Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), in conjunction with the Consulate General in Melbourne, organised an event at the Greek Centre to welcome the vice president of the European Network of Greeks in Local Government to Victoria. At the same time, board members of the GCM provided certificates of recognition to Melbourne’s local mayors and councillors of Greek background for their outstanding contributions to the Community.Almost 20 councillors and mayors attended the event at the GCM, and it was the first time that they had ever gathered as a collective.GCM President Bill Papastergiadis said “Greece was the birthplace of democracy and local government is at the coalface of modern democracy” during his opening address.“The work of mayors and councillors is fundamental to the functioning of our community,” he said. “Now is the time to harness their contributions and seek to ensure that we, as a community, work collaboratively. A more unified approach between key leaders in Local Government and the GCM will help achieve better collective outcomes for our community. This collaboration will lead to the development of leadership programs and funding opportunities for various projects. Special thanks need to be extended to Mr Pandazopoulos for his consistent effort to develop these relationships.”Theo Markos (vice president of the GCM) was the MC of the event. Mr Markos highlighted the historical connection between former board members of the GCM and their election to various councils in Victoria.Victorian politician John Pandazopoulos, himself a former mayor, also spoke succinctly about the need for collaboration and the strategic importance of the proposed visit. Mr Pandazopoulos plays a crucial role in these events by bringing together key stakeholders.