Race to save Greek-Australian archives

Researchers in Melbourne have begun the painstaking task of unravelling thousands of boxes containing historical Greek archives.

The priceless collection of art, newsreels and photographs captures the Hellenic diaspora in Australia.

And the race is on to preserve the material before it fades into history.


New future for historic Greek migration archive

Scholarship and heritage: from left, Ambassador Haris Dafaranos and his wife Eva with Greek community member Spiros Rombotis, La Trobe’s Professor Chris Mackie and Maria Herodotou, Archives Project supervisor Maria Ammazzalorso, and Eva Fisch.

Scholarship and heritage: from left, Ambassador Haris Dafaranos and his wife Eva with Greek community member Spiros Rombotis, La Trobe’s Professor Chris Mackie and Maria Herodotou, Archives Project supervisor Maria Ammazzalorso and Eva Fisch.

La Trobe University’s recently announced three-year Greek Archives project was inspected in September by a high-level delegation when the Greek Ambassador to Australia, Mr Haris Dafaranos and Consul-General for Victoria, Mrs Eleni Lianidou, visited the Melbourne campus.

Also taking part were the Greek Consul for Education Mr Vasileios Gkogas, three Greek community members of the La Trobe University Greek Archives Project Committee, Tassos Revis, Spiros Rombotis and George Papadopoulos, as well as Dr Maria Herodotou and Dimitris Gonis from La Trobe’s Modern Greek Studies Program.

The event was hosted by La Trobe Head of Humanities, Professor Chris Mackie, who chairs the Project Committee, project manager and Library Collections Librarian Eva Fisch, and Dr Michális S. Michael from La Trobe’s Centre for Dialogue.

Social history: Ambassador Dafaranos and Mrs Dafaranos with librarian Eva Fisch, right.

Social history: Ambassador Dafaranos and Mrs Dafaranos with librarian Eva Fisch, right.

The Greek Archives document 130 years of the Greek diaspora in Australia and were formerly part of the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research (EKEME in Greek), which ceased operating in 2007.

They hold a wide-range of material on the social history of Greeks in Australia which is being curated and listed by a team of three bi-lingual trained staff under the direction of the University Library.

History of Greek settlement

Professor Mackie said the Greek government delegation came to see the archives and discuss their accessibility for students of the Greek diaspora in order to help the Greek and wider community learn more about the history of Greek settlement in Australia.

One of the first tasks of the project, he said, was to provide access to the Dardalis Archives of the Hellenic Diaspora, sponsored and named after Melbourne businessman and Greek community philanthropist Zissis (Jack) Dardalis.

Ambassador Dafaranos said he applauded La Trobe for undertaking such an important task. He said the extensive materials in the archive would be extremely useful for scholars in Australia and around the world, as well as for the next generation of the local Greek community.

‘What we have here now is a solid basis for the future. Greeks of Melbourne feel strongly about this archive. I believe we have an excellent team and that we can work together to have this collection promoted and used by students and researchers.’

Print and film culture: inspecting 'The Beauty of Peran', historic poster of a famous 1930s film, and a linotype machine adapted for early Greek publications in Australia.

Print and film culture: inspecting ‘The Beauty of Peran’, historic poster of a famous 1930s film, and a linotype machine adapted for early Greek publications in Australia.

Project manager Eva Fisch said the work involved going through more than 5,500 archive boxes, 80 meters of bound newspapers, costumes, newsreels, films, art objects, as well as material stored on 60 computers donated to the archive over the past 13 years.

More than 700 boxes of archives had already been completed.

She said the newspaper collection was probably one of the most extensive in the Greek diaspora anywhere in the world.

‘Dating back to 1907 the collection holds some of the oldest newspapers published in Athens, and there are a lot of papers spanning the years of the two world wars.’

Link to today’s boat people

Ms Fisch said a number of exciting projects using the archives were already in train. For example, a Master of Information Studies student will be working with the project team on devising a display on subjects such as Greek local community history and global citizenship later this year.

‘The latter display will draw links between decisions made by a family deciding to step foot on a boat in search of a better life, and major changes in our society,’ she said.

An article, published earlier this year (11 March 2013) in the Greek newspaper Neos Kosmos by Nick Kitsakis was researched at the archives. The article traced the origins of the Hellenic (soccer) cup in Victoria, and who was responsible for the organisation of this cup from the 1960s.

