The colours of the Greek flag were projected onto the Sydney Opera House on Thursday evening in a special moment of recognition for the contribution of the Australian-Greek community in NSW.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was delighted to thank the Australian-Greek community by recognising the 200th year of Greek Independence.
“The hard work and sacrifices made by Australian-Greek people in NSW is admirable. We are proud to share this moment of history with you,” Berejiklian said.
“Tonight we celebrate the significant influence of Greek culture especially here in NSW.”
Greek immigrants began arriving in Australia in the mid-18th century, and towards the end of the 19th century Greek organisations were established in Sydney with the Greek Orthodox Church being the central focus of the community.
Between 1947 and 1982, almost 250,000 Greek immigrants arrived in Australia.
NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Geoff Lee said he was proud of the way Australians of Greek heritage established themselves and prospered in NSW.
“There are over 132,000 people in NSW with Greek ancestry who have helped make our State the thriving place it is today,” Lee said.
“From establishing successful businesses to becoming accomplished in many fields, including sport, entertainment and public life, thank you for promoting social cohesion and community harmony in NSW.”
Very Reverend Father Christophoros Krikelis, representing His Eminence Archbishop of Australia Makarios said he was delighted that the Australian-Greek community of NSW was being recognised by the NSW Government on such a significant occasion.
“We praise God who has counted us worthy, today, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of this historic day, noting what has been indelibly engraved in the collective consciousness of our people – the inseparable relationship of our Hellenic Nation with our Orthodox Faith,” he said.
“This relationship has grown further over the years and encompasses our new home, Australia which we thank for embracing us and find ourselves eternally entwined with.”