Far North cancer cure set for human trials

Source: The Cairns Post

SCIENTISTS developing an anti-cancer drug made from a tropical plant only found on the Tableland expect to start human trials within months after reaching their $16 million target.

The remedy  called EBC-46  has the potential to destroy cancerous tumours and has been tested on a range of animals including horses, dogs, lizards and Tasmanian devils.

Yungaburra-based QBiotics CEO Dr Victoria Gordon said the company had reached the next major milestone, raising more than $16 million which will fund the first human trials, the development of a veterinary anti-cancer drug and a new oncology drug called EBC-23. “As EBC-46 is injected directly into the tumour we have initially focused on externally accessible tumours,” Dr Gordon (pictured) said.

“However, we believe that the drug may also successfully treat internally located tumours such as breast and prostate cancers.”

It is believed the treatment would initially be used on patients with head and neck tumours.

“There is still a very strong demand for a solution to cancer. Today, worldwide 20,000 people will die from cancer and in Australia alone there are over 115,000 new cases reported each year.

“There are so many people working hard to solve the problem and this is potentially one of these solutions.

“Our drug acts quickly, it’s simple to use and there are no significant side-effects.”

Admitting that it’s a “long road” until the pharmaceutical is available, Dr Gordon said the clinical phase was an important step towards a cancer cure.

“It’s very exciting. EBC-46 is a local treatment.

“We see a response in the tumour within 48 hours  the tumour starts to die and break up.

“In animals, we’ve seen resolutions (destruction) of the tumour within three weeks.”

Scientists have been developing the drug for the past six years and it has been successfully used on dogs, cats, horses, mice, rats, ferrets, guinea pigs, cockatoos, budgies, lizards and Tasmanian devils.

“It is something very new, so we are really breaking new ground as far as research and development goes but we are making excellent progress. EBC-46 is the first drug to be developed into clinical trials from the Queensland tropical rainforest.”

It is expected human trials will start in Brisbane before recruiting occurs in Far North Queensland.

QBiotics’ latest three-month fundraiser resulted in $6.5 million and was made possible by more than 270 individual investors.

“This is the seventh largest capital raising of 2013 for any ASX listed or private Australian biotech company,” corporate finance manager Reuben Buchanan said.

Money will also be used to evolve a wound healing treatment called WH-1 which has the potential to treat some flesh-eating diseases, pressure sores, diabetes-related ulcers and tropical ulcers.

EBC-46 and WH-1 are derived from the seed of a native rainforest plant called Fontainea.

Aussie researchers find genetic cause to the most common form of childhood cancer

Research Discoveries

The ACRF provides cancer research grants to Australia’s best scientists working towards the treatments and cures for ALL types of cancer.

We love being able to share these research discoveries, as every new answer in the lab brings us closer to defeating this terrible disease.

Child and adult hands

Australian researchers have uncovered the first ever genetic marker specific to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer.

Cancer scientists at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) and Sydney Children’s Hospital, along with a worldwide team of researchers, discovered the genetic link by studying families in which multiple cases of ALL have been diagnosed.

Dr David Ziegler, Clinical Research Fellow at CCIA, paediatric oncologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital and lead Australian author of the research paper said, “Leukaemia cells often contain many different genetic mutations, making it difficult to detect which ones actually cause the leukaemia.”

Because of this challenge the research team took a different approach to this study and looked for mutations carried by individuals who came from very unique families where there were multiple cases of childhood leukaemia.

The genetic mutation that was discovered by Dr Ziegler and the international team is a critical driving factor which could lead to the development of exciting new therapies for ALL – bringing hope to families with children suffering from this form of cancer.

“This discovery unveils the possibility of a genetic test for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, similar to that conducted for breast cancer, which could allow affected families to prevent childhood leukaemia in future generations,” said Dr Ziegler.

Researchers hope to identify other genes that cause acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the future and reveal how these inherited factors can be targeted, allowing for the development of improved therapies and higher cure rates.

The paper has been published in the medical journal, Nature Genetics.

Orpheus: The Greek gods smile kindly on Gluck’s opera

A visually gorgeous and musically compelling production

Ronald Samm in Orpheus at the Everyman, Cork. Photograph: Miki Barlok

Ronald Samm in Orpheus at the Everyman, Cork. Photograph: Miki Barlok.

