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Celebrating Hellenic Diaspora at international conference

george frazis
The Hellenic Diaspora Conference organised by Associate Professor George Frazis will be held at CDU and online from May 26-28.

An international conference about the Hellenic Diaspora in Australia will converge academics and dignitaries at Charles Darwin University (CDU) this week.

Held at the Casuarina Campus and online from May 26-28, the third Conference on the Hellenic Diaspora is an interdisciplinary collaboration between CDU, the University of the Aegean and the University of Macedonia in Greece.

There are more than 15,000 Greek people living in Darwin, with the country instrumental in Darwin’s development and history helping build the city after World War 2.

Topics at the conference cover Greek language and literature, identity and cultural education, migration, history of the Greek diaspora in Australia and the Hellenic and First Nations Australian experiences and perspectives.

Conference organiser and Associate Professor in Greek and Hellenic Studies at CDU, George Frazis, said the conference provided a unique opportunity for academics to learn about both Hellenic and First Nations perspectives.

“The conference brings together two educational traditions, both the Western culture based on Hellenic values and the First Nations Australian values,” Associate Professor Frazis said.

“It shines a light on the Orthodox culture and traditions in the multicultural society in Australia. We have a big and dynamic Greek community in the Northern Territory and it’s important that people understand more about it.”

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman will make a welcome address through videolink along with the Vice-Chancellors of the partner Greek universities, Professor Chryssi Vitsilaki from the University of the Aegean and Professor Dimitrios Kyrkilis from the University of Macedonia.

Another keynote speech from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia will focus on the Orthodox Church and its mission in the world.

CDU Northern Institute research fellow Eileen Cummings will make a keynote speech about personal and career experiences of Indigenous personhood from the Stolen Generation in Australia. Professor Ruth Wallace will be the Chair of the two above Keynote addresses.

Other keynote speakers include Professor George Kanarakis OAM from Charles Sturt University and Professor Michael Damanakis from the University of Crete in Greece.

Associate Professor Frazis emphasises the importance of teaching the younger generation about Hellenic history and culture.

“Language and cultural teaching to the younger generations gives them means to communicate with the past and learn into the future,” he said.

“Cultural teaching also enhances the multiculturalism in Australia.”

CDU previously hosted the conference in 2017 and 2019, and two academic books have been published from the two conferences.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit https://hellenic-diaspora.cdu.edu.au/

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