Melbourne's Greek Community Comes Together for National Day Parade

National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia.

Thousands convened to honour the heritage and commemorate the 1821 Revolution. Schools, communities, clubs, welfare organisations, and professional Greek Australian associations marched at Sunday’s National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, the home of South Melbourne FC.

National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia.
National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia. Photo copyright Kostas Deves 

Around 5,000 individuals spanning generations gathered to commemorate the 1821 Revolution when Greeks rose against 400 years of Ottoman colonial rule. Konstantinos Vlasis, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Diaspora, led a delegation from Greece and remarked, “Today, we honour the memory and struggle of our ancestors who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy, and justice, which are crucial in our ever-changing world.”

Andrew Markaris, President of the Victorian Hellenic Police Association (VHPA), proudly marched with over 450 Greek Australian members of Victoria Police, alongside approximately 250 police officers, 50 protective service officers (PSO), and about 150 public servants. Markaris stated, “We are perhaps the largest multicultural group within the organisation, which is remarkable. The police force has embraced diversity proactively, and our organisation serves as a true example.”

National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia.
National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia. Photo copyright Kostas Deves

The parade, spanning 70 sections, was observed by a delegation of the Hellenic Parliament’s Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Expatriates, including notable members such as Konstantinos Vlasis, Theodora Tzakri, Evangelia Liakouli, and Asimina Skondra. Ambassador of Greece to Australia, Stavros Venizelos, and High Commissioner of Cyprus, Antonis Sammoutis, also graced the event with their presence. State parliament members from both the government and opposition, along with community leaders like Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, and representatives from the Cypriot Community of Melbourne, attended the event.

The parade, delayed due to the Formula One Grand Prix in late March, retained its spirit with the participation of over 70 organisations, including schools and cultural groups. Participants, adorned in traditional attire or blue and white colours, proudly waved flags as they marched alongside their families.

National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia.
National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia. Photo copyright Kostas Deves

The parade began with Konstantinos Kalymnios reciting the Oath of the Greek Revolution and concluded with Cypriot organisations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Antonis Sammoutis, High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, emphasised the ongoing struggle for Cypriot independence, stating that the occupation of Cyprus serves as a reminder that the fight for independence and dignity persists. Theo Theophanous, President of the Cypriot Community of Melbourne, highlighted the historical ties between Greece and Cyprus, underscoring their shared quest for freedom.

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National Day Parade at Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne, Australia. Photo copyright Kostas Deves

Photo Gallery of the National Day Parade, Melbourne, Australia.

All photos copyright Greek City Times / Kostas Deves 

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GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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