There’s no such thing as unconditional absolution from the Greek gods: this Everyman and Cork Operatic Society co-production of a tightened, re-orchestrated Orpheus reminds us that no gift is unalloyed. The prophet Cassandra is doomed never to be believed; Persephone will be released from Hades only if she doesn’t eat anything, and she does; and as for Orpheus – he is given the greatest gift of all in bringing his wife Eurydice back from the dead, provided that he doesn’t look at her. Wouldn’t you know it – he looks.

The wonder is that such a marvel as Gluck’s opera survives with no diminution of its mystical bereavement. Here, its power is enhanced by an astonished gratitude that a provincial theatre with limited resources can mount a production so visually gorgeous and musically compelling.

Poverty may impose simplicity but once director, musical director and orchestrator John O’Brien chose this daring route – the performance is mounted on Lisa Zagone’s design of unevenly layered pipes reflecting Michael Hurley’s lighting – all he had to worry about was the quality of his musicians and his singers. Not one of them lets him down.

This is not to say that O’Brien doesn’t take liberties with the formalities of the score, but he does so with authority: this is his rendering of a myth that has a head-spinning number of versions, even for Gluck.

The musicians double and sometimes triple up as those interfering gods (Artemis is bassoon and recorder, Dionysus wields a violin, Hera has two harps and an organ, Athene plays the viola and Apollo is French horn and organ) and move accordingly from pit to stage. This is not a stunt but a gathering of chorus, soloists and even the audience into the ambience of the stricken Orpheus in a deepening of the emotional connections between all three.

Soprano Majella Cullagh announces the plot in a voice infused with compassion as Love, and Tara Brandel’s Eurydice expresses herself in dance (her fatal tantrums suggest that Orpheus is well rid of her). Tenor Ronald Samm invests Orpheus with a lyric pathos so that at the end he makes one of opera’s most famous arias totally his own.

His lament Che farò senza Euridice is threaded through the soprano saxophone with which Carolyn Goodwin voices the eternally lost Eurydice.

As the crimson curtain descends behind, he stands silent and alone. It’s terrific. Ends Saturday

Descendants of Efstratios Venlis, the founder of the first Greek newspaper in Australia, Afstralia, talks about the 100th anniversary of the Greek press in Australia

The father of Greek press in Australia

The father of Greek press in Australia

Mum was always telling us stories about pappou. She was so proud of him, and she would always say ‘respect your beginnings, you know where you come from, behave yourselves’.

