Lecturers: Leonard Janiszewski & Effy Alexakis
From the late nineteen century until the closing decades of the twentieth century, Greeks played a large part in Australia’s food catering industry.
They continued, nevertheless, to enter a wide variety of diverse occupations. These included: agricultural and pastoral activities, mining, sea-related industries, itinerant work, secondary industries, public life, professional fields, and artistic and sporting avenues.
Moreover, their contribution in some activities proved significant. This lecture reveals, acknowledges and celebrates their complex and broad involvement in Australia’s mainstream development over the last two hundred years.
Documentary photographer, Effy Alexakis, and historian, Leonard Janiszewski, have been researching the Greek-Australian historical and contemporary presence in both Australia and Greece since 1982. Their project and archives, In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians, encompasses visual, oral and literary material and is based at Macquarie University, Sydney. Their archive is one of the most significant collections in the country on Greek-Australians.
Various national and international touring exhibitions, three major books, over 200 book chapters, articles, conference papers, and three film documentaries have been produced. Of their exhibitions, the most pronounced have been ‘In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians’ and ‘Selling and American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café’. The former was created in partnership with the State Library of NSW and toured throughout Australia as well as Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece; in Athens it was part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Cultural Festival, ‘Reaching the World’ and in Thessaloniki it was invited as the Australian component of the City’s ‘Cultural Capital of Europe 1997’ program. The latter opened at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 2008, and is still touring.
Alexakis’ photographs are held in both public and private collections in Australia – most significantly in the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, and the State Library of NSW, Sydney. She currently works as a freelance photographer after completing 25 years service as Senior Photographer with Macquarie University. Alexakis has been ranked in the top ten portrait photographers in Australia. In 2001 Janiszewski was awarded the New South Wales History Fellowship to research a history of the ‘Greek café’.
Both Alexakis and Janiszewski are Research Fellows with the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. Janiszewski is also Curator with the Macquarie University Art Gallery. Alexakis and Janiszewski have served on numerous history and arts committees.
We'd like to thank the following donors: Kon Tsementis-Floudas | Maria Dikaiou in mem. of George H. Asproftas and Michael H. Asproftas | Chris & Angela Fifis | Konstandina Dounis in mem. of her parents Sophia and Theodoros Dounis.
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