Our People, Their Stories
Time, a relentless adversary of an individual’s memory drags in its path, sometimes irreversibly, precious pieces of the mosaic of our collective history. Given this irrefutable context, the idea was born to systematically and methodically record the personal stories of people of the Greek Diaspora and others in Australia. The idea was carefully considered and formulated, and is taking shape through a project entitled, “Our People, Their Stories”.
The initiative is His Eminence’s Archbishop Makarios of Australia and aims to save the small and large treasures stored in the memory of our parents and grandparents; first and second-generation immigrants.
The implementation of this ambitious not-for profit project is undertaken by the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, which is the spiritual pillar of the Greek community on the fifth continent for almost a century (founded in 1924), and today represents hundreds of thousands of Australian citizens of Greek origin; a vibrant and dynamic cell of Australia’s multicultural society.
Equipped with zeal and passion, and fortified with the valuable provisions of experience and technical know-how, a team consisting of university professors, people of the arts and culture, cinematographers, journalists, historians, researchers, cameramen, sound engineers and editors, undertakes to pinpoint fellow citizens who carry cherished memories in order to record their personal stories and make them part of the collective history of the Greek community and, more broadly, of Australian society.
The main goal of the project, “Our People, Their Stories”, is to highlight important and previously unknown aspects of the course of Hellenism on the fifth continent as well as that of the multicultural identity of the Australian nation.
This will be achieved through narratives that will be recounted by first and second-generation immigrants, with an emphasis on children of mixed marriages; between Greeks and Indigenous or Australians of other descent. All the personal stories will be posted on the internet, on a free to access platform, accompanied by rich archival material.
More specifically, the online platform will have three main categories:
The photo archives will include rare and previously unpublished photos from the personal archives of the people who relate their stories as well as from the rich archives of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
This digital “treasure-chest” of first-hand accounts will, hereafter, belong to the Greek community and the entire Australian nation, while its content will be available for use in future academic research.
An important aspect of the project is that it seeks the active involvement of the youth in all the stages and there will be a provision for financial renumeration for those taking part.
It is the duty of us all to be vigorous in not allowing the memories to fade and, in a race against time, to strive to save every precious story of our ancestors, which will delineate and enrich our knowledge of our collective history.
The project, “Our People, Their Stories” is an innovative and unique initiative in Australia and, therefore, deserves widespread support – from government and public institutions through to private companies and corporations.
For the sponsors, it is an ideal avenue for marketing and promotion through the website that will be created and the regular activities and events that will be organised throughout the course of the project