And a steam-punk-like industrial relic, a typesetter modified by a Greek printer to deal with the differences between the English and Greek alphabets, is the subject of another research project.

Greek Australian Arthur Papastamatis: Top Football Coach

Source: greekreporter


The 33 year-old Greek Australian Arthur Papas, is considered to be one of the top coaches in India. This country does not have a longtime football tradition, but the population is second in the world.

Moreover, Arthur Papas is considered as a top upcoming coach in Asia. He started his career from his birth country of Australia. At the age of 25, he was a football player but had already undergone in six knee surgeries, preventing him from continuing his game.

As coach he was distinguished by the Greek team named Okli. Then he worked as assistant coach to the U-17 Australian team as well as to Newcastle Jets. At the age of 32 he decided to continue his career in India.

There, he was responsible for the Olympic team where he assumed Dembo team (India category A) with excellent results leading him to be one of the first names of India.

Nevertheless, Arthur Papas expressed his aspirations for a career Greece.

Greek Australian Funds Renovation of Historic Bridge in Lemnos

Source: greekreporter


The well-known music composer of Australia Pantelis Volaris, who is from the Greek island of Lemnos, founded the renovation of the historic “Kountouriotis Bridge” where the Greek admiral and naval hero Pavlos Kountouriotis raised the Greek flag during the Battle of Limnos in 1912.

This gesture was appreciated by the authorities of his homeland and Volaris came back to Melbourne excited and moved.

Volaris, who visits Greece every year, stayed in Lemnos until the 8th of October in order to be present at the celebrations of the local anniversary of October 8, 1912, when Lemnos became part of Greece, during the First Balkan War.

The residents of the island seized the opportunity to honor and express their gratitude to Volaris, who, on his own initiative, funded the renovation of that historic bridge of his village, while he also contributed to the erection of a monument at the seaside location of Vourlidia, where the liberation army of Pavlos Kountouriotis landed in 1912.

Obviously touched, Volaris thanked everybody for honoring him and wished that they would always celebrate this anniversary and remember the sacrifices the Greek people made.


Starting a business in Greece is now much easier than a year ago

Source: Ekathimerini

Augusto Lopez-Claros (right), director of Global Indicators and Analysis at the World Bank, with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

Greece leapt 111 spots in the World Bank’s global Doing Business chart in terms of starting a new enterprise, as it climbed from the 147th to the 36th position in the world, according to the report for 2014 released on Tuesday.

The main reasons for the major increase in Greece’s attractiveness for starting a business are the introduction of a new form of private company, known as IKE, which has simplified the start-up process, the reduction in the minimum capital required to start a company, and the abolition of the minimum capital needed to set up a limited company (Ltd).

On the other hand, Greece continues to find itself among the countries with the most procedures required for the transfer of commercial property, while the well-known delays in the justice system have also weighed heavily on Greece’s image as a destination for business. Nevertheless, the Development Ministry has stated that the obligatory presence of lawyers for the transfer of properties will be abolished in the next few months, which should improve Greece’s position in that respect.

“Greece’s continued regulatory reforms are laudable and a further step in the right direction to improve the quality of the investment climate,” stated Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of Global Indicators and Analysis with the World Bank Group. “Making it significantly easier to start a business is particularly important for growth and job creation in Greece at this point in time,” he added.

The report’s researchers counted the procedures required for the start of an IKE in Athens. They found that five procedures are needed, equal to the average for Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member states. The process takes 14 days (against an OECD average of 11.1 days), a minimum capital of near zero (hence the nickname one-euro companies), and a cost of 1,544.99 euros, which amounts to 4.6 percent of the per capita income (against an OECD member state average of 3.6 percent). A year earlier, the cost amounted to 24.4 percent of the per capital income in Greece.

Greek island on frontline of Europe’s migration war

Source: BBC

Exterior of Moria camp

An immigrant detention camp that has been built in Moria is officially called a “reception centre”

The Greek coast guard boat races through the vast expanse of the Aegean, the water glinting in the morning sun.

Behind, in silhouette, are the lush mountains of Lesbos island – Greece’s third largest, a place of extraordinary natural beauty – but now one of Europe’s key immigration frontiers.

Since August 2012, when the Greek authorities increased controls on the land border with Turkey, the country’s islands have born the brunt of the inflow.

