Greek Pioneers in Western Australia

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University of Western Australia Press, 2002 - Greek Australians - 305 pages
Greek immigrants and their descendants constitute one of the earliest and most successful ethnic groups in Western Australia. Even before the large immigration program following World War II, Greeks had roots in the state extending back to the 1870s. In the late nineteenth century the earliest Greek arrivals came from the Aegean and Ionian Islands, sometimes by way of Melbourne and Sydney. Most went directly to the goldfields, where they became storekeepers and merchants. A few stayed in Perth and Fremantle. These pioneers established the foundations upon which later generation Greeks in Western Australia built their achievements. This book is based on the progress and experiences of the small groups of Greeks who settled in the strongly pro-British state before 1947. Interviews with many pre-war settlers and extensive documentary research into policy and attitudes towards non-British migrants provide a broad analysis of the nature and extent of the difficulties and achievements of Greek pioneers in Western Australia. The book affirms the central role of their diverse community network - church, Hellenic organizations, "kafenia" - in adaptation and in maintaining a Greek identity in an often hostile environment.

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