Annual Odyssey Festival officially opens in Adelaide

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The annual Odyssey Festival in Adelaide, South Australia was officially opened on Friday, October 6.

The opening was held at the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia’s (GOCSA) Olympic House, with over 150 people in attendance, among them a number of special guests and members of the Greek and wider community.

The Opening Night featured an Art Exhibition displaying pieces of art created by local visual artists who participated in this year’s Odyssey Art Prize Competition sponsored by Guardian Insurance Brokers, a display of artwork created by students of the Community’s Greek Language Schools and an impressive traditional dance performance by the GOCSA Dance Academy senior group.

During the evening, winners of the 2023 Odyssey Art Prize Competition were presented by founding Director of Guardian Insurance Brokers, Mr Evan Jackson. The winning artists were: Nicholas Tsatsaronis first prize for his painting The Chapel, Angela Carapetis second prize for her painting Yiayia’s Table and Helen Kari third prize for her mixed media collage Ikones #4. Winners were awarded $1000, $600 and $400 respectively.

Addressing the attendees, GOCSA President, Peter Gardiakos, said that: “this festival reminds us that
no matter where we find ourselves, our Greek heritage will forever be a source of inspiration and strength,” and invited members of other multicultural communities to “partake in this cultural Odyssey.”

The President dedicated an emotional speech to Irene Pnevmatikos MLC who recently announced her retirement from Parliament due to health issues and was in attendance at the event representing the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas and the Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, Zoe Bettison.

“Irene, on your retirement from Parliament, we want to acknowledge your outstanding contributions
to our Greek community and the multicultural communities you have supported for many years,” Mr
Gardiakos said.

“Your tireless efforts in advocating for our concerns, championing diversity, and promoting cultural understanding have left an indelible mark on us all. Your work has helped bridge the gap between different communities and strengthened our communities’ bonds and unity.”

In her speech, Ms Pnevmatikos thanked GOCSA and said that the organisation’s “initiatives, large
and small, have helped keep Greek culture thriving in South Australia, and have created a lasting
legacy for the next generation.”

Ahead of the October 14 referendum, Ms Pnevmatikos also explained how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first peoples of this country have faced similar challenges with migrants.

Speaking at the event, Federal Member for Adelaide Steve Georganas, paid tribute to the state’s first Greek immigrants, to the work of GOCSA over the years and said that: “festivals like this help us connect to our roots and showcase the contribution of Greeks to the state of South Australia.”

Mr Georganas also praised GOCSA, for being an ethnic community that leads the way in the support of the reconciliation process with First Nations people, and recognising the past discrimination and exclusion.

The event concluded with the attendees enjoying local wine and delicious Greek delicacies

This year’s festival will run until Sunday, November 12 and will feature a variety of events and activities for people of all ages to get involved with.

Activities include a kids cooking class, a Taverna Night, Ancient Greek science and technology workshops, a gin and ouzo night, dinners, screenings of Greek films, an Oxi Day celebration and a play.

To find out more about this years festival, visit Odyssey Greek Festival Adelaide.

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