Australia's Greek Cafe: revealing Athena

Leonard Janiszewski, Effy Alexakis

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteArticle


Men dominated early Greek migration to, and settlement in Australia. Greek men sponsored other Greek men to migrate out, primarily to work in the food-catering industry. The proprietors of Greek-run oyster saloons, refreshment rooms, soda and sundae parlours, milk bars and cafés, were, overwhelmingly, male. Kafeneia in Australia were established by Greek men for Greek men – for recreation and particularly as labour market supply points for work in food catering. Greek men have told their tales of Australia’s Greek cafés and their lives around their businesses. But theirs is only part of the story. Greek women did follow. They also have tales to tell. But like many other Greek diaspora histories globally, their voices are comparatively inaudible, essentially muted by the numerical dominance of the male experience, and often even gagged by traditional patriarchal subservience. In seeking to re-balance the gender perspective of Australia’s Greek café experience, this article is a timely reminder for gender inclusiveness when researching diaspora histories.
Original languageEnglish
VolumeSummer 2014/15
Specialist publicationaMUSine
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Greek migration and settlement
  • Greek women
  • Greek cafes
  • Greek diaspora
  • Greek-Australian history


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