Cypriot community comes together for Melbourne’s Halloumi Festival


The Halloumi Festival returned to Melbourne, Victoria this weekend, bringing once more the Cypriot community together. The festival had a bit of everything from dances to traditional songs, loukoumades and of course, a lot of halloumi.

The festival was organised by the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria.

Cypriots of all ages arrived at Brunswick for the two-day event and could be seen tasting the food and celebrating their culture with excitement.

A Cypriot family dancing with traditional songs

“This event is pleasant because you can meet up with old friends you haven’t seen all year,” one group of old Cypriot migrants to Australia told The Greek Herald at the festival.

Cypriot migrants

“There are many people that come here for the special Cyprus dishes.”

Nearby stood Aspasia and Ilias, a couple that came to Australia from Cyprus about 60 years ago. They said they were attending a community event for the first time in years and were impressed.

Pegasus dancing academy

On the day, there were halloumi eating competitions, an impressive cooking demonstration of how to make halloumi, dances by the Pegasus Dance Academy and live music from Aetos band.

Making loukoumades

During the official speeches, the President of the Cyprus Community, Theo Theophanous, spoke to the public and emphasised the Cypriot origin of halloumi.

“We want everyone who goes to a café and orders halloumi to know that it is from Cyprus,” Mr Theophanous said.

In his speech, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta said: “This is a holy moment to be again all together in one place to celebrate our culture and our traditions.”


The Deputy Head of Mission at the Cyprus High Commission in Australia, Stavros Nicolaou, was also present at the festival and said: “Halloumi is the main element of our culture, the element that brings us together. It expresses the Cypriot soul and brings together the Cypriot family.”

Dimitris Tsilikis, who represented the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, said that “when halloumi is not there on the food table, it is like water is out of home.”

Federal Labor MP, Peter Khalil, promised to bring some halloumi to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese when he visited Canberra next and highlighted the Cypriot community’s success story.

“You have all here – your parents, your grandparents – built something very special in this country,” Mr Khalil said.

Peter Khalil, Stavros Nicolaou, Theo Theophanous

The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis OAM, also spoke on the day and said he would work with Mr Theophanous to bring to Australia the Cypriot singer and politician, Michalis Chatzigiannis. Mr Papastergiadis also promised that the Apollon football club will take part in next year’s Greek Community Cup.

Dimitris Tsilikis, Bill Papastergiadis, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta

“We are and will always be by your side,” he concluded.

All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Giorgos Psomiadis




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Ekmek Kataifi: Niki Louca shares her favourite recipe

Ekmek kataifi is one of those desserts that can be enjoyed all year round. It’s easy to make, but you need a few hours to allow the custard to set.

A lifetime of diplomacy: A conversation with Prokopis Vanezis

It was an afternoon full of stories—many untold—poetry, dragons, and a single fairy unfolds as the present meets the past to discuss the future.

Cyprus’ cultural heritage is not for sale

For centuries, ancient artefacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

Beyond sheftalies: Cypriot Australian youth keep reunification flame burning 50 years on

Young Cypriot Australians, born decades after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, are grappling with the conflict’s enduring legacy.

50 years of occupation: Who remembers Cyprus?

At the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, Cyprus stands a red and white sign that reads: ‘TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS FOREVER.'

You May Also Like

Opinion: Exploring the Greek Revival in Australia

By Maddy Constantine. Perceptions on belonging to the Greek diaspora of Australia are shifting. As a second-generation Greek-Australian myself, and as one who has also felt inextricably...

US Congressman Chris Pappas targets F-16 sales to Turkey over Greek security concerns

The House Rules Committee has voted to include an amendment by US Congressman, Chris Pappas, in the NDAA to restrict F-16 sales to Turkey.

Erdogan twists realities in letter to EU officials ahead of crucial summit

Turkey's President Erdogan has written a letter to EU officials informing them about Turkey’s stance on the Eastern Mediterranean.