On Friday 26th August, Munga Webopoulos- Melbourne University Greek Association hosted a Greek Taverna Night that brought together university aged Greek and non-Greek students from across Melbourne. The event was held at Mihali's Tavern Greek Restaurant, a family owned and operated Greek Restaurant at Box Hill in Victoria.
It was the largest Taverna night they have had in recent years, with over 240 guests attending, eating, drinking, talking and dancing all night.
With gyros (meat, onions, tomato and tzatziki sauce rolled in a pita bread), octopus, saganaki (fried cheese) and so many other amazing Greek dishes on offer, there was almost not enough room for dessert- galaktobouriko (custard filo pastry) and baklava (filo pastry with nuts and honey).
Guest of Honour for the night was Mike Zafiropoulos, CEO of CH31 and Chairman of Fronditha Care. Mr Zafiropoulos is a significant figure in the Greek and non-Greek Community, recognised for his extensive service to the community for more than 40 years- including executive roles with a range of arts, multicultural, charitable, media and local government organisations, and as an advocate for cultural diversity and unity.
Mr Zafiropoulos spoke on the night and encouraged everyone to maintain and be proud of their Greek heritage in Australia, as “It is important that we, as third generation Greek-Australians recognise our cultural and linguistic inheritance, and commit to its growth and preservation. Ultimately it is so that future generations of Greek-Australians can celebrate their heritage and culture as we do."
There was also a Greek dancing performance on the night, by the Cypriot Community of Melbourne Dance Group, which got the crowd clapping, cheering and up and dancing. Live music by the Rythmos Band - Greek Band Melbourne Australia, made the taverna night feel even more like a Greek taverna night with great live music and singing, followed by DJ Nikki Katiforis who kept the crowd dancing into early hours of the morning.
Also on the night, raffle tickets were sold and drawn with all proceeds donated to charity. The prizes included a signed South Melbourne Hellas jersey and hampers from Nestle and Colossus Supermarket.
The event was organised by the Munga committee, undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne, who dedicated their time alongside their studies to organise a successful and enjoyable event.
*Images by Victoria Tsiolis, Triple T Productions