Thursday, 25 March 2021
Statements on Indulgence
Greek Independence Day: 200th Anniversary
On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I rise to wish all Australians with Greek heritage a very special Greek Independence Day. This is a proud day to be Greek. It is 200 years since the revolt in the Peloponnese saw a people rise to their feet and bring to an end centuries of occupation. Their cry of eleftheria i thanatos, freedom or death, has lost none of its power. Of course, our connection with Greece is profound. An Australia without Greeks is simply beyond imagining. We are home to such a large part of the Greek diaspora. Melbourne alone has the biggest Greek speaking population outside of Greece bar none. It's something we take great pride in as Australians. From our capital cities to our country towns, Greeks have done so much to shape the face of our modern nation.
I'm proud to say my own electorate of Grayndler, especially my home suburb of Marrickville, has long been a Greek stronghold. I was at St Nicholas parish church around the corner from my home just two weeks ago on a Sunday to once again commemorate mass there and to participate in the gathering that happens after in the church hall every Sunday, where they share food, stories and provide support for each other. Indeed, this place, I want to mention is enhanced by the members for Calwell and Adelaide, and they will certainly be celebrating today.
To my good friend Archbishop Makarios, I say you have done an extraordinary job in the short time that you've been in Australia, following on from the wonderful work of his eminence Archbishop Stylianos over a long period of time. To his eminence and all of the community and all of the parishes around Australia, I say zito i Ellas, long live Greece!