Media Release by The Hon Craig Laundy MP

Greek Independence Day: Celebrating history and friendship

The Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Craig Laundy MP, attended the Greek National Independence Day celebrations in Sydney today.

Greek Independence Day this year commemorates the 195th anniversary of the Greek declaration of Independence on 25 March 1821. The day was marked in Sydney today with a memorial service, wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, and a procession to the Sydney Opera House.

Mr Laundy said Australia’s celebrations of important cultural days such as Greek Independence Day remind us that we are a migrant nation.

“Almost half of us were born overseas or have at least one parent who was,” Mr Laundy said.

“According to the latest Census (2011), about 400,000 people in Australia are of Greek background.

“The combination of our rich cultural diversity, social cohesion and economic prosperity is the envy of the world.

“Today we also mark the start of the War of Greek Independence and we pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for freedom.

“We acknowledge the contribution Greek Australians have made to our successful multicultural nation.

“Australia also shares a lasting friendship with the people of Greece, particularly since Allied forces battled on the front lines of World War II.

“Greek Independence Day is an opportunity for Australia to honour this friendship.

“I look forward to us continuing to build this relationship in the years ahead.”