Recognition that his daughter was still living was mind-blowing. It just felt too close to the history maker, to the epicentre of the 100 years-long history of Greek press in Australia – Efstratios Venlis – to find out that Maria Venlis, better known as Maria Bell, was still alive.
Efstratios Stratis Venlis was the founder, editor, publisher and printer of the first Greek newspaper released in Australia. Named Afstralia, the four-page tabloid paper was first printed on Friday 6 June, 1913, in Melbourne.
As we talked to Maria’s daughter, Gretchen Bell Oswald, trying to possibly schedule an interview with her mother, or at least listen to any, even trivial information from the life of the family Venlis, 94-year old Maria Venlis lost her battle with age.
In very frail health, she was finding it difficult to speak. She offered though, as her contribution to this article, that Efstratios Venlis was “a very loving father”.
She died on 13 February, 2013, only a few years younger than the Greek press in Australia, that her father started.
Maria Bell found her father a gentle and good man, says Maria’s daughter, Gretchen, today. As a descendant of a man who started writing the history of the Greek community press in Australia, Gretchen feels proud to have “a person like that” in her family tree.
“I am very proud of him because of what he achieved. Certainly, he came from quite a privileged background, his parents were quite well-off and they were a scholarly family back in Greece, from what I know. Descendants from a renowned Vernardakis family,” Gretchen tells Neos Kosmos.
In Venlis’ Naturalisation Certificate, provided to us by another granddaughter, June Roblom, ‘Languages Professor’ is stated as his occupation. He was fluent in five languages.
“He loved the arts, and helped Greek people hang on to their culture. He would raise money for pageants and all sorts of things in the Greek community, and he championed the poets and the writers for his magazine. I am so proud to have come from someone like that. It’s interesting that most of the family members today are fairly artistic, intelligent and creative people; I think he would be quite proud of his progeny,” Gretchen says proudly.
Efstratios Venlis’ wife, Margaret nee Barnett, was not of Greek origin. She was Australian born, of Scottish Presbyterian parents, and the two lived in a marvellous union, as their descendants today tell Neos Kosmos.
“It was a great love marriage. They had six children, and my grandmother really supported my grandfather. I had great connections with her. Papa died when I was only three, but grandmother died at the age of 100. I remember her as I was in my 40s then,” says Gretchen.
Efstratios and Margaret had 6 children, 13 grandchildren (two of them being June Roblom, and Gretchen Bell Oswald whom I spoke to), 26 great grandchildren and many great, great grandchildren, in the latest generation of the Venlis family.
Despite the century long history of the family Venlis in Australia, the Greek thread is not much present anymore. In June’s understanding, it was due to the fact that a diverse cultural background was not to be advertised in those days.
Additionally, being married to a non-Greek wife, Venlis’ children were brought up in a mostly English speaking family. With it came the anglicised surname – Bell.
However, the whole family seemed to be excited about being a part of Greek Australian history that their grandfather sealed with Afstralia, the newspaper that – according to author and academic George Kanarakis – joined the Greek Australian community to the ranks of diaspora presses, despite its much smaller Greek population (The Press of the Greeks in Australia: With Reference to Other Presses of the Hellenic Diaspora, The Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora).
“A century from the publishing of the Greek newspaper in Australia. Isn’t that marvellous?,” Gretchen pointed out several times, excited by the fact that Neos Kosmos contacted her.
During our conversation, she would repeatedly apologise for not providing more information about her grandfather. However, both she and her cousin June still treasure a couple of old family photos, some papers and chapters from the two books by George Kanarakis (In the Wake of Odysseys: Portraits of Greek Settlers in Australia and Greek voices in Australia: a tradition of prose, poetry and drama) that have recorded the beginnings and development of the Greek Australian press and its main figures.
From Zagazig to Greenbushes
Efstratios Panajotou Benlis, as his Naturalisation Certificate states, with origin from the Aegean island of Lesvos, was born on 15 July 1882 at Zagazig, Egypt. At the age of 22, he migrated to Australia. He arrived from Naples on 22 September 1904 by S.S. Eldenburg, disembarking at Fremantle.
After some time, he would settle in Greenbushes, a then active mining settlement in Western Australia, where he opened a small café. This is where, June explains, he would meet his new waitress, and soon after his wife, Margaret Barnett. They got married on 16 September 1908.
“That’s where my mother Irene and the oldest daughter Helen were born. It wasn’t long till they moved to Melbourne, where the newspaper was founded.”
In his marriage certificate, the name Stross Peter Bell appears for the first time. As understood within the family – Stross was a shortening of Efstratios. It is not known when he anglicised the rest of his name.
“People were more anxious at that time, they wouldn’t advertise their background. As time went on, he seemed to use the name Bell more often,” June explains.

