The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), the Greek-Australian Cultural League, and the Hellenic Writers’ Association of Australia, hosted the inaugural Greek Book Fair at The Greek Centre on November 26 – 27 this year.
The aim of the Greek Book Fair (GrBF) was to facilitate the presentation and promotion of 37 Greek Australian writers, bookshops, and publishers. The program was inclusive of casual talks, panel discussions, book launches, book signings, book awards and more.
On the Saturday morning, Dr Jim Bossinakis, the Vice President (Cultural Programs + Finance) of the GCM, welcomed the guests and said: “This is the first time we have embarked on a venture such as the Greek Book Fair. We hope you have a productive and enjoyable weekend.”
Dr Bossinakis also thanked the staff “who worked tirelessly to make this Greek Book Fair a reality.”
The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Emmanuel Kakavelakis, alsotook the time to thank the involved parties for the initiative.
Mr Kakavelakis said: “We are at this pivotal stage where we are discussing increasingly about ways to retain our language and the best way to do that, is with a book. The most essential part of this project is to spread the word so people will know that there are great Greek Australian writers in our community.”
The President of the Greek-Australian Cultural League, Kathy Alexopoulos, said: “This event has been in the pipeline for a while but due to restrictions we have had to postpone it.
“Here we are today with authors, bookshops and writers and we would like to thank everyone for attending this event today and I assure you that it will continue for years to come,” Ms Alexopoulos said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to meet our authors by purchasing their books. Thank you all for your commitment and support!”
Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Dr Antonis Piperoglou, said in his opening speech that: “This is an opportunity for us to reflect on the reins of our literary output and approaches in the diaspora. As well as to think about the intellectual figure our community has. We are thinking about texts, books, different forms, or literary engagement that tells us just how diverse we are.”
On Sunday, November 27, before the event closed its doors, The Greek-Australian Cultural League announced the Book Prize awards for books written by authors residing in Australia who have published and circulated their works written in Greek or English, and bilingual works.