After the 30th anniversary of the Thessaloniki and Melbourne sisterhood, Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris has announced additional cultural collaborations between the two cities.
Boutaris stated at the Hellenic Museum, "We've been connected for thirty years but there was no intention for an actual connection. This is what we've come to change," according to Neos Kosmos.
During his Australian travels, the Greek mayor discussed new goals and collaboration plans with the Greek-Australian community. Australia is set to be the next honored nation at the forthcoming Thessaloniki International Exhibition, which marks the first time it will be commemorated.
On the Australian side, an exhibit highlighting Mount Athos will take place at the Hellenic Museum. Thessaloniki also plans to take part in Melbourne's food festival and a student exchange program is being planned between the two locations.
Mayor Boutaris stated to Neos Kosmos, "When we decided to come to Australia...we made clear that we need to see whether it is possible and to what extent we can make this relationship more active. It takes a lot of mutual effort to make this bond efficient. Initially, we aim at joining forces with the Greek communities of Australia, centring on Melbourne, so that on a second basis, we can promote this relationship using the Greeks of the diaspora as a 'facilitator' to help us reach the general Australian public, breaking the boundaries of Greek ethnicity."
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