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‘Little Greece is officially open’: Marrickville precinct named in honour of Greek Australian community

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It was the moment Australia’s Greek community has been waiting for – A precinct in Marrickville in Sydney’s Inner West was officially named ‘Little Greece’ during an unveiling ceremony on Saturday.

On arrival at the ceremony at the Alex Trevallion Plaza in Marrickville, The Greek Herald was greeted by huge Greek flags, Greek dancing performances by the Aristotelion Academy of Greek Traditional Dance, and music by Tassos Bouzouki.

Aristotelion Academy of Greek Traditional Dance. Photos: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Over 100 people were enjoying the proud display of Greek culture including a number of VIP guests such as the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Martha Mavrommatis; Member for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis; Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen MP; Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne; Inner West Councillor Zoi Tsardoulias; Father Michael Tsolakis from St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Marrickville; and a multitude of local Greeks and business owners; among many others.

Councillor Tsardoulias (left) was in attendance at the event. All photos: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

One local Greek woman, Athena Monogios, brought her parents, George and Irene Karagianakis, to the event because they had been living in the Inner West for over 40 years. She told The Greek Herald she was happy the Greek Australian community’s contribution to Marrickville was being recognised.

“My dad’s just come out of hospital so we told him this was about him,” Athena said with a smile.

“They still live here. It’s part of their community, it’s part of their lives. The Greek church, the people, the old shops around here.”

George Karagianakis (second from right) has been living in Marrickville for over 40 years.

Besides speaking with the locals, The Greek Herald also watched the official proceedings, which were emceed by Alex Lykos and included a Welcome to Country by Aunty Deb Lennis, an Indigenous dance performance by ‘The Bangarra Boys,’ and speeches by Mayor Byrne, Councillor Tsardoulias, Mr Karras, Ms Haylen and Father Michael.

Indigenous dance performance by ‘The Bangarra Boys.’

In his speech, Mayor Byrne stressed that Marrickville “is the birthplace of Australian multiculturalism” and that “no one has done more than the Greek diaspora to build multiculturalism in Australia.”

“That is the reason that this act of basic recognition and respect is so important… We want to make sure that second, third, fourth and fifth generations always come back to Marrickville to learn about the heroic story that the Greek community built here,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Byrne giving a speech. Photo: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Councillor Tsardoulias was next to the stage and said it was a “great honour” to be representing the Greek community at the official renaming of ‘Little Greece,’ as she was the “daughter of Greek migrants that came to Australia for a better future.”

“It is important for generations to come that we continue to embrace our heritage and preserve our rich culture,” she said.

Mr Karras gave a brief history of the large Greek community in Marrickville and said the ‘Little Greece’ precinct was a great initiative by the local Council.

“Today, Marrickville is still home to thousands of Greek Australians and they continue to be a vital part of the vibrant community and local economy and culture. So I think ‘Little Greece’ is a highly-appropriate name for this precinct,” the Consul General said.

At the conclusion of these official proceedings, Mayor Byrne and Councillor Tsardoulias unveiled the official name plaque for ‘Little Greece.’

Mayor Byrne and Zoi Tsardoulias unveil the name plaque.

Ox King, the artist behind the locally commissioned artwork Hestia’s Migration, then gave a small speech about his mural and encouraged everyone to take photos in front of it.

Following a fun group shot with plenty of laughter and smiles involved, everyone in attendance paraded towards The Great Club for a free concert featuring Hellenic Art Theatre and IHO Nyx Band.

Performance by the Dionysus Theatre.
IHO Nyx band.

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