Coming off a successful national launch in Canberra, Melbourne is the next location where 'The Evzones Collection' national exhibition of The Greek Presidential Guard (Evzones) is being exhibited.
The exhibition opened on Saturday 27th March and will close on Sunday April 4th.
Melbourne’s opening evening was hosted by Oakleigh Grammar in its large conference centre, in conjunction with the 2021 Victorian Bicentenary Committee and the Organisational Council for Greek National Day at Oakleigh Grammar Convention Center.
More than 50 VIP’s and dignitaries attended the invitation-only opening night on Friday, 26th March 2021 including:
Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis from Melbourne District
Father George Adamakis
Principal Mark Robertson
President of the Board Chris Damatopoulos,
Chairman of 2021 Victorian Committee Tony Tsourdalakis
Consul General of Greece Emmanuel Kakavelakis
Producer of Evzones Nick Bourdaniotis
Exhibition Director and Oakleigh Exhibition Compère George Karantonis
Well-known photographer Nick Bourdaniotis collated and assembled the 28 beautifully selected photos featured in his exhibition, which captures and portrays the Evzones in a truly remarkable light.
Nick's art evokes the Hellenic pride in a unique way with his images that are published all over the world.
'The Evzones Collection' exhibition has been included as part of the official national program for the 200 years celebration since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the War of Independence, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia.
At the opening night in Melbourne, two students from Oakleigh Grammar sang the National Anthems bringing tears to the eyes of the special guests. Dimitra Ballis, a third generation Greek-Australian student in Year 7, in her Greek traditional costume sang the Greek National Anthem and Elena Logan also in Year 7, as student of Romanian background for support the Greek culture sang the Australian National Anthem.
Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis from Melbourne District spoke about the power of the image of the Evzone. He was very emotional seeing the pictures of the Evzones.
Consul General of Greece Emmanuel Kakavelakis described in particular details of the uniform (στολή) of the Evzones and how each part of the uniform is significantly related with the history of the Greek Revolution.
An exhibition print from the 2018 visit of Evzones in Melbourne to Oakleigh Grammar was donated by Mr Tony Tsourdalakis to the school.
An exhibition print from 2018 visit of Evzones in Melbourne, specifically when the Presidential Guard attended the Doxology at St Eustathios Church in South Melbourne, was donated from Mr Tony Tsourdalakis to the Greek Orthodox Achdiocese of Melbourne District.
In addition, Nick Bourdaniotis also kindly donated one of his exhibition prints to be auctioned throughout the exhibition via a silent auction.
All money raised from the auction is being donated to the Agapi Care Inc, a not-for-profit organisation committed to delivering tailored services and supports to people with a disability in Victoria.
Mrs Mary Gakopoulos, Chief Executive Officer at AGAPI Care Inc. and members of the board were present on the night and thanked Nick, Chris Damatopoulos and Mark Robertson for selecting Agapi Care Inc as the chosen charity to receive the proceeds of the silent auction.
In his presentation, Nick thanked his team, making special mention of George Karantonis and Eirini Alliyannis who were present on the night:
"To George Karantonis the master mind, the creative wizard, designer and printer of this spectacular exhibition you see here tonight. George from the bottom of my heart I thank you for all that you do.
"Eirini Alligiannis - the curator of the exhibition across Australia - thank you for your eye for photography and knowledge of collating photos."
Nick also thanked Oakleigh Grammar for hosting the photo exhibition in their conference center, being incredibly grateful for being able to hold the exhibition in Oakleigh, Australia's Greek heartland.
Nick especially thanked Tony Tsourdalakis, Chairman of the 2021 Victorian Bicentenary Committee and the Organisational Council for Greek National Day, for having the vision to have this exhibition be displayed in Melbourne and for requesting that it be included in the Victorian Greek National Day Program for 2021.
"People who visit the exhibition often become emotional and truly moved by what they see," said Nick
"I love watching the reactions on people’s faces and hearing the words that come out of their mouths as they sometimes find it difficult to express the overwhelming emotions that the photos evoke."
"Some have even teared up and this gives me a humbling reassurance that perhaps I have done my job right in making the Evzones family, as I often refer to them, proud."
Being about to showcase the Evzones, the pinnacle of Greece's elite force and symbol of Hellenic Pride is such an honour for Nick, he says.
"This is an honour and an important reminder to the people of the history of Greece and the Evzones and all that they stand for.
"I hope my photographs expose their strength, integrity, patriotism and philotimo.
It is Nick's hope that people - not just for Greeks or Australians of Greek descent, but people of all walks of life - take away from is exhibition 'a holistic sensory activation.'
"I want the Greek DNA showcased in this exhibition to trigger pride, acknowledgement and a respect for the modern world’s roots," says Nick.
"And to ultimately walk away a real sense of satisfaction and appreciation of my photographs."
Entry is free, and no booking required.
Melbourne: Saturday March 27 – Sunday April 04 at Oakleigh Grammar Conference Center. Address: 77/81 Willesden Rd, Oakleigh, Victoria, 3166.
Saturday 27 March, Sunday 28 March: 2:00pm – 6:30pm, Monday 29 March to Thursday 01 April: 3:00pm – 7:30pm, Friday 02 April to Sunday 04 April: 2:00pm – 6:30pm
Photo credits: George Karantonis, Founder/Director of Image Smart
Photo credits: Kostas Deves
The Evzones Collection Exhibition
The Kalymnian Association of NSW
Kytherian Association of Australia
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Greek National Day Council Victoria
The Holy Monastery of St Nectarios
For more information, tour dates or to buy:
For more information go to https://greece2021.com.au/evzones/ or email [email protected]
Own the entire exhibition in a collector's premium coffee table book:
Buy individual photos here:
Read also on Greek City Times:
Esteemed Evzones Photographer Nick Bourdaniotis. The Legend Behind the Lens.