Australia’s Minister for Families, Children and Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos is the first female Minister with Greek roots in the nation, to be positioned at the federal or state parliamentary level.
Following Mikakos’ swearing in ceremony, the Greek-Australian politician described to Neos Kosmos, “It is a great honour to have been appointed to serve in Premier Andrews’ Cabinet, in portfolios that are integral to our families, children and youth.” She added, “I am humbled to have achieved a new milestone for Australia’s Greek community as the first woman Minister of Greek descent. I hope this will encourage other women to strive for leadership roles.”
In her new position, Minister Mikakos will be responsible for youth justice, protection and early childhood education. The Minister stated, “Research shows that if young children access a quality early childhood education, they get the best start to life…Our youth also need to be supported to access education, training and employment opportunities, which is why the new Labor government will rescue our TAFE system, build new technical schools and invest in our schools.”
Minister Mikakos commented on her own upbringing, “As the daughter of a working class migrant family, I have seen the transformative role that education can bring and I want to ensure all children have the opportunity to access a quality education.”
Many prominent Greek leaders in Australia commented on Mikakos’ new role. Melbourne’s Greek Orthodox Community President Bill Papastergiadis stated, “We wholeheartedly support her ascension to the ministry…given the Greek community’s relevance and vibrancy, and proportional representation within the population in Victoria.”
Greek Ambassador to Australia Haris Dafaranos declared, “I salute her as a personality and it is with a great sense of pride that I acknowledge her place in history as the first female Australian minister of Greek heritage…I have no doubt she will lead by example and do her absolute best for all Victorians and of course the Greek Australian community.”
(Source: Neos Kosmos)