Lecturer: Dean Kalimniou
Organisers: Pontiaki Estia and Greek Community of Melbourne
Geographically, the Empire of Trebizond consisted of the narrow strip along the southern coast of the Black Sea and the western half of the Pontic Alps, along with the Perateia, or southern Crimea (Principality of Theodoro).
Its demographic legacy endured for several centuries after the Ottoman conquest in 1461 and the region retained a substantial number of Greek Orthodox inhabitants until 1923. These are usually referred to as Pontic Greeks. The eastern branch, who settled around Kars and Georgia, are often referred to as Caucasus Greeks, and the Crimean branch, resettled by Catherine the Great on the north shores of the Sea of Azov, are referred to as Mariupolitan Greeks.
The Pontic Greeks remained along the eastern Black Sea coast and its hinterland in the Pontic Alps, as well as in northeastern Anatolia, until the years immediately following the First World War, when those who had retained their Christian Orthodox faith and Greek identity fled, or were killed in, the tumultuous Pontic genocide (1917-1921).
Dean Kalimniou is the director of Toorak Law, a law firm specializing in corporate insolvency.
He is also a well known poet and short story writer within the Greek community. He has published four poetry collections Kipos Esokleistos ("Garden Enclosed") (2003), Alexipyrina ("Flameproof") (2004), Apteros Niki ("Wingless Victory") (2008), Anisixasmos (2010) and Plektani, which will be launched at the GOCMV in May.
His weekly column Diatribe in Neos Kosmos is also widely read. Dean Kalimniou has free-lanced for various Australian and Greek journals such as Etchings and Ardin and has also translated various works of prominent Greek-Australian authors from Greek into English, as well as working on the scripts of Greek-Australian short film director Peter Stephanides.