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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Ethnic politics of the 1970s

George Lekakis.

George Lekakis describes the ethnic politics of the 1970s that gave rise to multiculturalism



Date Added:

18 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

5.7 MB






It goes back to that revival, the post-Hunta revival, the networks of people that associated with that here in Melbourne, leadership of trade union officials at that time, like George Zanganis (sp?) and Dimitri Doulus (sp?) and that group. There were other people as well from other organisations, their support for matters – there was people in the Greek community – government’s committee, there we had new – Sir Theo Svolopoulos, we had an elected member of parliament. You could see the results of that particular group taking hold in the Victorian political system. We started getting councillors up.


There was a – a whole lot of well-intentioned people who were, you know, in mobilising communities, working with other communities, helping run community radio, it just seemed alive. And it was very exciting at the time, I was only young and I could see these people do their thing, but they did it within the Greek community.


And after I did my social work degree, I said, “Well this is not enough, it’s not just about the Greek community, this is a broader debate. It’s unfortunate, the Greek community is very divided. But no – I mean, the ideological or political differences are there but time has made a lot of people tired. And there’s a lot of – people do their own thing. The political connections are not as strong as they once used to be. But there’s an affinity of people who shared my experience of living in the northern or the western suburbs, or in Noble Park and other places. And you can strike up a conversation with somebody who shares that past with you. And if they’re powerful or they’ve got some influence, we can make things happen.


End transcript