Perth local Marilyn Tsolakis named Kastellorizian of the Year 2023

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Perth-based Marilyn Tsolakis has been named 2023 Kastellorizian of the Year by The Kastellorizian Association of Victoria (KAV) in an announcement on Sunday.

The KAV Award was introduced in 1993 to identify a person who has achieved excellence in their chosen field and made an outstanding contribution to the Kastellorizian, Greek and/or Australian community. The award is presented by the KAV President at the prestigious Annual KOY Dinner.

In an announcement, KAV said, “Marilyn’s many initiatives show her love for the island and her dedication to preserving Kastellorizian culture and history, while supporting Kazzie youth welfare as well as our Kazzie elders.

“Her strong values, charity and compassion for others makes her an inspirational role model for all. We congratulate her on her award and her many life achievements.”

Marilyn has made a remarkable contribution to Kastellorizian communities both in Kastellorizo and Australia through her countless grassroots initiatives over the years, according to KAV.

Kastellorizo.

Born in Perth to Kastellorizian immigrants, Marilyn graduated from the University of WA and went into English education to become Head of English at Methodist Ladies College in Perth from 1995-2008. She led a team of teachers recognised for achieving outstanding Year 12 results. Marilyn also served on the English Syllabus Committee for the State of WA.

Since 2008, Marilyn has dedicated herself to the role as Coordinator of Friends of Kastellorizo (FoK), managing and implementing community projects to fulfil the mission this non-profit organisation.

The projects Marilyn has coordinated for FoK have been mentioned and analysed by Vassiliki Chryssanthopoulou in several academic publications relating to the Kastellorizian and Greek diaspora.

In 2012, Marilyn served as Vice President of the Castellorizian Association of Western Australia (CAWA).

Marilyn Tsolakis co-wrote a bilingual illustrated children’s book, Kastellorizo: My Odyssey.

Through writing and speaking, Marilyn tells the stories of Kastellorizians to Kazzies and Australians of all ages. She produced and co-wrote a bilingual illustrated children’s book, Kastellorizo: My Odyssey, about the life and history of Kastellorizo, leaving a cultural legacy.

As the editor of the FoK’s ‘Filia’ Magazine since its launch in 2009, Marilyn writes for FoK and other publications for the Kastellorizian-Australian community. 

These are among the long list of accolades and contributions Marilyn has made to the Kazzie community to connect the island and its culture with Australians.

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