(Melbourne, Australia) – A lecture in Melbourne, which will be given by Dr. John Yiannakis OAM on June 16, 2016, will highlight brave Greek women who moved to Australia in the 1960’s. The presentation and lecture will be held at the Greek Center in Melbourne. This is one lecture in a series called Greek History and Culture Seminar Series, which are all being presented by the Center. Yiannakis’ presentation will share the results of a 45-year long study called, “Black Night, White Day: Greece-born Women in Australia,” which highlights the integration and lives of 78 single women who left the villages and small towns of Greece in pursuit of a new life in Australia.
Before leaving Greece, each of the women consented to being part of the study and were interviewed. Each woman was asked various questions and the interviews were designed to not only get to know them, but to also assess their motivations for leaving Greece. For several decades after that, the women had been interviewed several times. They goal of these follow-up interviews was to determine how well the women had assimilated into Australian society. Over the course of the study, some of the women did return to Greece. Interviews were also conducted with their children and spouses and other family members, which gave the study organizers further insights. The lecture itself will focus on the lives of these women and will highlight their strength and resilience. It will also talk about the female role in migration from a broader perspective.
Doctor Yiannakis is based in Western Australia and much of his work focuses on the Greek experience of migration, settlement, and adaption, particularly in Western Australia where he is based. He himself has also conducted a lot of research on these topics. He was Head of the Social Sciences Department at Tuart College, where he has also given many lectures about this topic.