About 2000 people gathered in Oakleigh to mark Greek Easter celebrations.
Held at Eaton Mall on Sunday, April 12, the event featured a spit roast lunch with souvlaki, gyros and salad.
A DJ played music during the day and, at 3pm, a live band played for an hour and a half.
Greek radio station 3XY, Radio Hellas, conducted a live broadcast from Eaton Mall where they interviewed dignitaries and community members.
Members of the Greek and broader community also took part in traditional dancing.
Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said the day was designed to include people of Greek and other backgrounds.
“The event was about bringing people together to enjoy old friends, make new ones and celebrate a special day in the Greek calendar,” he said.
“Our event was also about looking out for those people who may be far away from family and friends or who may not have anyone to enjoy a meal with.
“It was a fantastic day with a great atmosphere of friendship and celebration with many people from many different cultures.”
Several community leaders attended the event including The Greek Ambassador to Australia, Haris Dafaranos and his wife Eva, Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, Federal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer, Federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke, and Member for the Southern Metro Region Margaret Fitzherbert.
Monash councillors Rebecca Paterson, Brian Little, Theo Zographos, Robert Davies and the Mayor of Kingston Geoff Gledhill were also in attendance.
Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos said Easter was a very important time for many people in the community.
“Greek-Australians celebrate Easter very much like people of other nationalities. We all have different traditions, but the essential spirit of Easter is the same,” he said.
“There is always a great buzz around Oakleigh during the Easter period. It’s an amazing time for friends and family to come together to celebrate.”
Federal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer said the Greek Easter event in Oakleigh was about gathering everybody together.
“This is a day of celebrating our two cultures – the Greek culture and the Australian culture. Both of these cultures have in common a love of family, a love of food and a love of celebration,” she said.
Federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke said Easter was about “celebration, renewal, and new life”.
“It’s wonderful that, as a community, we come together to not just share culture but faith. It’s breaking down those barriers and us understanding each other’s faith and culture is what makes Australia the great place it is to live.”