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200 Years of Greek Independence

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Democracy. Aristotle. The Olympics. The delicious dish of Souvlaki, but most importantly my Yia Yia and Papaou. What do all these things have in common?
They originated from Greece! It is important to acknowledge the role our heritage and personal history have in shaping our ways of leadership. My grandparents were outstanding examples of everyday, ordinary leaders—leaders who served their families and communities.
I mention them, for on this day we mark 200 years of Greek Independence.
Two centuries ago, Greece launched their campaign for independence from the Ottoman Empire. What followed was the flourishing of a proud country, spreading its culture throughout the world. Australia’s first group of Greek migrants came in the form of seven prisoners in the early 1800s. Through the gold rush years of the 1850s and then post world war two, thousands of Greek men and women immigrated to Australia.

Today there are nearly 400,000 people of Greek ancestry in Australia. Many of whom resident in my electorate of Reid! Burwood is home of the Saint Nectarios Greek Orthodox Parish. Established in 1970, it serves the spiritual, educational and social needs of the local Greek community.
Plato once said, courage is knowing what not to fear. The Greeks who have migrated to Australia put aside fear, showing immense courage leaving their homes in search of a better life.
Without the Greek community, Australian society wouldn’t be what it is today.