Greek women a pioneering force in Darwin


Dr George Frazis

Dr George Frazis

Greek women are pivotal pioneers and the glue in many Darwin dynasties – and the stars of an upcoming seminar at Charles Darwin University.

The spotlight will shine on matriarchs Eleni Haritos, Maria Liveris, Asimina Harmanis and Evangelia Canaris at Greek Pioneering Women in Darwin on Friday 27 April, 6.30pm at the Mal Nairn Auditorium, Casuarina campus.

Greek and Hellenic Studies Associate Professor George Frazis will shed light on how the women helped to shape Darwin in the years before and after World War I. Descendants of these women will also unveil stories about their maternal ancestry.

“They survived war, depression and recession. Poverty and toil are hard to beat, but these women went on to see their families grow, and slowly became materially independent,” Dr Frazis said.

“Around 1000 Greek migrants arrived in Darwin between 1914 and 1919. They were determined to start a new life and lay the foundations for their families. 

“Many have become successful and important members of the Darwin community. From pearl diving and saltworks to crocodile hunting and construction, the Greek community has had a massive impact on the Top End.”

Dr Frazis revealed how many strong women helped cement deep roots in Australia after fleeing the upheaval caused by the war in Europe.

“Darwin was one of the cities where they sought – and found – sanctuary. They have been key players in the growth of our beautiful multicultural city and will be the stars of this interesting discussion.”

The seminar is supported by Territory Families’ Office of Gender Equity and Diversity.

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