Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has congratulated Professor Anastasios Tamis on the launch of his book, The Children of Aphrodite: Story of Cypriots in Australia, in Sydney, in a statement, and acknowledged the successful launch of the book in Melbourne last December.
Dutton also commended the Greek Festival of Sydney and the Cyprus Community of New South Wales for hosting the event.
“Congratulations to Professor Anastasios Tamis on the launch of his book… It is important to note that while the first Cypriots arrived in Australia in the late 19th century, many more came after the major policy change that was Australia’s post-World War II migration program, referred to as ‘populate or perish’,” Dutton added.
Dutton further highlighted the significance of Cypriot migration to Australia quoting Professor Tamis: ‘By 1949, 1500 Cypriots… had already settled in the vast country areas and various capital cities, building their communities, which flourished to become affluent and influential. Most of them during the first ten years of their settlement worked in the smelters, industrial manufacturing plants, the car and electrical industries, the railways and tramways, food processing and manufacturing industries and a number of government industries including electricity, post and infrastructure.’
‘As a former Minister for Immigration, I’m delighted that the story of Cypriot migration to our country – an important part of Australian history – has been published,” Dutton stressed.
“Professor Tamis has triumphed in his aim ‘to bring to light those persons and events that influenced the development of modern and contemporary Australia,” Dutton added.
“The Children of Aphrodite will not only appeal to Australians of Cypriot ancestry, but also to anyone who has arrived in Australia as a migrant or refugee and now calls our country home. Indeed, any Australian with an interest in our migration history will gain much from this fine read.”
Lastly, the former immigration minister praised Professor Tamis’ book for highlighting one of Australia’s greatest strengths – the social contract.
“This contract has welcomed people from all over the world to Australia, regardless of their backgrounds, and has offered them privileges, protections, liberties, and opportunities. In return, these migrants have integrated into Australian society, worked hard, and made significant contributions to the nation.
“Those migrants have integrated, worked hard, and been wonderful nation builders and nation contributors. The social contract of hospitality and reciprocity epitomises Australia’s multicultural success.
“The social contract of hospitality and reciprocity is a key factor in Australia’s success as a multicultural country,” Dutton stated.