.
Ellie Nikakis (Cretan Brotherhood Youth Committee)