Greek Precinct, Melbourne
The Greek Precinct, Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, is a Greek cultural area centred on the eastern end of Lonsdale Street in the Melbourne city centre. The area runs adjacent to Melbourne Chinatown on Little Bourke Street.
According to the 2001 Australian census, Melbourne has the largest Greek Australian population in Australia (151,785 or around 47%), and the largest Greek population of any city in the world – outside Greece. Economic bilateral relations between Australia and Greece are worth over A$140 million.
Melbourne is also a sister city to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.
The Greek Precinct is located between Swanston Street and Russell Street, along Lonsdale Street, in the Melbourne city centre. It is home to many Greek restaurants and Greek cultural shops. Located on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Russell Street is the Greek Community Centre of Melbourne, and at 209 Lonsdale Street is the Sam Papasavas Building - the home of the Australia-Greek Learning and Resource Centre of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Located nearby, on the corner of La Trobe Street and William Street, is the Hellenic Foundation for Culture's centre and the Hellenic Museum of Melbourne. Both the centre and museum are housed in the historic former Melbourne Mint, and is contiguous with the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research of La Trobe University.
In March 2009, the Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne announced that the Greek Precinct would receive a A$3.5 million rejuvenation.
Antipodes FestivalThe annual Melbourne Antipodes Festival is held on Lonsdale Street over a week in March, and has been held since 1987. The festival is renowned for its Lonsdale Street "Glendi" (Greek for "party") - a weekend-long event that is held to coincide with the Greek National Day (25 March).
Antipodes brings a weekend of Greek culture, food and entertainment to Melbourne's historic Greek Precinct. The festival features three stages of free entertainment, children's rides and activities and over 60 food, drink and craft stalls.
The annual Greek Film Festival is held in Melbourne over two weeks in September, and has been held since 1990.