Talking to the two granddaughters of Efstratios Venlis, the difference is obvious. Gretchen, Maria’s daughter, is more attached to her grandfather’s figure; while June, daughter of the second oldest Irene, seems more distant from her Greek heritage.
“I think my aunty Maria had stronger connections than my mother. Maria might have mixed for longer with Greek people, because she worked more with them – in milk bars and cafes,” June tells.
“What he did for the Greek community was naturally enough conducted by himself, and the children didn’t come into that frame often. The exception, in my understanding, was the youngest son, Alexander. I believe he was the only one that attended Greek school on Saturday mornings. I know that my grandmother made costumes for Greek pageants,” she reveals.
From Gretchen’s accounts of her papa, the stronger bonds her mother Maria had with the Greek community appear. Excited, she describes to me a scene from the every day life of Venlis family, as if she was a first-eye witness. She would envisage these images as her mother Maria told the stories from her childhood, and with her powerful storytelling she allows me to do the same.
“My mother remembers when she was a girl and they lived in Brisbane; every Sunday the Greek families would get together. And it was always at somebody else’s house. She remembered very clearly the children playing, the women cooking, the men talking and smoking. And they used to have these wonderful Sundays that you can just imagine, can’t you? She said that happened every Sunday. There is a lovely photo I have of my grandfather – there is papa outside the Greek Orthodox Church, with a lot of other people,” Gretchen says excitedly.
“I am proud of him. I can tell you that I wish our Greek heritage had been more emphasised. When I was a child, my mother worked for her godfather who was also Greek, Jim Talis, and I understood Greek. I didn’t speak it, but I can remember sitting down at milk tables, and really knowing what people were talking about. Then when mum left that employment, the Greek thread was not upkept. And I really wish that it had been, I wish that I had gone to a Greek school. I think it’s so important to hang on to those things. You can be proud of where you come from and your heritage, but if you don’t know anything about it – it’s a bit strange.”
“Mum was always telling us stories about it. She was so proud of him, and would always say ‘respect your beginnings, you know where you come from, behave yourselves’. And of course, being brought up in a Greek household, as a child, I was always very loved and spoiled, as Greek children are.”
Efstratios Venlis died on 20 May 1942. Five decades after his death, it was June who, in a strange and accidental way, initiated the whole research about her grandfather to begin with.
“My mother had told me that he published a Greek newspaper, but I had no idea that it was that important.
“My mother had no memory of him earning a living apart from the printing enterprise. He moved around the Greek community doing things for people – writing, translating documents for Australian legal purposes. Printing the paper and running the milk bar and cafes was what was bringing the money in, but he would do these other works within the community.”
One day, at a book sale, just by accident she picked up the book Greek Voices in Australia, by George Kanarakis. When she showed it to her mum, Irene, she said laughingly “perhaps my father is in it”.
June looked up the index and, sure enough, there he was – Efstratios Venlis, his name listed in the index.
According to George Kanarakis, when Afstralia was first published, on 6 June 1913, the number of Greeks living in Melbourne and the rest of the country was rather small. Taking this into consideration, the first issue of this political, social and business weekly sold a large number of copies – 80 of them.
“This endeavour can be appreciated even more if we consider that at that time the Greek population in Melbourne was meagre, and therefore could not easily sustain big ventures. According to the 1911 census there were only 297 Greeks in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria, while in the whole of Australia there were a mere 1,798 Greek-born settlers,” Kanarakis wrote in his book In the Wake of Odysseys (p.69).
By 1920 the newspaper had been transferred to Sydney, where the Greek population was bigger. In December 1922 it was sold to the Marinakis brothers, who published it under the new title To Ethniko Vima. It changed a number of owners and is now under the name Vima Tis Ekklisias. According to Kanarakis, this newspaper is the second-oldest foreign-language newspaper in Australia still in circulation, after the French Le Courrier Australien.
Apart from the newspaper founder, Efstratios Venlis was also the first Greek typesetter and printer in Australia, enlarging even more his social contribution to the Greek community of the Fifth Continent.
Around 1900, in Little Latrobe Street – a laneway in Melbourne’s CBD, then filled with a wide variety of businesses and manufacturers’ agents – the names of European immigrants started to appear. Amongst them was, as Fiona Poulton writes, “Greek newspaper proprietor Efstratios Venlis, who occupied 54-56 Little Latrobe Street in 1915”.
“The street directory reveals that by 1915 there were seventeen properties clearly occupied by immigrants, twelve of them Chinese and the remaining Greek and Italian.”
This is where, in 1916, the setting and printing of a hardcover encyclopedic book for Greek Australians, I Zoi en Afstralia, was done by the Australian Printing and Publishing Company Limited.
Directed by Efstratios Venlis, it was the same company that was printing Australia’s first Greek Newspaper, Afstralia.

