Australia Post is celebrating its bicentenary by calling on the Greek and other communities to submit letters that helped build this nation.
Talking to a gathering of ethnic media representatives, Australia Post Media Manager Alex Twomey said, “We want the public to send us copies of letters which maybe in people’s files or draws that express what Australia was really like from different times and from different groups.”
Australia Post’s Letters of a Nation is a partnership of the National Archives and the Royal Historical Society that aims to publish letters from all of Australia’s groups be they cultural, professional or regional.
Dr Hass Dellal the Director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation highlighted the importance of Neos Kosmos and the Greek community in this project, “There must great letters from various periods of Greek migration and settlement in Australia as well as letters to the editor at Neos Kosmos which will provide a incredible understanding of the way Australia may have been.”
He adds, “During difficult economic times, migrants maybe targeted yet these letters from individuals, business and organisations will reveal how important the Greek community’s contribution was in Australia.”
Mr Twomey highlighted how important these letters will be in defining different periods of Australia’s history, “We already have incredible letters revealing how people lived in the Great Depression, and in the post War boom, we have letters from business people, prime ministers, individuals and so on – this is the real and very human Australia we want to present as part of the Letters of a Nation website.”
Mr Twomey underscored the importance of the project as a national archive and looked forward to the Greek community’s contribution. All the contributions will be assessed by a panel of expert historians who will select 200 that will best represent our history.
Haystac Public Affairs will be coordinating the communications campaign, currently over 90,000 application forms have been printed and a significant promotional campaign will begin in the mainstream and ethnic media.
Australia’s first postmaster Isaac Nichols was appointed in 1809 and was a convict who became wealthy through his control of the colony’s early postal service.
Australia Post was once one of the largest government organisations in Australia, employing up to 70,000 people in the 1960s and also in charge of telecommunications.
Most Qantas flight paths are designed around Australia Post routes.
Letters of a Nation runs till September 25 for application forms or visit www.auspost.com.au/200year