Vasilis Vasilas’ interview with Harry Hondros whose family owns Enfield Produce and Pets

Vasilis has recently interviewed Harry Hondros whose family owns Enfield Produce and Pets… Yes, a Greek pet shop in Sydney! Jam-packed with products and pets!

Vasilis believes Harry is one of the most colourful Greeks he has ever met, ‘When Harry was working in Tumut NSW (1960s), at the Excelsior Café, he became so much part of the local community that he played rugby league for the Wynyard Pub’s team, Wynyard Wobblers, became a bull-jumper at the local rodeo club, which competed in rodeos all over NSW (and even Queensland) and even trained in Ju-jitsu… which is simply amazing for any Greek migrant at the time.’ 

On a serious side, Vasilis greatly admires Harry and his family’s determination and love for their work. ‘Having to compete with the megastores such as Bunnings and Petbarn does not daunt them in any way; they provide the customer service and good quality products customers want and this is why they have such a thriving business,’ Vasilis explains.


Vasilis Vasilas’ interview with Miltiade Miltiadou Milton’s in business in Tailoring in Belmore, Sydney

Vasilis recently interviewed Miltiade Miltiadou who is from Spathariko, Ammohosto, Cyprus, about the story behind his business, Milton’s Tailoring, which is in Belmore, Sydney. 

As Vasilis points out about his motivation to do this interview, ‘Tailoring is unfortunately a dying trade and Miltiade would be one of the last Cypriot or Greek tailors in Sydney; it was just an opportunity to get his story and his views about the changing fortunes of tailoring…’


A lecture entitled “The Letters of Chion and Themistocles” will be presented this Thursday 11 May 2017 by John Penwill

PRESS RELEASE ​​                           



Greek History and Culture Seminars:

The Letters of Chion and Themistocles

A lecture entitled “The Letters of Chion and Themistocles” will be presented this Thursday 11 May 2017 by John Penwill from LaTrobe University, as a part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

This lecture will take a close look at two collections of letters, neither of which is highly regarded by the academic community: The Letters of Chion (hereafter LC) purport to be a set of letters home by a young man on his way to Athens to study in Plato’s Academy and the effect his time there has on his political judgement when it comes to deciding what to do about the dictatorship in his native city, Heraclea, following a successful coup d’état during his absence.

The Letters of Themistocles (hereafter LT) likewise focus on an individual protagonist prominent in Athenian politics about a century earlier, and like the LC purport to be a set of letters written to a selection of friends and enemies in his home city and elsewhere following his ostracism in 471 BCE.

Both texts use the epistolary form to explore the character and motivation of their protagonist, but do so in very different ways: all letters bar one of the LC are addressed to Chion’s father Matris, whereas in the LT the recipients come from a range of individuals and locations.

But in both cases what we are clearly dealing with is a carefully constructed and thought-provoking text, and one that is at least one grade of sophistication above the essays on such topics which students were required to compose in the schools of rhetoric that abounded in the first and second centuries CE.​

John Penwill grew up in Tasmania and studied first at the University of Tasmania and subsequently at Downing College, Cambridge . He has a first class honours degree in Classics and a Diploma in Education. He taught at Monash University from 1972-1977 and at the University of Tasmania from 1978-1981 before being appointed to La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus.

John’s general research interest is in the field of Greek and Roman literature. He has for the past 40 years been Associate Editor of the international refereed journal Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature, to which he has himself contributed a number of articles. His particular interest is in Roman literature of the late republic and early empire, and his focus within that is the interface between literature and philosophy.

John has also published articles on Plato’s Symposium, the Letters of Themistocles, the literature and philosophy of the Flavian period, Virgil’s Aeneid and Georgics, Epicurean theology, Lactantius’ De Ira Dei, the battle narratives in Homer’s Iliad, Livy’s representation of Numa (the second king of Rome), Tacitus’ Dialogue on Orators, Terence’s Hecyra, Seneca’s Trojan Women, the Letters of Chion and epic poetry of the Flavian period.