Academic George Kanarakis estimates that over 110 Greek newspapers have been published in Australia over the past 98 years of Greek Press history.
*The information about the newspaper Afstralia was taken from the following sources: G. Kanarakis, The Literary Presence of the Greeks in Australia; G. Kanarakis, In the Wake of Odysseus: Portraits of Greek Settlers in Australia; G. Kanarakis, The Greek voices in Australia; Fiona Poulton, Little Latrobe Street and the Historical Significance of Melbourne’s Laneways (Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, 2011) and Hugh Gilchrist, Guides for the Greeks (Australians and Greeks, Volume II, p.253-257)

How the Greeks colluded with Col Esterol to concoct the Richmond diet

Comino’s Oyster Saloon, aka The Sydney Oyster Saloon, 11 Woodlark Street, Lismore, 1904.
This was the first Greek feedlot on the North Coast of NSW, opened by the Kytherian, Panagiotis Emmanuel Kominos (Giraldis), in early 1903. The site was redeveloped in 1915 with the erection of the three-storey ‘Maloney Building’, still the most interesting building in Lismore and now in the hands of Peter Coronakes. (And the area of the street in front remains a designated taxi stand – sometime during WW1 Athena Andrulakis became a taxi proprietor, owning
up to three horse-drawn ‘hansom cabs’ licensed to operate from this Woodlark stand.)
Courtesy Richmond River Historical Society – Dawson Forbes Collection.]

Home Introduction The Block - 1 The Block - 2 The Block - 3 The Block - 4 Dining Revolution Trading Hassles Lismore Greeks -1 Lismore Greeks - 2 Lower Richmond Upper Richmond Political Evolution 1 Political Evolution 2 Annexes Bibliography

Original furnishings and fixtures from the Greek cafe Busy Bee will feature in a new five year exhibition

Busy Bee given second chance

Busy Bee given second chance

Loula Zantiotis (nee Cassimatis) at the Busy Bee Cafe in 2002.
Photos: Effy Alexakis, from the ‘In Their Own Image: Greek-Australians’ National Project Archives

In a special five year commitment, the National Museum of Australia will permanently house a Greek Café collection, with original furnishings and fixtures.

Based on photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski work to identify remaining Greek cafés and café memorabilia of national significance around the country in 2007-8, the museum has taken the next step and invested in a permanent collection.

Now, after its highly popular Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café, the museum has sourced genuine interior furnishings, signage and cafe ware surviving from the Greek caf� heyday in the 1950s and ’60s.

One in particular, the Busy Bee Cafe owned by the Zantiotis family, will be the main attraction. Only closing in 2012, the cafe will live on in the exhibition, entitled Lambros Zantiotis’s Men.

Joanne Bach, the National Museum curator overseeing the display, is excited to have seen the project through to its realisation.

“The exhibit will feature objects acquired from the Busy Bee Café in Gunnedah,” she says. “It will be displayed in our ‘Journeys: Australia’s connections with the World’ gallery. Personally, it’s been very satisfying to develop the exhibit, having done the work on acquiring the collection. It’s not often that we [curators] get to see a collection through in that way.”

The Busy Bee at Gunnedah was one of a limited number of classic Greek cafés that survived almost intact, and is a fine example of early, angular Art Deco design.

It appears to have been the first café outfitted by renowned Greek shop-fitter, Stephen C. Varvaressos.

Members of the Zantiotis family operated the Busy Bee from the mid-1910s through to 2007 when Loula (Theodora) Zantiotis (nee Cassimatis) finally retired and the business was briefly sold to the Faint family.

In 2002, when Alexakis and Janiszewski interviewed Loula Zantiotis, she believed the Busy Bee’s days were numbered.

“About 30 to 40 Greeks were here [in Gunnedah] in 1955. Most of them had cafés. The White Rose, one block down from the Busy Bee. The Monterey, across from the White Rose. The Acropolis, further down the block,” she remembers.

“Now, only three to four Greek families live here… All the kids [my children] have gone. I’m the only person from my family here – I’m lonely at times… I don’t know really what to do… I’m not staying here for business… it [the café] is more my home.”

The exhibition is set to open in early October, and will run for five years. Call (02) 6208 5000 for more information.




LOULA Zantiotis, at age 71, still runs the Busy Bee Cafe, (mid 2004), although on a much smaller scale than its heyday. Life-long customers have become old friends and visitors are made welcome with traditional Greek hospitality.

GUNNEDAH’S Busy Bee Cafe is one of few traditional Greek cafes that remained unchanged in an age when technology galloped away with old memories held dear by a generation of baby boomers.

Since the death of her husband Peter in 1996, 71-one-year-old Loula Zantiotis has continued to run the Busy Bee –
although on a much smaller scale – and she is not sure for how much longer she can keep her beloved cafe open.

