Seminar to look at Greek Australian migration and its connection to colonialism.

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The Greek Community of Melbourne is pleased to announce a lecture as part of its ongoing Greek History and Culture Seminars. The upcoming lecture, titled “Greek Lives on Indigenous Lands: Community Responsibility and the Ethnic Experience of Coloniality,” will feature Daphne Arapakis, a PhD Candidate from the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Scheduled for Thursday 24 August 2023, at 7:00 pm, the lecture will be held at the Mezzanine Level of The Greek Centre, situated at 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

Daphne Arapakis’ research delves into the intricate interplay between the experiences of Greek Australians’ migration and Australia’s history of colonialism. How do Greek Australians relate their migration experiences to Australia’s history of colonialism?

“In this seminar,” stated Ms. Arapakis, “I will address this question by sharing insights from my early PhD research, which explores the ways Greeks in Australia construct their sense of belonging. Drawing from articulations of historical consciousness in Greek diasporic expressions found in Australian film and media, I will illustrate the existence of ethnic-specific approaches to understanding Indigenous calls for sovereign recognition. By merging diaspora studies with the enduring legacies of colonialism, I will introduce a novel analytical framework named ethnic compartmentalisation.”

Ms. Arapakis further elucidated that by foregrounding how segments of the Greek diaspora rationalise their settlement on Indigenous lands, she will argue that ethnic compartmentalisation serves as a means through which Greeks in Australia adeptly navigate and selectively employ facets of their migrant histories to either align with or disassociate from the legacy of British colonialism and Australian multiculturalism. “Identifying the way Greeks compartmentalise conflicting historical narratives to navigate their identity in relation to Indigenous lands, my research uncovers a barrier that impedes robust support for Indigenous political aspirations,” she noted.

Evidence of Greek Australian migration and its connection to Australian colonialism. Photo: Greek Community of Melbourne.

The seminar will conclude by presenting potential avenues for members of the Greek diaspora in Australia to reimagine their historical perspectives, redefine the framework of community development, and stand in solidarity with the calls for justice and political transformation from First Nations peoples. “These concluding remarks take on particular significance within the impending context of the Voice to Parliament referendum,” she emphasized.

Daphne Arapakis is a PhD Candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis, ‘Mediterranean Diasporas, Indigenous Sovereignties: The Ethnic Dimensions of the Settler Colonial Present’ explores the dynamics of ethnic-Indigenous relations in Australia. Daphne has worked as the Policy and Research Officer at the Koorie Youth Council and volunteered for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. In 2023, she was awarded the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Scholarship and the Faculty of Arts Dean’s PhD Excellence Scholarship Award. Research for this seminar presentation was recently published in the article “Ethnic Compartmentalisation: Greek Australian (Dis)Associations with White Australia and Indigenous Sovereignty” in the Journal of Intercultural Studies. 

Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served.

Event Details

When: Thursday 24 August 2023, 7.00 pm

How: Greek Centre (Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale St., Melbourne)

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