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Open Online Seminar: Battle of Crete veterans that played AFL
Open Online Seminar: Battle of Crete veterans that played AFL
06.05.2021 19.00 h
Hybrid Virtual / In-Person - Melbourne


Presenter: Barbara Cullen

Language of Presentation: EnglishR.M.L.G.*: 0 - No knowledge of Greek required.


Over 2500 AFL/VFL players served from 1897 until the end of National Service in 1972. Of these men, 22 players from various VFL/AFL football clubs served in Greece and Crete during WW2 and sadly five of those players died on active service.
Three in Greece or Crete and the other two in New Guinea and Australia. This tribute to all who served in Greece and Crete on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Crete explores their football careers, their service to Australia and as brave men who were loved sons, brothers, fathers and mates. They came from all walks of life and represented Australian sport and service to their country.


Barbara’s life has always been intertwined with football history and war service . Her great uncle ( KIA ) and grandfather both served in WW1 and her father served in the RAAF during WW2. Another great uncle was a premiership Captain /Coach of Geelong Football Club and her father and brothers both coached and played. After a twenty year career in education her work took a major turn when she was made Manager/Curator of the Essendon Football Club Hall of Fame in 1996.
In 2006 she was honoured as AFL Football Woman of the Year for her service to football history. For the past 11 years she has been managing the football archival collections of North Melbourne and Sydney Swans Football Clubs, and has been secretary of the Australia Football Heritage Group for the past 25 years.
Her book “Harder than Football” published in 2015, which took 6 years of research, documents and pays tribute to the war service of 2500 AFL/VFL footballers in the Boer War, WW1 ,WW2, Korea, Vietnam and National Service. This includes the 22 players who served in Greece and Crete during WW2.



The event will take place in the Mezzanine Level of the Greek Centre (168 Lonsdale Street).

If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the show, just join us through our Facebook page or our YouTube page where we'll be live streaming the event.



We thank The Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council for the kind donation that makes seminars like this possible.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 03 9662 2722.

We also thank the following corporate sponsors:

seminar sponsors 2021 2

* R.M.L.G.: Recommended Minimum Level of Greek in order to enjoy this Event, on a scale of 0 to 5.


Hybrid Virtual / In-Person
Level M, 168 Lonsdale Street
Country: au

A Hybrid Virtual / In-Person event is one where you have the option to participate in-person or join-in via one of our selected online platforms. 

To attend in-person you may need to pre-register your attendance, if that's required, instructions will be provided in the description of each event.


Online delivery happens over 3 different platforms in parallel.

You may select the platform that you prefer or is appropriate to your level of engagement.

The 3 platforms we have selected are Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

The only way to participate in the Q&A portion of the seminar is to use the Zoom platform (we provide a specific link for each seminar to allow you to register via Zoom).

If you have no interest in participating in Q&A the other two platforms will allow you to view the seminar without registration requirements.

Our YouTube channel is at and our Facebook page at

If the speaker allows us to record the seminar for posterity, it will stay up on our page for on-demand viewing. However, if we don't have that permission then we will delete the seminar video after the live-streaming ends.

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