Learning Difference in the Diaspora—Sharing Sacred Spaces

  • Georgina Tsolidis


In the immediate post World War Two period, Australian nation building relied on immigration to enact industrialisation. The place in contemporary Australia, of those whose families came from southern Europe during this period is a gauge for the success of an immigration programme that contributed to enormous demographic shifts. The experiences of the Melbourne Greek community represent the place of cultural diversity in the Australian social imaginary. Public pedagogies of belonging and how these manifest through spaces that link with national representations are examined. The Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance is positioned as a sacred space. It is symbolic of Australian nationhood through its links with the ANZAC tradition. Processions to the Shrine occur regularly and young people, through their schools, participate. The Melbourne Greek community marches to the Shrine to mark Greece’s National Day. On these occasions, young people become the focus of commemorative activities, thus the Shrine becomes a sacred space for inducting students into various national narratives. Here the focus is on how such occasions engage with the social imaginary of Australianness and through it, diasporic students’ identification.


Young People Public Pedagogy National Identity Collective Memory Greek Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported under Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DPO557512). The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the Australian Research Council.

The Greek community is understood to embrace the Cypriot community also. While Cyprus is an independent country, Greeks from Cyprus identify with the Greek community in formal and informal ways. This is illustrated by their participation in the procession that marks Greece’s National Day, where they march in the procession but do so behind the flag of Cyprus. The term ‘Greeks’ is used in this paper to embrace the community as a whole, while acknowledging that within it there is marked linguistic, historic, geographic and cultural diversity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of BallaratBallaratAustralia

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