Call Me Emilios
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‘Call me Emilios’
by Justice Emilios Kyrou
Justice Emilios Kyrou is a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He is the only Greek-born judge of a superior court in Australia. He was born in the village of Sfikia in northern Greece and migrated to Australia with his family in 1968 when he was 8 years old. In 1977 he was dux of Upfield High School and in 1982 he was the top law graduate at Melbourne University. He has received numerous awards, including the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour from the President of the Hellenic Republic. He is the patron of the Australian Greek Welfare Society and the Victorian patron of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.
‘Call me Emilios’ was published in 2012. It is a partial autobiography which describes the author’s early life in Greece, the migration process, the impact of racism on him when growing up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, and his initial rejection and subsequent reclaiming of his Greek identity and heritage. The title of the book relates to the author’s re-embracing of his identity in his mid-teens, when he abandoned his adopted name ‘John’ and asked people to call him by his real name, ‘Emilios’.
The book’s themes of personal and cultural identity, racism, family relationships and personal growth remain very relevant in today’s society. The book deals with growing up and school experiences and demonstrates in a direct and personal way the power of education. It is an inspirational story of a child migrant’s determination to succeed despite the barriers.
The book was translated into Greek by Georgina Dimopoulos and published in August 2015 with the title, ‘Να με λέτε Αιμίλιο’. It contains more photographs and discussion on life in Greece prior to 1968.
The Greek edition is ideal for first and second generation Greeks who have had a similar migrant experience to the author and who can relate to his family’s way of life in Greece. The book is also ideal for third and subsequent generations who are studying Modern Greek as it will enable them to expand their knowledge of the Greek language in a practical and enjoyable manner. The book will give students greater insight into their parents’ or grandparents’ migrant experience and their attitudes, concerns and priorities in life. Students will also learn about the customs and way of life in rural areas of Greece in the 1950s and 1960s and some aspects of Greek history, including the German Occupation of Greece and the Civil War which are told from the personal perspective of the author’s parents who were children at that time.
The Book will be launched in Sydney by Professor Vrasidas Karalis on Wednesday 30th September 2015 at 6.30pm at the Greek Bilingual Bookshop. Entry is Free. Tea and Coffee will be available free of charge.
Cafe will be open.
Please contact the Bookshop to further information or to RSVP on 95594424
EDUCATIONAL ATTRIBUTES OF ‘CALL ME EMILIOS’ AND ‘ΝΑ ΜΕ ΛΕΤΕ ΑΙΜΙΛΙΟ’
- The book deals with the author’s experiences as a child migrant which are likely to be similar to the experiences of students’ parents or grandparents. The book will give students greater insight into their parents’ or grandparents’ attitudes, concerns and priorities in life.
- Students will also learn about the customs and way of life in rural areas of Greece in the 1950s and 1960s and some aspects of Greek history. The German Occupation of Greece and the Civil War are told from the personal perspective of the author’s parents who were children at that time.
- The book deals with themes of personal and cultural identity, racism, family relationships and personal growth which remain very relevant in today’s society.
- The book deals with growing up and school experiences.
- The book demonstrates in a direct and personal way the power of education.
- Some students might be inspired by the story of a poor child migrant who, after arriving in Australia without any knowledge of the English language, graduated from Melbourne University as the top law student and became a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
- Students who read the English and Greek versions of the book will be able to expand their knowledge of the Greek language in a practical and enjoyable manner. The same story in both languages will enable students to compare grammar, syntax and forms of speech on subjects that will be of interest to them.