And Lesbos holds first spot. This year alone, 4,409 migrants attempted to enter the island from mainland Turkey – just six miles away.

Of those, 2,600 were arrested here, with the remainder detected in Turkish waters and sent back. Smugglers squeeze desperate people into overcrowded dinghies for a small fortune.

Humanitarian disaster

Lt Antonios Sofiadelis from the Lesbos coast guard says they sometimes come across boats designed for 10 people, with 40 or 50 packed in.

Ferry leaving Lesbos for Athens

At noon, the daily ferry leaves for Piraeus, the port next to Athens, taking locals, tourists – and those migrants released with papers from Moria camp

“They destroy the raft when they see us and jump into the water, screaming. But we have to do our job.”

Since the Lampedusa tragedy earlier this month, when 366 people lost their lives trying to reach the southern Italian island, illegal immigration has shot back onto the agenda of Europe’s leaders.

An EU summit last week promised only a “task force” to report back – but southern European countries have long argued that substantial steps are needed to tackle a growing humanitarian disaster.

Until 2012, 90% of illegal immigrants entered Europe through Greece. The numbers have now dropped but the Greek government says it is still shouldering a huge burden in the midst of its worst financial crisis in living memory – and that the north must show solidarity.

Appalling conditions

“I ask for more support from EU member states,” says Lt Sofiadelis, “because we defend Europe’s borders too. We have to protect our country from criminal networks.”

I feel desperate and ashamed when the immigrants talk to us about the problems they face in my country – and I feel very angry”

Efi Latsoudi Local co-ordinator, Doctors of the World

Until 2010, Lesbos had an immigrant detention centre in the town of Pagani.

It was criticised by human rights groups for its appalling conditions and subsequently closed.

Now another facility has been built in the town of Moria – officially called a “reception centre”.

Those arrested are taken here to be registered and held.

Non-Syrians stay for around 25 days before being given papers ordering them to leave Greece within a month.

Syrians, due to their country’s civil war, are released more quickly and allowed six months in Greece.

I tried to get into the camp to see the conditions and talk to inmates – but was refused access.

Inside are offices of NGOs and the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR.

Behind barbed wire are a dozen small containers housing about 70 refugees. They sit outside, their hands gripping the fence.

When some try to engage me in conversation, the police ask me to move away.

“This is a prison,” one Afghan tells me.

‘Escape from danger’

“I feel desperate and ashamed when the immigrants talk to us about the problems they face in my country – and I feel very angry,” says Efi Latsoudi, the local co-ordinator of the group Doctors of the World.

The cemetery on the mountain overlooking Lesbos

The cemetery on the mountain overlooking Lesbos contains the names of immigrants who have died seeking a better life

“Because I believe we can change something – and we don’t.”

What needs to change, I ask her?

“There must be a political decision that we have these arrivals here and we have to support them as humans, not as a problem or an illegal thing.

“Most of them are like us – they are simply escaping from danger and they must be helped.”

Away from Moria, I am taken to another facility provided by locals and NGOs, housing an Afghan family, who arrived two months ago.

The mother – who does not wish to be identified – and her four young children live in a tiny room.

She breaks down as she tells me the story of her husband being arrested here and their treacherous journey from Jalalabad.

Numbers and codes

“We’d hoped we could find safety and that our children could go to school,” she says.

“But instead we have nothing – the smugglers took all our money and we had a dangerous trip here – one of my children fell into the water on the way and I thought he’d die. I think it wasn’t worth it to come here. Europe wasn’t worth it.”

Immigrants board the ferry leaving Lesvos for Athens

Perhaps the most perilous part of the journey made by these immigrants – arriving in Europe – is behind them

Perched on the mountain overlooking Lesbos, a corner of the cemetery is given to those who do not make it here.

A few have been identified – the name “Mohamed Amin” is written on one stone.

But most are simply given labels: “Afghan, 31/07/07”, “Number 3, 5/1/13”.

They were people, individuals before they tried to come to Europe. Now they are reduced to numbers and codes.

At noon, the daily ferry leaves for Piraeus, the port next to Athens, taking locals, tourists – and those migrants released with papers from Moria camp.

I meet a few young Syrians there. They are educated, speak good English and dress well – far from the stereotypical image of refugees.

