Festival 2016 Program

Sister cities are a form of legal or social agreement between cities in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of twinning is intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and to encourage trade and tourism. In recent times, city twinning has increasingly been used to form strategic international business links between member cities.

This year Thessaloniki Association will gift to the City of Melbourne a replica of the White Tower; Thessaloniki’s most famous landmark. The Tower is covered with white laurels immaculately crocheted by ladies in the Greek and wider community. A total of 8000 laurels were needed and it took the ladies over 1000 hours to complete…

Mathew Staios, researcher from Monash Uni will also start his long bike ride to Canberra from the Festival at Fed Square, collecting funding for Dementia. This is a courageous effort by Mathew and we fully support him and the community has to also.

More information on the program and what you can feast on the day below.



Art Exhibition 2016

The Art Exhibition organised by Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower” again was a great success. The view superb and the crowd wonderful.

We have also been blessed by the work of three painters from Thessaloniki, Maria Kalaitzis, John Papageorgiou, Paraskevas Mavrianos who exhibited their works on the walls of the Thessaloniki Association premises with pride. Those who attended can attest to their abilities and style.

Rena Fragioudakis who launched exhibition seemed enthused by what was portrayed. Works which depict a Greek as well as an Australian element, affecting our lives in this wonderful country we call home.

We hope you enjoy some of the photos from the exhibition below:

Art Exhibition 2016

Η Έκθεση Ζωγραφικής τριών καλλιτεχνών της Θεσσαλονίκης αποτέλεσε μια ακόμη επιτυχία της Ένωσης Θεσσαλονικέων που με ευκαιρία τις εκδηλώσεις 32 Χρόνων Αδελφοποίησης της Μελβούρνης με την αγαπημένη πόλη καταγωγής μας, έλαμψε στη Μελβούρνη.

Οι καλλιτέχνες, Μαίρη Καλαϊτζή, Γιάννης Παπαγεωργίου και Παρασκευάς Μαυριανός έδωσαν για μια ακόμη φορά τον καλύτερο εαυτό τους, συνδέοντας την ελληνική τους ψυχή με το Αυστραλιανό τοπίο.

Η Ρένα Φραγκιουδάκη που επισημοποίησε την εκδήλωση με την ομιλία της, τους συνεχάρηκε και ευχήθηκε πάντα τέτοιες επιτυχίες να έχουν. Εμείς ευχόμαστε να απολαύσετε τις φωτογραφίες που βγάλαμε από την εκδήλωση.

White Flower Project

“The White Tower Melbourne” is a multi-faceted community project, which when finished will be gifted to the City of Melbourne on Sunday 27 November 2016 during the Festival at the 32nd Anniversary celebrations of the Sister City relationship between Melbourne and Thessaloniki at Federation Square.

The project consists of the construction of a replica of “The White Tower”, Thessaloniki’s most famous landmark, which will be covered with white flowers. These flowers will be crocheted (we have already began) by members of the Greek community and the broader Australian community. As Ms Christina Despoteris noted in her speech on Sunday 14th August, here we invite all community groups to participate. The crochet marathon has already began and we need to reach eight thousand flowers by the start of November. Continue reading “White Flower Project”

Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Inaugural Annual Commemorative Service

11am Saturday, 13th August 2016

The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee (LGCC) organised the Annual Commemorative Service at Foote Street Reserve in Albert Park, part of the City of Port Phillip, the place where young Australians left for Gallipoli more than 100 years ago. The spot at Foote St. Reserve is for ever marked with the wonderful sculpture by Peter Corlett OAM, the renowned Melbourne sculptor who has designed a number of other ANZAC sculptures. The sculpture mainly serves as a memorial to the 130 Australian nurses who served at Lemnos in WWI and the sixty thousand ANZAC soldiers who were cared for at Lemnos during that period.


Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower” was also there supporting this wonderful initiative which exemplifies the ties between Greece and Australia, among a large number of other organisations which lay wreaths of respect to those who fought in the line of duty, for freedom and justice, in another land and another time. Thessaloniki Association was represented by the Public Relations Officer Mr Iakovos Garivaldis OAM. Continue reading “Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial”

White Flower Project at White Tower

Media Release

The Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower” is proud to announce the details of an exciting new project “The White Tower Melbourne” which will be officially launched by Maria Vamvakinou MP on Sunday 14 August 2016 at 4.00 pm at 439 High Street Northcote.

