Presenter: Dr Trevor Batrouney
The Greek Community of Melbourne marks it’s 120 anniversary with a series of lectures and presentations that highlight its history in an attempt to find the way forward. In the context of this series of celebrations the Greek Community presents the following event:
This presentation has two major aims: it gives an account of the first contacts made by Orthodox seamen, traders and visiting priests with the early settlements in Australia; it also traces the early relationship and cooperation of Orthodox migrants of different national groups with each other; in particular, the Greeks and Lebanese (then known as Syrians).
The early history of Orthodoxy in Melbourne is marked by the warm relations of the two foundation churches in Melbourne: The Holy Annunciation of Our Lady Greek Orthodox Church (Evangelismos Tis Theotokou) and St Nicholas Syrian (later Antiochian) Orthodox Church. This was strengthened by the physical closeness of the two churches in Victoria Parade, East Melbourne.
Two factors led to relations becoming less close by the middle of the 20th century: the desire of the Lebanese for their own priest and worship in their own language; and the great migration, especially of Greeks, after the Second World War.
However, the common bond of Orthodoxy has ensured that some positive relations remain, as will be outlined in the presentation.
Dr Trevor Batrouney is a fourth generation Australian-Lebanese whose great-grandfather, George Batrouney, migrated to Melbourne in 1889. Since that time the Batrouney family has made a major contribution to the life of the Australian-Lebanese community and the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Melbourne.
Dr Batrouney has had an extensive career in higher education as Principal Lecturer at the Hawthorn Institute of Education. He later held the positions of Assistant Director of the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research and Research Manager at the Australian Institute of Family Studies as well as Adjunct Professor at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Dr Batrouney is a historian and sociologist who has written extensively on migration, settlement and religious issues in Australia. He has authored several books as well as numerous reports, articles and chapters in books on Lebanese and other immigrant groups in Australia.
Recent publications on religion include:
- Cherishing the Faith: the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Victoria 1889-2006 (2007);
- Cradle of Orthodoxy: St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Melbourne 1932-2007 (2007);
- Living our Heritage: the Maronite Catholic Church in Victoria (2008).
Dr Batrouney has been an invited lecturer at international conferences on Lebanese migration, migrant religions and related issues. He is a supervisor and mentor for graduate and doctoral students as well as researchers and writers on issues related to Lebanese migration and community in Australia.
He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2016.