[For Loula and Peter’s Kytherian background see entries under People, subsection Nicknames. See another article on Loula by the Newcastle Herald in this section.

Loula has a positive and vibrant style which I find particularly endearing.

I thank her for providing me with this and other information, and for permission to re-print, and to photograph extensively.]

“This is the only life I know and it is very hard to let it go,” she said.
“This is also my home and I enjoy talking with customers and friends who drop in,” said Loula.

Growing up in Gunnedah in the post-war era was a time when the Greek cafe thrived and the taste of thick milkshakes, orange freezes and toasted sandwiches was a way of life.

Although early history is sketchy, it is believed the Busy Bee Cafe was built in 1914 as part of the Doolan buildings, with the tea-rooms accessible via an archway through the shop next door, leading to the Grand Central Hotel.

According to a 1926 newspaper advertisement, early proprietors of the Busy Bee, Jim and Andrew Zantiotis, also known as Zantos, sold “choice confectionery, choicest fruits in season, pastry, small goods, soft drinks and hot pies, with meals at all hours and late suppers.”

Lambros Zantiotis bought the Busy Bee in the early 1930s and was joined by his son Peter on March 15, 1936, from the Greek island of Kythera in the Ionian Sea. He had come out to Australia on his own as a 12-year-old, with his mother Anastasia and sisters joining the family after the war.
As Gunnedah emerged from the Great Depression, Lambros Zantiotis hired cafe interior designer, Stephen Varvaressos, to install its glamourous art-deco fittings which remain virtually unchanged.

While other Greek cafes in Gunnedah were modernised and altered to cater for a changing generation, the Busy Bee Cafe stayed the same with Peter Zantiotis resisting the urge to install a deep fryer and stove for takeaways at the front of the shop.

Lambros Zantiotis died suddenly in 1953 on a trip to Port Macquarie – his first holiday for many years.

Devastated by the loss of his father, workmate and friend, Peter Zantiotis returned to Greece for the first time since his arrival in Australia.
Meanwhile, his future bride, Theodora (Loula), had migrated to Australia to join her brother and sister at Katoomba, in November, 1954.

Born in 1932 on the Greek island of Kythera, between Pelponis and Crete, Loula had been staying with a relative in Sydney when she met the young Peter Zantiotis at an Easter dance in Paddington Town Hall.
After a whirlwind romance, the couple married in Sydney in 1955 and Peter Zantiotis brought his young bride to Gunnedah, where life revolved around the Busy Bee and later their three children Anastasia (Tessie), Lambrous James (Jim) and Emmanuel Nicholas (Manny).

Unable to speak English, Loula found life in Australia very different to anything she had experienced in her homeland.
“It wasn’t just the language, it was the whole way of life,” said Loula.
“We formed friendships with other Greek families and we would get together every Sunday night in one of the cafes.”
Although life outside the Busy Bee was virtually non-existent, the Greek families made regular trips to Tamworth to attend the Greek Orthodox Church.

The Busy Bee Cafe, in its heyday, employed six people, including a cook, kitchen hands and waiters and opened seven days a week from 7am to 11.30pm.
With easy access to the Grand Central Hotel, the Busy Bee was a stopping-off place for country people, with Mum and the kids dropping in for a refreshing drink while Dad quenched his thirst with the amber liquid next door.

A 1938 menu boasts a tempting range of hot dishes and grills, with “personal attention given.”
Curiously, customers could dine on rump steak eggs and chips for the same cost as scrambled eggs and toast, which attracted a charge of one shilling and nine pence – less than 20 cents in today’s money.
When Peter Zantiotis died on March 6, 1996, Loula had to take over the management of the Busy Bee and with the support of family and friends she has continued to provide that same friendly service.

“I made quite a few mistakes but people have always been there to help, including my bank and accountant,” she said.
The uniqueness of the Busy Bee Cafe has also attracted interest from Sydney’s Power House Museum, which recently captured the cafe’s interior on film.

Historian Lenny Janiszewski (see entries, this section or use the search engine under “Janiszewski”) has also taken great interest in the Busy Bee Cafe, which will enter the pages of Greek-Australian history when he completes his research on Greek cafes.

