The period of Metapolitefsi in Greece and Multiculturalism in Australia (1967-2009) was a period of prosperity for the Greek Australian community, with travel and movement between the two countries. The Greek Australian migration story doesn’t stop though, another wave was due to come soon with the Global Financial Crisis and the New Migration Wave 2009-2022.
Filmed in the heart of Melbourne's Greek Quarter.
Hosted by Kyriakos Gold, CEO of Just Gold Digital Agency.
Guest speakers include Mary Coustas, Actress and Writer; Mike Zafiropoulos AM, JP, Chair of Channel 31 Melbourne, former General Manager at SBS Melbourne; Maria Vamvakinou MP; Peter Kalliakoudis, travel executive and Dr George Vassilacopoulos, A/ Senior Lecturer La Trobe University.
Guest speakers include Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria; Leonidas Vlahakis, Chair of Antipodes Festival; Kostantinos Kalymnios, lawyer; Peter Kalliakoudis, travel executive; Dr George Vassilacopoulos, A/ Senior Lecturer La Trobe University; Dr Konstandina Dounis, Teaching Associate at Monash University & Maria Vamvakinou MP
Metapolitefsi began with the optimism that every new beginning brings after a
historic period of unfreedom. A time accompanied with the heavy signs of a coup
adventure, following a national disaster of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and finally,
its division. Everything proclaimed that democratic institutions would be strengthened
and developed, that positive economic conditions would give new opportunities for
development to a country experiencing heavy bleeding from crisis and the ongoing
migration. Moreover, it was believed that the wind of freedom would help develop an
education system that would lead to the country’s revitalization.
The Third Hellenic Republic, as it is called, was the product of a multifaceted political,
economic and national crisis. Despite the rapid transition to democracy and the
avoidance of a Greek-Turkish war, the depth of the economic crisis reflected structural
entanglements and foreshadowed broader transformations. The partial recovery of
growth and the temporary restraint of oil prices after 1975, might have given a slight
extension to the post-war model of the development of the Greek economy, but they
could not mask the main problem: the conditions for a “Greek miracle” had been
exhausted. The oil crisis of 1973 hit the Greek economy at a very bad time. Monetary
instability and inflationary pressures began to emerge, although maintaining a high
growth throughout that year, was more of a warming factor than a sign of strength.
The restrictive economic policy adopted in the late phase of the dictatorship, combined
with the inflation that peaked after the onset of the oil crisis, had severely affected the
income of the Greeks. Additionally, the labour share in the industrial product declined
significantly in 1973, while in the first half of 1974 wages experienced a significant
The so-called “culture of Metapolitefsi” is responsible for many, if not all, wrong
doings in Greek society. Ongoing political “clientele approach”, the state trade union
organisation and economy, violence and lawlessness, financial diversion, corruption and
populism led many Greek immigrants back to their second “homeland”.
society should be accepted and celebrated. Τhe first expressions of this policy were the
introduction of new translation services for migrants, the establishment of multicultural
radio services, and the incorporation of multiculturalism into health, welfare and
education policy. Immigration Minister Al Grassby was an enthusiastic advocate of the
principles of multiculturalism, passionately arguing for the benefits of cultural diversity
and the importance of social harmony and tolerance.
Multicultural radio stations and telephone translation services were introduced to
provide improved support for new migrants once they arrived in Australia, providing
additional educational support for migrant children, with additional teachers, learning
facilities, and specialised classes for new migrants at school. Migrant education centres
were established in most state capitals and multilingual welfare officers were employed
to assist migrants to access social services. On October 31, 1975, the last month of the
Whitlam Government, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was enacted. This legislation
remains one of the most important human rights protections in Australia. The
legislation made it unlawful to unfairly discriminate against someone on the basis of
their ethnicity or national origin.
The Australian constitutional crisis, also known simply as the Dismissal, culminated
on 11 November 1975. Following the dismissal from office of the Prime Minister,
Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Governor-General Sir John Kerr
commissioned the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser of the Liberal Party,
as caretaker Prime Minister. Despite the political crisis, multiculturalism was here to
stay, and it signalled a golden period for CALD communities. For the Greek Australian
community it translated to key positions in government, visibility in media and
recognition by broader society, it even meant tastier menus in restaurants.
The Greek Australian migration story doesn’t stop though, another wave was due to come soon with the Global Financial Crisis and the New Migration Wave 2009-2022.