Name and line of work?
My name is Costas Markou, I am the General Secretary of the Board of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne (GOCMV) and a Consultant.
Where were you born & where do you live now?
I was born in Melbourne, Australia and I still live in Melbourne.
Where in Greece do your ancestors come from?
My family are from Grevena in Northern Greece.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working full-time on the restoration of the iconic Greek Orthodox Church Evaggelismos, in the Melbourne CBD. Sadly it was destroyed by fire earlier this year in May, so there is much to do to get it functioning again. The church was built in 1901 and it is the heart of the Greek Community in Melbourne. Every Greek in Melbourne has been inside, so it holds a very special place for all Greek-Melbournians.
How has your upbringing influenced what you are doing now?
Incredibly! My father participated in the Left of the GOC of Melbourne, he influenced my brother Theo and I to directly participate in Social Activism, which included the Greek Community.
Apart from your family, what Greeks have influenced your life?
Obviously my father was a tremendous influence but I would also the philosophers like Plato, Contemporary Greek Authors and of course Alternative Greek (Entehna) music.
Do you regard yourself as Hellenic or Greek? Have you been to Greece?
I am not stuck on labels; above all I am a human-being. I have been to Greece many times. I was there last year for four months.
What advice would you give your Greek cousins?
The humble advice I would give my Greek cousins, is that the whole concept of Nepotism is destructive and has proved to be destructive to the fabric of Greek society. They need to refocus their vision on creating a contemporary culture.
What is the piece of ancestral knowledge you still remember to this day?
“Kane to kalo ke rixte sto yialo”, which translates to “Complete a good action and throw it into the sea.” These sayings are becoming more valuable and essential to me each day.
What is your favourite Greek food?
My favourite Greek food is freshly made kakavia (Greek fisherman’s soup).