“We paid 1,300 euros [£1,100; $1,800] each to the smugglers to take us here,” says one.

“My family don’t want to see me die in our war. So they told me to leave. I won’t stay in Athens because of the economic situation – I want to go to another European city. I want only life.”

As the ferry doors close, they climb aboard, carrying one bag each – and their dreams.

Perhaps the most perilous part of their journey – arriving in Europe – is behind them. But plenty more hardship awaits in Athens and beyond. And thousands more will follow in their wake.

New Details On Kelly Clarkson’s Secret Wedding!

Source: radaronline


We’ve got all the latest details on Kelly Clarkson‘s surprise weekend wedding to love Brandon Blackstock, from what she wore, to the bling, and where they’re going from here.

As we previously reported, American Idol‘s first-ever champion, 31, and Blackstock, 36, stepson to country legend Reba McEntire, wed this past Saturday at Walland, Tenn. resort Blackberry Farm.

Johnathon Arndt, a Beverly Hills-based jeweler, described the celeb wedding to People, recalling that the bride and groom “were walking hand-in-hand.

“It was just what you expect from two people in love.”

As for the bling? The comely country couple was decked out in jewelry, with Kelly’s wedding band (locked with her engagement ring) coming at 4.24 carats, while Blackstock’s — which Kelly designed — has a total of six sapphires in it.

When she walked down the aisle, Kelly wore a Temperley Bridal Jessamine gown, which the magazine said sells for more than $7,000. Showing some of her Greek roots (Clarkson’s mother is of Greek descent), she wore a special one-off headpiece designed by Jim Verraros and Maria Elena of Maria Elena Headpieces. Her stylist Steph Ashmore said, “When she tried them on, it felt like she liked every single dress,” but the Temperley had a “Jane Austen-meets-country-relaxed feel,” which sealed the deal for the ‘Miss Independent’ singer.

“It feels like an heirloom,” said the stylist.

As for babies, Kelly and Brandon might be hearing the pitter patter sooner than later, as she told the magazine in Sept., “We want to have more children. We’re just excited.”

Arndt summed it up best, saying that “when you see Kelly and Brandon together, they are just as in love as you would think of in a fairy tale.”

Check out “Brandon and Kelly Blackstock” on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/77468517

The Greek Orthodox Community of NSW is to elect its new Board on December 1

Source: NeosKosmos

Elections for new NSW Board

Elections for new NSW Board

The current President of the GOC of NSW Harris Danalis.


After a majority decision by the members of the Greek Orthodox Community (GOC) of NSW at their Annual General Meeting last Sunday – The election of a new Board of the GOC of NSW have been scheduled for Sunday December 1st.

The attention is now focused on the various stakeholders in order to form the ticket/ballots that will take part in the GOC elections.

The AGM held at the GOC’s premises in Lakemba was attended by 223 members and many of the questions from the floor enquired on the economic situation of the Community, which for 2012-2013 financial year posted a deficit of over $ 500,000.

As explained by the Board, the loss was mainly due to the foregone rents of the building in Paddington and also to the increase in staff levels and subsequent salary costs required under new government regulations for the Community’s Nursing Home.

The deficit is expected to continue for another one to three years until the renovations to the building in Paddington are completed, when it is expected that this property will once again become the financial lifeblood of the Community.

In his report the President, Mr. Harris Danalis, spoke extensively about all the services that the Community provides, while the treasurer Christos Belerchas focused on the financial outcomes- Both rejecting claims that in the last eight years the debts of the Community have increased, explaining that in 2005 the organisation was in debt $ 7 million and in 2013 that amount decreased to approximately $ 6 million.

The AGM unanimously accepted, with only one amendment, the proposals that would bind the new Board of Directors to proceed with the renovations to the Paddington building and update members on a regular basis about the progress of the works.

Another proposal discussed by the AGM, was the restriction of the use of voting by proxy. Under current rules, a voting member can register as many proxies as they want.

After hearing arguments for and against, the Presidium did not accept the proposal nor put it to a vote, because the resolution went contra to the Companies Act and this decision was consistent with the legal council (Barrister) the Board received on this issue.

Mr Nikos Thliveris was elected unopposed as president of the Election Committee, with the following elected to assist him: Katerina Vetsikas, Thanasis Economou, Anna Ioannides,
Costas Apoifis, Fokion Vouros, Stella Valenzuela.