The Federal Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton MP, has sent a letter of congratulations to Professor Anastasios Tamis for the Sydney book launch of his book The Children of Aphrodite: The Story of Cypriots of Australia.
On behalf of the Coalition, I congratulate Professor Anastasios Tamis on the Sydney
launch of his book, The Children of Aphrodite: Story of Cypriots in Australia. This launch
follows the one in Melbourne held last December. I also commend the Greek Festival of
Sydney and the Cyprus Community of New South Wales for hosting this event.
While the first Cypriots arrived in Australia in the late 19th century, many more came
following the major policy change which was Australia’s post Second World War migration
program, known as ‘populate or perish’. Professor Tamis writes:
“By 1949, 1500 Cypriots… had already settled in the vast country areas and various
capital cities, building their communities, which flourished to become affluent and
influential. Most of them during the first ten years of their settlement worked in the
smelters, industrial manufacturing plants, the car and electrical industries, the
railways and tramways, food processing and manufacturing industries and a number
of government industries including electricity, post and infrastructure.”
As a former Minister for Immigration, I’m delighted that the story of Cypriot migration to our
country – an important part of Australian history – has been published. Professor Tamis
has triumphed in his aim ‘to bring to light those persons and events that influenced the
development of modern and contemporary Australia’.
The Children of Aphrodite will not only appeal to Australians of Cypriot ancestry, but also
to anyone who has arrived in Australia as a migrant or refugee and now calls our country
home. Indeed, any Australian with an interest in our migration history will gain much from
this fine read.
Professor Tamis’ book speaks to one of the finest features which underpins modern
Australia – the social contract. Under the social contract, people from around the world –
regardless of their backgrounds – have been welcomed to our shores, decade after
decade. In exchange for the privileges, protections, liberties and opportunities which
Australia affords to newly arrived migrants, those migrants have integrated, worked hard,
and been wonderful nation builders and nation contributors. The social contract of hospitality and reciprocity epitomises Australia’s multicultural success.
Congratulations again to Professor Tamis on his thoroughly researched and well written
book which will be enjoyed by many.