Every person that walked through the Hellenic Museum’s doors last weekend was all smiles. For three days, the Museum showed Australia the best things that have come from 60 years of assisted migration.
The media had the first look on Friday at the new exhibition, “Through a child’s eyes”, which included a documentary, and 12 interviews of some of the most notable Greek Australians. The exhibition showed a shift in the usual exhibitions on show at the Museum, making use of interactive aspects. Saturday night was the black tie fundraiser, where a group of 200 invited guests including most of the notable Greeks in the exhibition.
The guests had the chance to hear the angelic voices of Maria Farantouri and Yiannis Kotsiras before their performance on Sunday in a more intimate setting. Along with amazing performances from a world class pianist and violinist, came a special treat. CEO John Tatoulis made the Minister of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras’ night when he announced for desert there would be Choc Wedges’.
In his interview, Kotsiras had admitted he never could afford a Choc Wedge as a child and instead settled with the cheaper and less enticing icy-pole. Sunday was the main event for the public, where thousands made their way down to the Hellenic Museum to catch a glimpse of the famous Maria Farantouri and Yiannis Kotsiras. Sadly, they had to wait more than two hours in the sun for them to get on stage, with the supporting acts making sure they got their two cents in. Anthea Sidiropoulos’ tribute to Costas Tsikaderis started the afternoon off, with special guest Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie (who happily renamed himself Spiros for the event) playing the didgeridoo. Out popped Christos Ioannides to perform his comedic tracks on migration, which had the crowd enraptured.
Then came his brother, Tassos Ioannides to perform specially written songs on migration for the event. His daughter, who performed on the Saturday, was downgraded to reading an overly melodramatic poem to put the songs in context. Finally Ms Farantouri took the stage, looking visibly older but still just as enigmatic. Her voice was just as crisp as her early days. Yiannis Kotsiras’ was the last to join the stage, and what a combination it was. The two voices melded together perfectly and didn’t falter once. Kotsiras’ famously long hair did become a character of its own in the wind, but that didn’t sway him.
All in all, the first time event showed a level of class unprecedented with Greek events in Melbourne. Congratulations to the Hellenic Museum and to their new exhibition. Here’s to a job well done. The exhibition Through a child’s eyes at the Hellenic Museum is open for six months and is free. For more information visit www.hellenic.org.au/