He is a Vice-President of the Classical Association of Victoria, and was editor of the CAV’s journal Iris from 1996 to 2012.​


When: 11/5/2017 @ 7:00pm

Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Entry: FREE​



More information: 9662 272

Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, Vic. 3000

Phone: +61 3 9662 2722, Email:, Website:

Vasilis Vasilas’ interview with Arthur Gerakas of Speedy Shoe Repairs in Ashfield

Vasilis continues on his merry way; this time he interviewed Arthur Gerakas of Speedy Shoe Repairs in Ashfield. It was Arthur’s brother-in-law, Elias Stavrou, who opened the shoe repair business in the late 1960s, and Arthur took over the shop in 1972, and Arthur’s son, Jim, has run the shop since the mid 1990s. Arthur continues working in the shop for a few hours a day, helping out Jim. 

The Gerakas family has seen a lot of changes to Ashfield over forty years; they are now the last Greek-run shop, of the post War generation, left in Ashfiled, as the Greek delicatessen shut shop about seven months ago. 

As Vasilis explains, ‘I call Arthur and Jim the dynamic duo; they are are great team..I also love the way the trade has passed down from one generation to the next; in this case, it is passing from Arthur to Jim’s hands, and the trade (and shop) survives to service the community.’


Vasilis Vasilas’ interview with Giorgos Koulouris’ tailoring shop in Dulwich Hill closed after 37 years of operation

When a shop closes…

It is such a sad experience when a shop closes for the last time, especially after many years of operation. 

This is the case of Giorgos Koulouris’ tailoring shop in Dulwich Hill, which recently closed after thirty-seven years of operation! 

Vasilis was fortunate enough to interview Giorgos on the second last day before the final close. 

It was an emotional experience, as so many of Giorgos’ customers and friends continually dropped into the shop to farewell Giorgos…

As Vasilis points out, ‘Giorgos’ shop was much more than a shop; over the years, it became a small community, as the shop was a place for the local Greeks to come and meet, and exchange views on all sorts of issues. 

As these customers came to say their goodbyes to Giorgos, you could see that both Giorgos and the customers were saddened by the closure of the shop. The customers were part of Giorgo’s life but Giorgos was part of their lives too.

Giorgos and his wonderful character, zest, and humour will be sadly missed…


Vasilis Vasilas’ interview with Michael Konitsas about the history of his shop, Botany Timber and Hardware

Vasilis recently interviewed Michael Konitsas, who is from Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos, about the history of his shop, Botany Timber and Hardware. In an age of hardware megastores, some things incredibly do not change, like this gem of a shop; Michael’s determination, care and love to keep his shop open and keep servicing the local area are must be admired… 

In the photograph is Michael Konitsas sharing a humorous moment with a customer…


Greek Community of Melbourne student wins the Premier’s VCE AWARD for Modern Greek

PRESS RELEASE ​​                          


GCM student wins the Premier’s VCE AWARD for Modern Greek

The “Premier’s VCE Award” for her outstanding performance at last year’s Modern Greek VCE exams was awarded to Theofano Tsentikopoulos, a student of the School of Language and Culture of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM).

The awards were presented by the State Minister for Education Mr James Merlino, on Thursday 27 April 2017, in a special event at the Palladium Crown, at Southbank.

Theofano and her parents were thrilled with the award. “My award by the Premier of Victoria for my performance at the Modern Greek VCE exams was a unique honour for me,” said Theophano. “By meeting today other students who excelled in more than one lesson, it made me decide to intensify my efforts this year to excell in other subjects too. My warmest congratulations to all the students who were awarded today. ”

Her parents, Nikos and Xenia Tsentikopoulos, expressed their joy for Theophano’s performance, and their gratitude to the staff and the management of the GCM schools: “It is a thrill for a parent to see their child be rewarded for their performance by the Goverment. The award ceremony highlights the efforts and struggles of the students, the teachers and the parents who support them and guide them on the road to excellence.

The parents congratulated the teaching and managing staff of the GCM schools for the high standard education they offer. “Also congratulations to all students who were awarded, and our wishes for every success in their lives,” they said.

Both parents they also said: “We would like to thank the GCM and especially the school principal Mr. Manos Tzimpragos, who organizes every year the Greek Student Film aiming not only to cultivate the Greek language of the students but also their imagination, team spirit and versatile talents.

