House debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Statements by Members

Greek Independence Day

1:40 pm

Photo of Maria VamvakinouMaria Vamvakinou (Calwell, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to pay a special tribute to the sacrifices, the courage and the struggle of all the women who participated in the Greek revolution of 1821: heroines from Mesollonghi—where Phillhelene Lord Byron died in 1824—to the infamous Souliotises. Some of the most prominent heroes of the Greek revolution were women: the naval commander Laskarina Bouboulina, the Italian born Mando Mavrogenous, the Phanariote Princess Rallou Karatza and the Souliote Moscho Tzavela, who commanded a 400-strong all-female rebel force. They and thousands more were leaders. They were not victims. They commanded respect and admiration. They inspired, they fought and they often died alongside their men, their husbands, their sons, their fathers, their sisters, their daughters and their mothers with equal courage and dedication. Theirs is an effort regarded by many Greek feminists as the moment when gender equality was forged. Today I want to pay tribute and acknowledge and recognise the universality of their legacy and their struggle.