Greek Festival of Sydney celebrates 40 years with formal dinner launch

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The Greek Festival of Sydney was officially launched on Wednesday night with a sit-down three-course dinner at The Grand Roxy in Brighton-le-Sands.

This year marks 40 years since the festival first started and to celebrate the occasion, Sydney’s Greek community is encouraged to attend the 35 scheduled events which are set to showcase Greek history, culture and music.

On the launch night, over 100 officials and prominent members of the Greek community were given an insight into these upcoming events.

Attendees enjoyed a sit-down dinner on the night.

This included, but is not limited to, the Trade Commissioner of Greece, Katia Gkikiza; Press Councillor Konstantinos Giannakodimos; Georges River Council Mayor Nick Katris; Randwick City Councillor Alexandra Luxford; Bayside Councillor Andrew Tsounis; and Inner West Councillor Zoi Tsardoulias.

After everyone was seated, the emcee for the night, Artemis Theodori, introduced a number of speakers.

These were the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales (GOCNSW), Harry Danalis; the Festival Chair of the Greek Festival of Sydney, Nia Karteris; the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure MP; the Member for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis MP, representing NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns; and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras.

Mark Coure MP (left) and Christos Karras (R).
Sophie Cotsis MP gave a speech.

In his speech, Minister Coure said the festival is “by far one of the most important cultural events that we have here in Sydney.”

“The Greek festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the great contributions to our great state and our country by so many Greek Australians,” the Minister said.

The Consul General of Greece in Sydney spoke along similar lines and said the Greek festival enables Greek Australians and the broader Australian society “to honour and celebrate together all things Greek, that have creatively enriched multicultural Australian society.”

The Festival Chair, Ms Karteris, also stressed the importance of supporting all the artists who are a part of the festival program this year.

The launch night.

“With us tonight we have artists who are in the third and fourth generation who believe in their heritage, who want to promote it… so I think if we can produce 35 high-calibre events in 2022, I think we’ve got a long way to go,” Ms Kateris said.

At the conclusion of these speeches, Ms Theodori read out a congratulatory letter from Dr Alfred Vincent, who was the first lecturer in Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney.

Awards were then given to festival sponsors as a thank you for their support, and a cake was cut and enjoyed for dessert by all attendees.

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