Official celebrations kicked off over the weekend in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville in Australia, where the precinct was renamed ‘Little Greece’ following a decision last year by Inner West Council as a means of recognising the Greek diaspora community and their contribution to the area.
The official ceremony included speeches by local government and state officials including Greek community leaders and plenty of Greek music and dancing as one would've expected.
Mayor Darcy Byrne and Councillor Zoi Tsardoulias unveiled a plaque with the precinct's new name, whilst on his Facebook post celebrating the recent event, the mayor wrote:
The official celebration of our renaming of the Marrickville Road precinct as Little Greece. The birthplace of Australian multiculturalism will continue to be a beacon of respect and diversity for many decades to come. To all the Greeks who built Marrickville we say simply, efcharisto!'
Following the event, a crowd gathered for a photo opportunity in front of the impressive mural titled ‘Hestia’s Migration’ which was painted by artist OxKing (Steven Nuttall).
“My artwork depicts the ancient goddess Hestia, transposed within the modern Australian context of the Greek migrant story,” Nuttall said when the mural was first unveiled.
“She is framed with panels referencing the 1821 war for independence, Saint Nicolas, the migrant ship The Patrice and Greek food culture growing roots amongst Australian soil.”
The Inner West Council gave its final approval for the establishment of a Greek precinct in Marrickville, to be known as “Little Greece” in February 2021, which was followed by a submission to the Geographic Names Board that the precinct of “Little Greece” be established on Marrickville Road between Livingstone Road and Victoria Road.
Inner West Mayor Byrne had said this precinct recognises the long-standing contribution of Greek Australians in the Inner West.
“Naming a section of Marrickville as ‘Little Greece’ is a gesture of respect to all the Greek migrants who helped establish the Inner West as the birthplace of Australian multiculturalism,” said Mayor Byrne.
“By establishing ‘Little Greece’ in Marrickville, we have an opportunity to reinforce Marrickville as one of Sydney’s great cultural assets.
“This precinct will formalise the ongoing special bond that exists between Marrickville and the Greek-Australian diaspora.
“Special thanks need to go to Councillor Sam Iskandar, a lifelong champion of multiculturalism and the last Mayor of Marrickville, who has driven this project,” Mayor Byrne said.
Marrickville Ward Councillor Sam Iskandar noted that Marrickville had become home to one-third of Sydney’s Greek population by the 1960s. However, he says the place of Greek Australians in the Inner West remained strong today.
“Greek Australians continue to be an important core to our community and local economy in Marrickville,” said Councillor Iskandar.
“Marrickville would not be the vibrant community and suburb that it is today without the thousands of Greek Australians who have chosen the area to be their home.
“This announcement also importantly looks to the future and cements the ongoing place of Greek Australians in the Inner West,” said Councillor Iskandar.
Photography: Nick Bourdaniotis