The very first Antipodes Writers Festival kicks off on Friday 15 June with award-winning author Christos Tsiolkas in conversation with Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne, Nikos Papastergiadis, where they will be exploring Writing, Multiculturalism and Cosmopolitanism.
The Festival, convened by Melbourne writers and academics Helen Nickas and Konstandina Dounis, presents one solid weekend of back-to-back sessions by some of Melbourne’s favourite writers within the Greek and wider community, with a sprinkling of interstate guests.
“The inaugural Antipodes Writers Festival has been met with much enthusiasm from Melbourne’s literary community. In a heartening sign of their support for the event, some of Melbourne’s best loved Greek-Australian writers will be coming together in June, and we urge all Melburnians to head to The Wheeler Centre for a weekend of inspiring and captivating sessions covering a wide array of topics,” said Leonidas Vlahakis and Tammy Iliou, co-chairs of the Antipodes Festival.
The program of fifteen sessions will be covered by over fifty writers from different generations, and is guaranteed to appeal to a diverse audience. Prominent names include: writer and academic Vrasidas Karalis (Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris, A History of Greek Cinema); journalist and writer Angela Pippos (The Goddess Advantage); novelists Dmetri Kakmi (Mother Land) and John Charalambous (Two Greeks); poets Angela Costi, Tom Petsinis, and Tina Giannoukos; actor and playwright Victoria Haralabidou (Blessed, Brides); senior journalist with The Australian and author, George Megalogenis (The Australian Moment), and many more.
Special events will include; a special tribute to one of Australia’s best-loved storytellers, Arnold Zable (Sea of Many Returns, Cafe Scheherazade, The Fig Tree) for his memorable portrayals of aspects of Hellenism in his novels, and a concluding event showcasing writers Dina Amanatides, Nikos Nomikos and Antigone Kefala who have portrayed the immigrant experience in all its rich and diverse manifestations.
Official bookstore for the festival, Readings will be setting up a pop-up bookstore at The Wheeler Centre across the weekend for people to purchase any work from the writer’s featured.
“Readings are thrilled to be the booksellers at the inaugural Antipodes Writers Festival. We look forward to supporting and celebrating over fifty established and emerging writers within the Greek community at this exciting literary event,” said Mark Rubbo (OAM), MD, Readings.
All sessions are in English unless otherwise stated and all are free, with only two ticketed events in the program.
The Antipodes Writers Festival will be held 15-17 June at The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. For tickets and more information visit and

Antipodes Writer’s Festival program

FRIDAY 15 JUNE: Opening Event
7:00 pm
Writing, Multiculturalism and
Christos Tsiolkas in conversation with Nikos Papastergiadis
($25 Full/ $20 Conc – includes a glass of wine and canapes)
Saturday 16
10:00 am – 11:00 am
(bilingual session)
Female Perspectives:
love, relationships, and the question of language
Panayiota Pixie Trangas,
Konthilo (Kon) Armatas, Melpomene Selemidis, Dorothy Poulopoulos
Chair: Tina
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Greek-Australian Cultural Landscapes:
interweaving identity and memory
Thalia, Thomas Papathanassiou, Erma
Vassiliou, Andreas Litras Chair: Konstandina Dounis
1.00pm – 2:00pm
(bilingual session)
How it all Began: Greek voices in Australia

Ekaterini Mpaloukas, Koula Teo, Kyriakos Amanatides (on Stathis
Raftopoulos), Thimios Haralambopoulos Chair: Nikos Piperis
2:00pm – 3:00pm

The Byzantine Mind: celebrating the wisdom of invisible people
Karalis in conversation with Dmetri Kakmi
3:30pm – 4:30pm
Women Writing
for Theatre and Film: of personal stories and universal themes
Lyssiotis, Victoria Haralabidou, Helena Spyrou on Anna Kannava Chair: Angela
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Writing the Past: fact, imagination and
Tom Petsinis, Peter Lyssiotis, Dmetri Kakmi, Angela Costi
Chair: Helen Nickas
7:00 pm
A tribute to master storyteller Arnold Zable

presented by Konstandina Dounis (Tickets $12/$9)
Sunday 17 June
am – 11:00 am
(bilingual session)
Building Bridges: translation in
multicultural Australia
Thanasis Spilias, Konstandina Dounis, Dean
Kalimniou, Helen Nickas Chair: Vrasidas Karalis
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Orthodox and Unorthodox: religion in Greek-Australian writing
Petsinis, Dean Kalimniou, George Athanasiou, M. G. Michael Chair: Nick Trakakis

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (bilingual session)
Writing in Melbourne: immigrant
intersections with an adopted city
George Zangalis, Dionysia
Mousoura-Tsoukala, Ioanna Liakakos, Chris Fifis Chair: Cathy Alexopoulos

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Political Perspectives, Personal Narratives
Megalogenis in conversation with Kostas Nikolopoulos
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Ties that Bind: of families, journeys and belonging
Angela Pippos,
Jeana Vithoulkas, John Charalambous, Helen Arthurson Chair: Victoria
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Generation Next: Greek-Australian poetry
of the new generation
Tina Giannoukos, Koraly Dimitriadis, Luka ‘Lesson’
Haralampou, Melissa Petrakis Chair: Nick Trakakis