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Feminism, Gender Equality and the Migrant Experience: one step forward, two steps back?

Professor Joy Damousi will be the facilitator of a panel discussion about feminism, gender equality and the migrant experience, at the Greek Centre, on Thursday 21 March, as part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

In the panel discussion will participate Maria Dimopoulos, Kris Pavlidis and Dina Gerolymou.

“The true republic: men, their rights and nothing more: women, their rights and nothing less,” said American suffragist Susan B. Anthony in 19th century. In 2018, journalist and advocate Tracey Spicer spearheading Now Australia declared that it’s time to go #backtothebarricades.

A few months later Julie Bishop, former Australian foreign affairs minister, publicly stated that she doesn’t describe herself as a feminist and she doesn’t find the term useful while on the other side of the world, Canadian prime minister Justine Traudeu proclaimed that he will be saying he is a feminist until there is no reaction.

In 2019 Australia, where a national inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace is underway, the home remains unsafe as domestic violence continues unabated and young women are raped and killed in the streets of the world’s second most livable city, has feminism become the ‘F’ word?

What is the current state of gender equality and where does the migrant experience fit in the current state of affairs? Some activists believe that women’s rights have been eroded and that the world need a new model capable of representing the diversity of women in a multicultural reality.

FACILITATOR: Professor Joy Damousi
Joy Damousi is Professor of History and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely on aspects of political history, women’s history and feminist history, memory and war, history of emotions, sound and war, and the history of migration and refugees. She is the author of numerous books which include The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (Cambridge 1999); Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Australia (University of New South Wales Press, 2005); Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia 1840-1940 (Cambridge 2010) and Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia's Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War, (Cambridge, 2015). She is currently working on a history of child refugees, humanitarianism and internationalism from 1920 to the present. With Philip Dwyer she is the general editor of a four volume Cambridge World History of Violence due to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.


Maria Dimopoulos is a nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of cultural diversity, gender equality and the law. As Managing Director at Myriad International Consulting Services she has had extensive experience in policy formulation for Government, research for social planning and in community legal education. Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing cultural diversity and gender informed approaches in the ongoing complex legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in those reform processes. Maria continues to deliver judicial education programs across Australia and currently sits on a number of boards including the Coronial Council of Victoria, the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity and the Castan Centre for Human Rights.

Cr Kris Pavlidis is an experienced and passionate community advocate for social justice and cultural diversity and has held various positions over more than thirty years across the government and community sectors. Cr Pavlidis is currently an elected Local Government representative having served four Terms as Councillor and two as Mayor. She was the first Greek Australian female Mayor to serve at the City of Whittlesea. She is the Chairwoman of the Ethnic Communities’ Council Victoria; Convenor, Women Matter 2 and Pronia Director. Cr Pavlidis’ skills base lies in Policy Development & Governance, Community and stakeholder engagement and consultation and mentoring / Training. Her work has been recognised through the VMC Awards for Multicultural Excellence; the VLGA Champions for Gender Equity; the Municipal Association Victoria for Outstanding Service. Qualifications: B.A., B.S.W., M.S.W. Management.

Dina Gerolymou is a journalist with over 25 years’ experience in Greece and Australia and the author of the book “The Battle of Crete: the untold stories” which stemmed from her investigative report on the lack of recognition for Australian World War 2 veterans and the Greek campaign. She has postgraduate qualifications in history and education and has upgraded her skills by undertaking studies in management and leadership. Dina has an interest in oral history and the documentation and preservation of Hellenic history in Australia. She has worked predominantly in the media, education and community services and is a keen observer of community affairs and social issues. She is currently a senior producer at the Greek Language Program of SBS Radio where her work on refugees was shortlisted for an international award. She pursues her passion for social justice by being active in MEAA, Women in Media and by supporting humanitarian work and charitable causes mainly through Rotary.

When: Thursday 21 March 2019, 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre (Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne)

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