“Also, wee cannot find the words to thank the school coordinator Mrs. Maria Bakalidou, the teacher Irene Kontoudaki and all the teaching staff for their solid support and constant encouragement. We wish them to continue to motivate the students to excel, but also to express themselves and their thoughts creatively and to share their feelings.»

It must be noted that Theophano’s outstanding performance is not limited to Modern Greek. Recently, she won an award for “original musical composition” at the 7th International Short Film Student Competition in Greece for the song “Αναμνήσεις παλιές”, which she initially composed for the Greek student short film “From the Morning to the Evening”.

GCM’s Greek school principal Mr Manos Tzimpragos expressed his satisfaction for Theofano’s achievements: “I feel very excited and proud of our student Theofano, who was awarded for her outstanding performance at the VCE 2016 Modern Greek language exam.

“Her excellent performance was the result of hard work and dedication to her goal. It is also a proof of the excellent work being done in our schools. We wish her a wholeheartedly good career!”


Information: +61 9662-2722 | 


Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, Vic. 3000

Phone: +61 3 9662 2722, 




PRESS RELEASE ​​                          


Βραβεία σε μαθήτρια των Σχολείων Γλώσσας και Πολιτισμού της Κοινότητας

To πρώτο βραβείο για την εξαιρετική επίδοσή της στο μάθημα των Νέων Ελληνικών στις εξετάσεις του VCE (Premier’s VCE Award) απονεμήθηκε στη μαθήτρια των Σχολείων Γλώσσας και Πολιτισμού της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας Μελβούρνης, Θεοφανώ Τσεντικοπούλου.

Τα βραβεία απονεμήθηκαν από τον υπουργό Παιδείας της Βικτώριας κ. Τζέημς Μερλίνο την Πέμπτη 27 Απριλίου 2017, σε ειδική εκδήλωση στο Palladium Crown, στο Southbank.

Τη χαρά και συγκίνησή τους για τη βράβευσή της εξέφρασαν τόσο η Θεοφανώ όσο και οι γονείς της. 

«Η βράβευσή μου από τον πρωθυπουργό της Βικτώρια για την βαθμολογία μου στα Ελληνικά στις εξετάσεις του VCE, ήταν μοναδική τιμή για εμένα,» δήλωσε η Θεοφανώ συγκινημένη. «Συναντώντας και μαθητές που διακρίθηκαν σε περισσότερα από ένα μαθήματα, θα συνεχίσω και θα εντείνω τις προσπάθειές μου φέτος, ώστε να έχω ένα καλό αποτέλεσμα και στα υπόλοιπα μαθήματα. Τα θερμά μου συγχαρητήρια σε όλους τους μαθητές που διακρίθηκαν».

Οι γονείς της, Νίκος και Ξένια Τσεντικοπούλου, δήλωσαν χαρούμενοι για τις επιδόσεις της Θεοφανώς, εκφράζοντας ταυτόχρονα τις ευχαριστίες τους στο προσωπικό και τη διεύθυνση των σχολείων της Κοινότητας: «Είναι ιδιαίτερη η συγκίνηση κάθε γονέα να βλέπει το παιδί του να βραβεύεται για τις επιδόσεις του από την επίσημη πολιτεία. Η τελετή βράβευσης των μαθητών που αρίστευσαν στις εξετάσεις του VCE από τον πρωθυπουργό της Βικτώρια, επισφραγίζει τις προσπάθειες και τον αγώνα των μαθητών, των εκπαιδευτικών και των γονέων που τους στηρίζουν και τους καθοδηγούν στον δρόμο του «αιέν αριστεύειν». Είναι αξιέπαινοι οι καθηγητές και οι διευθυντές των σχολείων της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας για την υψηλού επιπέδου «παιδεία» που προσφέρουν στους υποψηφίους. Αξίζουν θερμά συγχαρητήρια σε όλους τους μαθητές, καλή πρόοδο και κάθε επιτυχία στη ζωή τους.

»Ευχαριστούμε πολύ την Ελληνική Κοινότητα και ιδιαίτερα τον διευθυντή των ελληνικών σχολείων κ. Μάνο Τζιμπραγό που διοργανώνει με ιδιαίτερο μεράκι και καλλιτεχνική ευαισθησία κάθε χρόνο αυτόν τον πρωτότυπο διαγωνισμό, που στοχεύει όχι μόνο να καλλιεργήσει τον νεοελληνικό λόγο των μαθητών, αλλά και τη φαντασία, το ομαδικό πνεύμα και τα πολύπλευρα ταλέντα τους.

