[Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]
Attendance at Greek school is a common expectation for young Greek children in Australia. Michaelis is attending Greek school to learn about the history, language and culture of his ancestry, but his mind is still on the escapades of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a TV serial he is fixated on.
The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop:
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ACARA neither endorses nor verifies the accuracy of the information provided and accepts no responsibility for incomplete or inaccurate information. You can find the unaltered and most up to date version of this material at http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Home
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Since 1945, about 6.9 million people have come to Australia as new settlers. Their contribution to Australian society, culture and prosperity has been an important factor in shaping the nation. After the Second World War, more than 160,000 Greek people came to Australia, working first in factories or farms as unskilled or semi-skilled labour. The Greek population in Melbourne constitutes one of the largest Greek settlements in the world. Refer to the Origins website, 'Immigrant Communities in Victoria' for further information at http://museumvictoria.com.au/origins/history.aspx?pid=23
Ask students to discuss their family's immigration history, if they were immigrants to Australia. Ask them to interview their parents, grandparents and perhaps great grandparents to find out how their family came to Australia. They could investigate the website Ancestry.com.au, http://www.ancestry.com.au for ideas and information on key elements, such as how to create a family tree or locate immigration history information.
Michaelis is depicted as a typical Greek child in the late 1950s. Throughout the episode he battles with his identity. Is he Australian, or is he Greek? Many immigrant families wanted their children to learn traditional customs and language, and to uphold their social and religious beliefs. Sometimes this is difficult in a new environment with different values and perspectives.
Michaelis attends Greek School to learn the Greek language of his heritage, but he would rather be watching The Adventures of Robin Hood on television. During class his teacher offers him a holy card of Saint Michael, the saint of warriors.