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General History

History > General History > James Samios, speaking in the upper house of the NSW Parliament on the launch od Denis Conomos' - The Greeks in Queensland.

History > General History

submitted by George Poulos on 10.12.2004

James Samios, speaking in the upper house of the NSW Parliament on the launch od Denis Conomos' - The Greeks in Queensland.

NSW Legislative Council Hansard, 30/10/2002


The Hon. JAMES SAMIOS [10.30 p.m.]:

Recently I attended the Hellenic Club in Sydney for the launch of a book called The Greeks in Queensland, A History from 1859 to 1945, which refers to a period ending in 1945. The author of the book, which related to the early settlement of Greeks coming into New South Wales and then going into Queensland, where they very successfully established themselves in small business and later in larger business, was Dennis Conomos. The occasion was hosted by the author and the Kytherian (Association) of New South Wales. Professor Manuel Aroney spoke on this important occasion, as did the president of the Kytherian Brotherhood, Vic Kepriotis, and Dennis Conomos, who is also a former solicitor from Queensland. The occasion was well attended.

The reality is that the great migration of Greeks migrants to this country occurred after the Second World War. But the pathfinders, who had played a pivotal role in the establishment of Greek migration to this country, came in the late 1800s and throughout the 1900s up until that great wave of migration after the Second World War. The chain migration that occurred from a number of areas, including Kythera, Kastelloriza, other Greek islands and from the mainland, underpinned the success of the migration because in many instances people came as a result of the support they had received from earlier migrants in this process of chain migration.

The book is an important and substantial work by Dennis Conomos; he has painstakingly gathered information over some decades from migrants who had settled in Queensland. He meticulously taped some of the conversations and secured details of their early arrival and their struggle to set up in business and provide for their families and for that great ambition of education for their children. The author is to be commended for the contribution he has made. It makes it clear to the wider community how Greek migrants came to the country, initially to New South Wales in many instances and then into Queensland, and paved the way for the successful settlement and integration in this country of other Greeks who subsequently made their niche in our multicultural society. The Greek community overall has played a pivotal and important role in our culturally diverse society and today forms one of the larger ethnic groups in Australia.

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