»Επίσης, δεν βρίσκουμε λόγια να ευχαριστήσουμε και τη συντονίστρια του σχολείου κυρία Μαρία Μπακαλίδου, την καθηγήτρια κυρία Ειρήνη Κοντουδάκη και όλους τους καθηγητές για την αμέριστη συμπαράσταση και τη διαρκή ενθάρρυνσή τους. Ευχόμαστε καλή δύναμη σε όλους, να συνεχίσουν να δίνουν κίνητρα στους μαθητές, ώστε να στοχεύουν ψηλά, αλλά και να εκφράζονται δημιουργικά, να εξωτερικεύουν σκέψεις και να μοιράζονται συναισθήματα. »


Και βραβείο μουσικής σύνθεσης

Οι εξαιρετικές επιδόσεις της Θεοφανώς δεν σταματούν μόνο στα Ελληνικά, καθώς πρόσφατα κέρδισε βραβείο πρωτότυπης μουσικής σύνθεσης στον 7ο Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Μαθητικών Ταινιών Μικρού Μήκους στην Ελλάδα, για το τραγούδι «Αναμνήσεις παλιές» που συνέθεσε για τη μαθητική ταινία με θέμα «Από το πρωϊ ως το βράδυ», που συμμετείχε στο Ελληνικό Μαθητικό Φεστιβάλ Κινηματογράφου Μελβούρνης.

«Το τραγούδι «Αναμνήσεις παλιές» το συνέθεσα όταν πρωτοήρθα για μόνιμη εγκατάσταση στην Αυστραλία,» λέει. «Ακούγοντας την καθηγήτριά μας Ειρήνη Κοντουδάκη να μας ενημερώνει για τον διαγωνισμό του Φεστιβάλ Μαθητικής Ταινίας, σκεφτήκαμε με τους συμμαθητές μου και επιλέξαμε ένα θέμα που αντανακλά τις πρόσφατες κοινές εμπειρίες της μετακίνησής μας στην νέα μας πατρίδα. Έτσι, πρότεινα στους συμμαθητές μου το τραγούδι μου και χάρηκα που έγινε αποδεκτό από όλους. Στη συνέχεια, δουλέψαμε ομαδικά για το σενάριο και για τα γυρίσματα χρειάστηκε να ταξιδέψουμε μέχρι το αεροδρόμιο! Περιττό να πω ότι η χαρά όλων μας για την πρώτη θέση της ταινίας μας στον διαγωνισμό της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας ήταν απερίγραπτη. Κατά δεύτερο λόγο, η επικείμενη βράβευση του τραγουδιού στην Ελλάδα, στην κατηγορία της πρωτότυπης μουσικής σύνθεσης, μας συγκίνησε για άλλη μια φορά. Για μια ακόμα φορά, ευχαριστούμε πολύ όλους τους καθηγητές μας από τα σχολεία της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας και τους διευθυντές που μας ενθάρρυναν να πάρουμε μέρος.»

Την ικανοποίησή του για τη βράβευση της Θεοφανώς εξέφρασε και ο διευθυντής των Σχολείων της Κοινότητας κ. Τζιμπραγός: «Νιώθω ιδιαίτερα συγκινημένος και υπερήφανος για τη μαθήτριά μας Θεoφανώ Τσεντικοπούλου η οποία βραβεύτηκε για την εξαιρετική της επίδοση στο μάθημα των Νέων Ελληνικών στις εξετάσεις VCE 2016,” δήλωσε ο διευθυντής των σχολείων της Κοινότητας κ. Μάνος Τζιμπραγός.

«Η διάκριση της μαθήτριας ήταν αποτέλεσμα της σκληρής δουλειάς και της αφοσίωσής της στον στόχο της. Αποτελεί επίσης απόδειξη του εξαιρετικού έργου που συντελείται στα σχολεία μας. Της ευχόμαστε ολόψυχα καλή σταδιοδρομία!»


Πληροφορίες: +61 9662-2722 | 


Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne, Vic. 3000

Phone: +61 3 9662 2722,