(Australia) – The South Australian Government has recently awarded the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia, also referred to as GOCSA, with a grant totaling $200,000. The intended purpose of the grant is to use it to help restore the Olympic Hall, which needs some updates in order to reach current building code standards. The organization received the grant on December 15, 2016 at the Community’s Annual Volunteers Christmas Dinner, which took place at the Olympic Hall.
Tom Koutsantonis, the State Treasure, made the announcement that the organization was to receive the grant at this annual dinner. Bill Gonis, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia, accepted the grant on behalf of the organization. He said, “We are very grateful for the State Government thinking of us and giving us the grant. And of course it means a lot to the community because in this day and age it’s so hard to get government grants. Especially at this time of year, we’re in the spirit of Christmas, and we were extremely happy with that and it will of course be going to good use, upgrading our Olympic Hall.”
According to the official website, GOCSA is an organization that was founded to bring people together. The website says that, “The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia emanated from the Greek community (paroikia) of Adelaide. At first few in number, the Greeks of the metropolitan area of Adelaide did not exceed twenty permanent settlers at the turn of the century. This number gradually increased to 300 people in 1930.”
The Olympic Hall is an important part of what GOCSA does, and being able to update it according to today’s building standards is an important way to help promote this sense of community. According to the website, “From the day of its inauguration, the Community Centre has never ceased to serve the community, meeting numerous community needs, by hosting dances, concerts, receptions, films, theatrical performances, educational seminars, as well as offering Greek language education to the youth and invaluable social services.”