Hellenic pride in young diaspora is healthy in part thanks to Greek Youth Generator (GYG) which came about during COVID-19 as a way for Greek youth to connect and GYG originated online. When Melbourne re opened in 2021 after two years of lockdowns, GYG grew from just a few members to more than 12, and shifted from online to in-person activities.

GYG is a non-for-profit organisation aimed at Greek-Australians 18-29 years of age. The group promotes Hellenic values and prides itself on doing things a little differently, to the other youth groups around.

GYG wants to fill a gap in the community where Greek-Australian university clubs do not impact. As an independent organisation, it welcomes Hellenes and Philhellenes who may not have followed a path to tertiary education, or those who have graduated, and are out of the university club scene.

Their Instagram post says it all: “We’re studying, we’re working, we’re chilling, we’re busy, we’re younger and we’re older… at Greek Youth Generator, we have a mish-mash of personalities and volunteer experience.”

GYG activities try to get to the root of what it means to be Greek-Australian. Committee member Angelica Mantikas, 22, said that, “GYG was started by people who had left “university trying to fill the gap or missing all those events, and also trying to do something other than a ball or a tavern night, but trying to actually engage with the culture and what it means to be Greek, and Greek-Australian as well. It’s not just, you know, partying and smashing plates.”

GYG aim to provide a variety of events that focus on culture and get back to the heart of what it means to be a Greek-Aussie.

In 2020 GYG produced as a project a mural in Yarraville. The artwork is of Greek gods set against a rainbow of colours and pays tribute to the Greek community of Yarraville. The mural was so well received it has inspired GYG to want to create more murals around Melbourne.

GYG’s proudest event to date was their ‘Meet n’ Greek’ networking event in collaboration with The Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HACCI), held in April 2022. The event gave 70 Greek-Australian youth (ranging from 18-29 years of age) the chance to meet with a select group of HACCI’s industry-leading mentors, networking with Greek-Australian businesses and professional communities.

“After we couldn’t have any events in COVID-19, to finally see something after all that work come out of it and to see young people are getting a chance to mingle with professionals, create these relationships, which I know a lot of them have actually followed through on which has been really lovely to see. I think that’s the most rewarding event from my perspective,”Angelica said.

GYG also produced a Greek-Australian icon series that celebrate Greek-Australians who have excelled in Australia . A cartoon icon of a famous Greek-Australian – sport and television stars, chefs and community leaders are created then promoted on social media, through printed stickers and posters. The icons seek to to inspire the next generation.

One icon is Greek Cypriot-Australian dessert chef Anna Polyviou.

Peter Giasoumi, 24, Peter told Neos Kosmos that “the feedback from the people that were featured in that series has been really good. I actually bumped into Anna Polyviou on the weekend. Peter retells that Polyviou said “Oh, that icon you did for me, that made my day, like that was absolutely amazing.”

“When she comes to Melbourne, she wants to catch up with the (GYG) team and, you know, that’s really encouraging because it builds those connections.”

GYG want to bring ideas to life and are open to new ideas and want to meet more young people.

For more information go to: https://gyg.org.au/ or Instagram: @greekyouthgenerator