“The White Tower Melbourne” is a multi-faceted community project, which when finished will be gifted to the City of Melbourne on Sunday 27 November 2016 during the Festival at the 32nd Anniversary celebrations of the Sister City relationship between Melbourne and Thessaloniki at Federation Square.

The project consists of the construction of a replica of “The White Tower”, Thessaloniki’s most famous landmark. Continue reading “White Flower Project at White Tower”

Greek Identity

…and the Chamber of Secrets

by John Vithoulkas
(first published in Neos Kosmos, Melbourne)


‘Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.’

So said the great Elastigirl in the 2004 Pixar film ‘The Incredibles’, but can we take her word for it?

Before I make a completely unacceptable sweeping statement let me say that I do not like to make sweeping statements. But here goes. Greek-Australians work very hard to promote the Greek identity. We all do it in our own way. Some of us form collectives and organise dancing groups, singing groups, and eating groups. Others form businesses to promote Greek food and drink. Some write while others tell stories. Some paint tree trunks white and others start classroom lessons by pointing out that today’s topic comes from a Greek word (economics? Easy. From οἶκος and νόμος. Oἰκονομία). In a shocking plot twist Dr Who would uncover that our identity itself is actually the promotion of our identity. Continue reading “Greek Identity”

Congratulations Iakove

Congratulations Iakove from all of us

Iakovos with wife Andrea
Iakovos Garivaldis OAM, with wife Andrea

Only a hand full of Greeks from Melbourne was recognised by national honour through the Order of Australia Awards which was announced recently on the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

One of those was none other than our very own Iakovos Garivaldis.

Iakovos received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services “In literature, publishing and the Greek Community of Victoria”.

The Order of Australia is the principle and most prestigious means of recognising outstanding members of the community at a national level. Its purpose is to recognise those who have made outstanding contributions that benefit their communities and ultimately our country. It serves to define, encourage and reinforce community standards, national aspirations and ideals by acknowledging actions and achievement and thereby identifying role models at all levels and in all spheres of the community.

The award will be presented to Iakovo at a ceremony at Government House Victoria by the Governor later on in the year.

Continue reading “Congratulations Iakove”

Mother’s Day

The Function

Mothers Day 2016

The crowd enjoying themselves
The crowd enjoying themselves
The crowd enjoying themselves
The crowd enjoying themselves
The table where some of the members of the committee were sitting
The table where some of the members of the committee were sitting
Table for other committee members
Table for other committee members
Dancing taken away from the streets
Dancing taken away from the streets
Flowers to the younger and eldest mothers
Flowers to the younger and eldest mothers
with Mathew Staios and Paul
with Mathew Staios and Paul
During speeches
During speeches
Andrea Garivaldis
Andrea Garivaldis
Andrea Garivaldis
Andrea Garivaldis
Andrea Garivaldis
Andrea Garivaldis

This is the annual and special celebration of the contribution of all of our Mothers have made to our lives. Great food and drinks are included in the price of the ticket as well as live music. The function to be held on Sunday 15th May at the club rooms – 439 high Street Northcote Vic 3070. Please contact our Secretary or the event coordinator Niki Koukoula on 0417 578 492 for tickets, $40 per head, mothers, members of our Association can attend for free.





SUNDAY 15 MAY 2016


Γιορτή της Μητέρας

Στο κτίριο της Ένωσης και πάλι για να τιμήσουμε τις μητέρες μας που πάντα είναι δίπλα στα παιδιά τους. Οι μητέρες μέλη της Ένωσης Θεσσαλονικέων είναι δωρεάν, οι υπόλοιποι $40 το άτομο με πλούσιο φαγητό, ζωντανή μουσική και ποτά. Τηλεφωνήστε τη Νίκη Κουκουλά, υπεύθυνη εκδηλώσεων στο 0417 578 492.


Melbourne to Canberra for Alzheimer’s

Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower” is proud to support Mr Mathew Staios’ efforts to raise money for research into providing treatment options for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease within the ageing Greek-Australian community. The best place to promote such an important event is at the Annual Sister-Cities Festival at Federation Square.

Mathew is a clinical neuropsychologist and psychology-teaching associate at Monash University. He is currently in the process of completing his PhD at Monash University, in conjunction with their academic partner, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Mathew’s PhD will result in the development of an extensive range of tests to accurately diagnose diseases that are observed in the ageing process (such as dementia), provide treatment to options to disease sufferers and support their family members through this process.

