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.

Australian scientists confirm Chinese horseshoe bats responsible for SARS virus

Source: ABC

ABCThe SARS virus appears to have originated in horseshoe bats from China.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus which killed 774 people originated in horseshoe bats from China, scientists have confirmed.

SARS killed nearly 10 per cent of the people it infected during the 2002-2003 pandemic, mainly in China and Hong Kong.

A research team, which included scientists from the CSIRO in Geelong, found a very close relative of the virus in faecal samples from horseshoe bats.

Researcher Gary Crameri said scientists long suspected bats were the origin of the virus.

“We’ve been looking at bats for the past eight years, looking for this particular virus,” he said.

“Although a lot of groups across the world have been, this particular virus can affect humans like the original one and that’s really been the key to this particular virus.”

Mr Cameri said it was possible the bats had developed a productive relationship with the virus over many years.

“But when they spill out into other mammals, like humans, they can be devastating,” he said.Â

Mr Crameri said the focus had been on finding the virus’s origin and other similar viruses, rather than a vaccine.

“It’s key for us to get a clear understanding of bats and the role that not only them, but other animals will play in future health scenarios,” he said.

Mr Crameri said SARS bats do not pose a risk to people in general, but he encouraged people to be wary when handling them.

“The less we encroach on their environments, the better,” he said.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome also originated in bats

While SARS is now under control because wet markets are being controlled by authorities, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), caused by another coronavirus, is currently a problem.

Mr Crameri says the MERS virus, which also appears to come from a microbat, binds to human cells via a different receptor and is less infectious than SARS, although kills a higher percentage of those it infects.

Bats are an ancient animal that diverged from other mammals 80 million years ago and Mr Crameri said this could explain why they carry a high number of pathogens that they themselves are unaffected by.

“The bats and the viruses have evolved together,” he said.

Experts have welcomed the new research.

“To this point, no one had been able to find the SARS coronavirus in bats,” Sanjaya Senanayake, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Australian National University, said.

“Of the 40 or so new infections in humans discovered in the last 40 years, most have come from animals.

“Now that animals, including bats, and humans live closer together as our population expands globally, the opportunity for direct transmission of these dangerous viruses becomes more and more of an issue.”

Professor Charles Watson, John Curtin Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University, says the recent outbreak of MERS reminds us coronaviruses are a potential cause of major human epidemics.

“The 2002 coronavirus pandemic, caused by the SARS coronavirus… was a serious public health threat, with over 8,000 cases worldwide,” he said.

“While the MERS… outbreak has so far infected less than 200 individuals, it is clear that the coronavirus must be carefully watched.”

The research has been published in the journal Nature.

Mosman carve-up divides residents

Source: SMH

Michael Evans looks at what a divide will mean for residents.

It’s one thing to come from the wrong side of the tracks: it’s another entirely to come from the wrong side of Military Road.

A proposal to split Mosman into five is being considered by the Geographical Names Board, which wants community feedback before making a decision.
Dividing the suburb that began as a whaling station may yet spark more wailing.

As secessionist moves go, subdividing Mosman might not appear to hold a candle to the annual threat of Western Australia breaking away from the rest of the continent.

Nor does it bear the gentle disdain of the citizens of Queens Park splitting from their more salubrious neighbours in Bondi Junction in 1992. (And we all know whose property prices benefited from that move.)

But for residents of Mosman, home of the lower north shore’s haves and have yachts, these are uneasy times.

Dividing the suburb that began as a whaling station may yet spark more wailing.

A great number of residents are set to be moved out of Mosman – at least in name.

For years, the ties binding residents have been obvious: rugby, rowing, the professions and Volvos.

According to the census data, nearly 7 per cent of working Mosman residents are engaged in the legal or accounting professions; nearly 6 per cent in financial services. The median weekly household income is $2465 and the median monthly mortgage repayment is $3033.

It’s where company directors bump into investment bankers and trip over their lawyers picking up their gluten-free spelt loaf on a Saturday morning.

But the suburb has become unwieldy. Since 1997, residents of Clifton Gardens, Beauty Point, Balmoral, Georges Heights and the Spit have technically lived in Mosman – although they were able to use traditional locality names if they wished.

No more! Mosman will be rent asunder – with obvious concern over the impact on property prices.

But the blow-ins visiting Balmoral Beach will now more easily be able to find the $35 four-hour parking meters.

After all, you can take the investment banker out of Mosman, but you can’t take Mosman out of the investment banker.

Greek Film Festival Marks Its Twentieth Anniversary

Source: thelowdownunder

The Greek Film Festival (GFF) marks two decades when it kicks off in Brisbane tomorrow night before making its way to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra throughout November.

The festival kicks of with opening night movie What If… by writer/director Christoforos Papakaliatis. His debut feature, Papakaliatis is well known in the Greek TV arena. A Sliding Doors type of story, Demetris (also played by Papakaliatis) faces two very different paths, one as a bachelor and one as a man in love, each hinging on whether or not he takes his dog for a walk one particular night.

Box office gold in Greece, festival director Penny Kyprianou says it was the perfect choice for opening night. “It’s very accessible, with a bit of romance and drama, and it offers a different perspective to the Greek financial crisis; how financially that situation affects love and relationships.”

Marking the anniversary, Kyprianou has selected a hit list of nine festival favourites from past years, including two from writer/director Constantinos Giannaris, One Day In August and From the Edge of The City. The New York Post branded the latter a Greek version of My Own Private Idaho. Tassos Boulmetis’ A Touch Of Spice will also return to reignite the taste buds.

The Greek diaspora have their voices heard during GFF too, with closing night given over to French Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras. Le Capital stars popular French comedian Gad Elmaleh. “Gavras is well-known for political thrillers,” Kyprianou says. “This looks into the corporate banking world and its very quick success and then demise. He’s an amazing storyteller.”

One of Kyprianou’s top picks this year is the kooky The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas, written and directed by Elina Psykou. Antonis, a veteran TV host plagued by plummeting ratings, stages his own kidnapping to revive public interest. “Of course things go awry,” she says. “It’s a very original story and I think it will appeal to people who enjoy dark humour.”

For the fourth year running GFF incorporates the Greek-Australian Short Film Festival, showcasing nine shorts back-to-back in one meaty session. Australian audiences will get a second chance to see Melbourne-based filmmaker Natalie Cunningham’s You Know What I Love You, after it screened at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.

A simple affair that follows a day in the life of Cunningham’s 94-year-old Greek-speaking grandmother, Giannoula Panagiotopoulos, it’s a heart-warming glimpse into a life that will be instantly recognisable to Greek Immigrants and yet has a certain universality.

“Yes, it’s in Greek, and she has her own particular experience, but I think it speaks to so many people,” Cunningham says. “We’re very close and I’ve spent my whole life listening to her stories. I’m studying at the VCA, and we had the task of making a ten-minute short last year, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a film about her.”

Cunningham and assistant director Kylie Beale spent the entire day shooting, including capturing a gold moment involving a rather large log for the fire which Giannoula deals with ingeniously. “You can imagine the volume of material we had to work with, and all the memories. It was really hard to get it down to 10 minutes.” Maybe there’s a feature in it? “She’s got enough stories.”

Stephen A Russell

For more information about the 20th Greek Film Festival, go to http://www.greekfilmfestival.com.au

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