Janiszewski was recently awarded a $20,000 NSW History Fellowship to continue his 20-year odyssey to chronicle Greek-Australian history through Greek eyes.
According to the Macquarie University historian, oyster saloons, established at the end of the 19th century, were the foundation on which Greek cafes were built with migrants from the island of Kythera eventually spreading to every corner of the state.

“The investment in cafes was driven, at least in part, because Greeks were not permitted on factory floors in large numbers until after World War 2,” he said.
ning to and documenting the stories of Greek-Australians for the past 20 years, including Loula Zantiotis, and the fellowship will allow him to record and explore the personal accounts of scores of cafe proprietors and workers.

Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis have combined their talents to produce an exhibition at the State Library in Sydney, featuring black and white photographs which depict many facets of Greek Australians under the title In Their Own Image: Greek Australians.

The photographs are collected in a stunning book which has been published to complement the photographic exhibition.

In Their Own Image captures the stories, the successes, the conflicts and the previously unrecognised diversity of Australia’s Greek migration and settlement.

From the arrival in Australia of seven Greek convicts in 1829 to the present day, says Janiszewski, Greek-Australians have played a vital part in the development and unique culture of their adopted country.

Today the Busy Bee Cafe stands as a solid testament to the hard-working Greeks who left their homeland in search of a better life and established tens of hundreds of cafes across Australia.

The flood of fast-food outlets like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken is threatening the very existence of Greek cafes and with the exodus of young Australian-born Greeks to the coastal fringes, a tradition held dear by many Australians in country towns is being lost.

Loula and Peter Zantiotis worked long and hard in the Busy Bee Cafe to give their children an alternative to cafe life and the young ones have chosen paths far removed from their childhood.

Tessie (Dowes) works in an employment office in Sydney while Manny also lives in Sydney and works as a computer technician.
Jim Zantiotis is a school counsellor in Wagga Wagga and the father of Loula’s three grandsons, Zacharay, Alex and Nicholas.

On Australia Day 1997, Loula Zantiotis accepted a citation from Mayor Noel O’Brien, which paid tribute to the hard-working Greek-Australian, Peter Zantiotis, who “contributed greatly to Gunnedah’s social and cultural history, as a warm and generous representative of his ancestry and a proud Australian.”


MEDIA RELEASE – Stan ‘The Man’ Immortalised in The Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Stan ‘The Man’ kicks the competition

Kickboxing heavyweight Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis will be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in October, giving the eight time world champion the recognition he deserves

Stan 'The Man' kicks the competition

In 102 matches, Stan ‘The Man’ has 88 wins, and 65 knock outs.

I didn’t want to be a kickboxer, I wanted to be the kickboxer

In Australia’s great sporting dynasty, many might have forgotten Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis.

Eight time world kickboxing champion, amassing only eight losses out of 102 matches and securing 65 knock outs, Stan was a revelation in the ’80s and ’90s.

Now, Stan will finally be recognised for his very successful 22 year career by being inducted in the Sports Australia Hall of Fame.

He is one of seven taking the prize, and will be awarded on October 10.

The award is a cherry on the top of an illustrious and very successful career.

He was crowned by the King of Thailand personally when he became the first Westerner to win the muay thai title in 1996 and was given a lifetime achievement award in France in 2000 for his contribution to the sport of kickboxing.

The latest honour is humbling for Stan, who still remembers going to Festival Hall in Melbourne to see wrestler Spiros Arion fight.

“I used to put my dad’s belts around my waist and pretend I was a little champ,” he tells Neos Kosmos.

It’s kind of surreal when you look back on it now.”

Chairman of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame selection committee, Robert de Castella was particularly impressed with Stan’s career and wanted to give him more recognition, something he thinks was not done at the time.

“[Kickboxing is] a sport that is on the periphery and is often overshadowed by something like the Olympic sports of boxing or taekwondo or judo,” Mr de Castella said.

“In some ways Stan was under-recognised here in Australia but was a real pioneer for the sport of muay thai and kickboxing and the sport has now grown into the mixed martial arts area.”

With a life dedicated to training, eating well and hours of exercise, the 48-year-old knew there would be a greater reward in the end.

“The pain, coming home, ice-packing, bruises, all this sort of stuff was all part of paying a price for one day hopefully having a moment like this,” he says.