At present, tests used to assess Greek-Australian migrants are not appropriate and have been reported to result in misdiagnosis. Mathew’s hope is to establish a memory clinic specifically for the ageing Greek-Australian community to ensure that Greek elders receive the best possible standard of care should they encounter any form of dementia.

As part of his efforts to raise money for this very under resourced area of study, Mathew will be riding from Melbourne to Canberra over a period of eight days (approximately 750km) with his support team to raise money for the ageing Greek-Australian community on behalf of Alzheimer’s Australia.

Mathew will set off on his ride from Melbourne on Sunday 27th of November, during the opening ceremony of the Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower” 32nd Sister-Cities festival and arrive at Parliament House in Canberra where he will be greeted with a welcoming reception organised by Federal MP, Ms Maria Vamvakinou. While in Canberra, Mathew will act as an advocate on behalf of the ageing Greek Australian community and increase awareness in the area of multicultural healthcare issues.

So if you are interested in supporting Mathew on his compassionate journey, come to the Festival at Federation Square on Sunday 27th November 2016. It is bound to be a journey not only for research but also full of experience and wonder for Mathew and the Greek Community of Melbourne.


In the photos, Mathew is proudly presenting his idea, along with Bill Papastergiades (President Greek Community of Melbourne), Paul Mavroudis (President Thessaloniki Association), Hon Maria Vamvakinou (Federal Member of Parliament). Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis (City of Yarra Councillor)

Η Ένωση Θεσσαλονικέων “Ο Λευκός Πύργος” με περισσή περηφάνεια στηρίζει τον κ. Mathew Staios στην προσπάθειά του να συγκεντρώσει το ενδιαφέρον της κοινωνίας στη θεραπεία της νόσου Αλτσχάιμερ που είναι τόσο διαδεδομένη στην Ελληνική Παροικία της Μελβούρνης. Ο Mathew θα ξεκινήσει από τη Μελβούρνη και θα φτάσει μέχρι την Καμπέρα με ποδήλατο για να διακινήσει το ενδιαφέρον του κόσμου. Η εκκίνηση θα γίνει από το Federation Square την ημέρα του 32ου Φεστιβάλ Αδελφοποίησης της Μελβούρνης με τη Θεσσαλονίκη στις 27 Νοεμβρίου 2016.

Ο Mathew είναι νευρο-ψυχολόγος και κάνει το διδακτορικό του στο Πανεπιστήμιο Monash. Ελπίδα του είναι να δημιουργήσει μελλοντικά μια κλινική ειδικά για τους Έλληνες της τρίτης ηλικίας της Μελβούρνης όπου θα νοσηλεύονται με τις καλύτερες πρακτικές και διαδικασίες όσοι υποφέρουν από ανία.

Η Ένωση Θεσσαλονικέων καλεί τα μέλη της να στηρίξουν τον Mathew και την προσπάθεια που γίνεται. Θα βρισκόμαστε εκεί στο Φεντερέισον να τον ξεπροβοδήσουμε και να του ευχηθούμε καλό ταξίδι. Όταν με το καλό ο Mathew θα φτάσει στην πρωτεύουσα θα τον υποδεχτούν εκεί μέλη της κυβέρνησης συμπεριλαμβανομένης και της αξιότιμης κυρίας Μαρίας Βαμβακινού.

Εκδηλώσεις / Program 2016

The full program of events marking the 32nd Anniversary of Sister-Cities Melbourne & Thessaloniki, organised by Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower”.
Ακολουθεί το πρόγραμμα της Ένωσης Θεσσαλονικέων “Ο Λευκός Πύργος”, στην Αγγλική γλώσσα.


Taverna 2016

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Το πρόγραμμα στην Ελληνική

[gview file=”http://thessaloniki.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Thessaloniki-Program-2016_GR_final.pdf” width=”100%” height=”780″]

Πλατεία Μελβούρνης στη Θεσσαλονίκη

Νέος Κόσμος Μελβούρνης, Απρίλιος 2016

Melbourne Square Suggestions

Thessaloniki Association
"The White Tower"

Give us your opinion

Melbourne Square is a win for Thessaloniki Association. We would like to have your opinion on how to promote Melbourne and Australia in that part of the world. No promises but this is a call for those who wish to voice their opinion for consideration by the Thessaloniki Association Committee and the Victorian Government we're going to approach with the final decision.





YOUR SUGGESTION (Μπορείτε να γράψετε και στην Ελληνική)

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