Two fascinating lectures which undoubtedly contributed to the building of the Greek Australian narrative, were presented recently at the Greek Centre as a part of the Greek history and Culture Seminars, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.
Dr Konstandina Dounis from Monash University, on Wednesday 20th of August, spoke about the experiences of young Greeks growing up in Australia during the 50s,60s and 70s.
As a large part of the audience was of that same era, they were able to connect with Dina’s comments and observations.
Many of them also shared their own personal experiences which made for an interesting evening. It was agreed by all those present that more needed to be done by all of us to ensure that our own history is recorded and documented.
It was also acknowledged by those present that the Dardalis Archives play an important role as a source of information and are a true treasure for our community.
On Thursday evening Con Vaitsas from Sydney, spoke about the infamous Greek Social Security “scandal” of the late 70s. Many Greeks were unfairly targeted, being accused of “rorting” the system and were subjected to unwarranted interrogation by the then Commonwealth Police as well as the Department of Social Security.
After one of the longest legal trails in Australian history it was found that they were not guilty of any fraud or misconduct. Unfortunately, the scars that were a result of those traumatic experiences remain until today.
“The committee responsible for the seminar series, feel that is important to explore and present to a wider audience our own history as Greek Australians,” said Mr Theo Markos, Vice President of the Greek Community of Melbourne and member of the Committee of the Greek History and Culture Seminars. “We need to highlight both our contribution and experiences, as well as the events that have moulded us as a community.”
“The Greek Community of Melbourne is proud of it’s close collaboration with the Greek Studies Program of Latrobe University. We commend the efforts of its staff and particularly those of its Coordinator Dr Stephie Nikoloudis who works tirelessly to promote both Greek Language and Culture, not just to the students of the Latrobe university but also to the wider student population of Victoria.
“We look forward to the next lecture of the Dardalis Hellenic Archives Research Seminar series which will take place on Wednesday the 18th of September at the Greek Centre.”