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Kafedaki with Roula Angelopoulos

13553316_10154408711615676_224795016_n (1)What is your name and line of work?

Roula Angelopoulos. I run our family business with my sister managing a fleet of taxis and commercial properties. I also do freelance work in design and media so my job title changes daily.

Where were you born and where do you currently reside?

I was born in Sydney in Camperdown and I currently live in the St George area of Sydney.

Where in Greece do your ancestors come from?

My family are from Patra in the Peloponnese.

What are you doing/working on at the moment?

 I’m always working on improving my skills. Daily work tasks change constantly. I do the Glitz&Goss on Merakitv (Mondays 7pm, channel 183 on Foxtel), also working on a building project and various other works in the pipeline.

How has your upbringing influenced what you are doing now?

Growing up in an inner suburb of Sydney city, in the gritty hustle and bustle made me streetwise. My parents worked for themselves, both fiercely proud and independent. I picked up this resilient trait and I had to learn to deal with all aspects of having your own business, be fast paced with a ‘no fear’, ‘no hesitation’ and a true Hellenic drive. Dad was a hard-headed focused entrepreneur and mum was the creative one, a pattern maker/dressmaker.

They instilled in me the strong work ethic I have today. I’m blessed to have a combination of both their talents. Dad’s quirkiness rubbed off on me too, he never ceased to amaze me in various eccentricities and lateral thinking. For example, like the time I nervously brought home my brand new Harley Davidson, expecting me to cop it, only to be greeted with a smile, fascination and the words “Can you take me for a ride?”

 Apart from your family, what Greeks have influenced your life?

 It wouldn’t be fair to start singling out Greeks that have influenced me, we all know that within our community there are fantastic and diverse talents across a range of fields. Even when I was working as an Art Director on some of Australia’s most popular magazines and brands, I didn’t expect to bump into many Greeks but invariably I did. I worked in the publishing, music and entertainment media industry for 17 years, (I have a Degree in Visual Communications) before fully embracing our family business that was started by my father. I have worked and continue to work with an amazing eclectic group of people in the world of media and the arts.

Have you been to Greece?

 Yes, I go often. We have an apartment in the centre of Athens.My parents took my sister and I several times during our school years and for this reason we developed a deep love for the country.

What advice would you give your Greek cousins?

 Where do I start- I have so many relatives! My mum comes from a family of 12 siblings, my dad from 10- I have not actually met all my first cousins. I would tell them to work hard, smart, honest and keep learning- never stop learning!

What is a piece of ancestral history you love?

 My sister put together our ancestral family tree dating back to 1845 (just after the creation of the Modern Greek estate). We discovered that our grandfather (Mum’s father) was adopted by our grandmother’s family and then married our grandmother – a common practice for some poorer families in the remote villages ensuring property remained in the family, but no blood relatives inter-married.

What is your favourite Greek food?

 Greek mezedakia, I prefer a selection of small dishes to any one specific food, and as I’m heavily addicted to extra virgin olive oil, I must have my daily fix or I just wither.

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