Stan will be the first to tell you he wasn’t one to shy away from challenges. He wouldn’t obsess over short term goals, but laboured hard at long term goals that would make a real impact in the martial arts world.

From Australian champ, to US champ, the accolades only mattered when he achieved world champion status.

Between 1990 and 1998 he would be crowed with a world champion title each year.

He became one of the few fighters to secure world titles in not just one style, but three, including international rules kickboxing, full contact and muay thai.
“I didn’t want to be a kickboxer, I wanted to be the kickboxer,” he reasons.

One of the hardest things he had to do was mentally prepare himself before a match.

With the hum of the crowd filling the change rooms, Stan would seek out a quiet corner and contemplate what getting in that ring would mean.

“I’d get on my knees and pray that our Lord would protect me and my opponent and all the boys fighting on the night, despite the fact that in my sport the most prestigious way to win was by knockout,” he says.

“That’s the attitude I had.”

While Stan’s intensity might at first be slightly intimidating, his smile and good nature make you realise that being a fighter doesn’t change your personality.

In and outside the ring you can see Stan is a different person.

“I know I can kick a door down, but why kick when there’s a handle,” the gentle giant says.

Now that intensity is being utilised as Stan embarks on his new venture: motivational speaking.

As a man who made a living out of knock outs, picking yourself up is something Stan knows very well.

He’s spoken to children about bullying and violence and inspires the corporate world to strive for long term goals, not settle for short term gratifications.
“Anyone can get knocked down, it’s what you do when you get back up,” he says.

Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis is available for public speaking appearances that can be organised by calling 0407344317.


The number of people leaving Greece to start a new life in Australia is continuing to rise

Greek migration to Australia increases

Impact of crisis reflected in latest figures

The number of people leaving Greece to start a new life in Australia is continuing to rise, according to the latest data released by the Department of Immigration.

Figures announced this week show the number of temporary and permanent visas awarded to Greek nationals increased in the last financial year, showing growth in nearly every visa category, with a particular spike in temporary 457 visas – up by nearly 70 per cent.

Such visas, which accounted for 156 Greeks entering the country in 2011-12, increased to 264 in 2012-13. In 2010-11 only 57 visas were granted in this category.

Registered Migration Agent Penny Dimopoulos told Neos Kosmos said that the spike in 457 visas could be partly attributed to those who came to Australia originally on student visas in recent years.

“Many Greeks who arrived on student visas have been able to improve their English, acquire a qualification or gain Australian work experience – that has now enabled them to apply for a work or skilled visa – which they may not have been eligible for previously.”

Numbers for permanent migration under family and skilled migration streams rose between 2011-12 and 2012-13 by 61 per cent – from 325 to 525.

These figures, says Ms Dimopoulos, are likely to relate to spouses and children of Australian citizens who were born in Australia but returned to Greece.

“When the crisis initially hit, many of these people decided to stay and wait for the situation to improve, however, given the fact that unemployment remains high and opportunities in Greece are currently so limited, some of these people have now decided to make a new start in Australia.”

Over the last three years the number of people from Greece entering Australia via the family and skilled migration streams has been growing steadily, with only 134 Greeks permanently migrating in 2010-11.

Student visas – the single highest visa category other than temporary offshore tourist visitors – continues to rise – up by 45 per cent on 2011-12.

In that 12 months 587 Greek citizens were offered visas to study in Australia. In 2012-13 the figure increased by 332 to 855.

Temporary tourist visas – allowing short stays (usually a maximum of three months) continue to be the most common method for Greek nationals to enter Australia, though the figure fell in the last financial year.

In 2011-12, 7938 Greeks came to Australia as temporary offshore visitors on tourist visas. That figure decreased in 2012-13 to 7222.

For Cyprus, which has a much smaller level of migration, 27 Cyprus nationals permanently migrated in 2012-13, an increase of 11 on the year previously.

1414 Cypriots visited Australia in 2012-13 as temporary offshore visitors compared to 1395 in the 12 months before, while 128 Cyprus nationals came to

Australia on Working Holiday visas, an increase of nearly 100 on 2011-12.

Immigration’s latest figures do not include Greek Australian dual-nationals who have returned to Australia.

%d bloggers like this: