Immigration of Asia Minor Greeks to Australia

By Stavros T. Stavridis

The scanned image below is from the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research (N.C.H.S.R), Australian Archives collection. This document is only small sample of the many thousands of pages that are accessible on the Internet for researchers and general public. The N.C.H.S.R is an autonomous research centre, within Latrobe University, specialising in the study of Greek immigration and settlement to Australia. (

The Levant Express shipping agents wrote a letter dated May 21, 1928 to the Australian Minister for Agriculture pointing out that there were Asia Minor refugees who wanted to migrate to Australia. These individuals were agriculturists specializing in tobacco planting, lumbermen and farming-potatoes, cereals, vegetables and vinedressing. It is interesting to note that the tobacco planters originally came from Samsoun and Bafra regions of Pontus. Prior to the Asia Minor catastrophe of September 1922, the American firm-Alston Tobacco-had substantial tobacco interests in the Samsoun region. They also employed many Greeks.

Many Asia Minor Greeks and Armenians found it difficult to obtain suitable and long-term employment in Greece. For many of these unfortunate individuals migration to Australia, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand and South Africa offered them the opportunity to commence a new life and to improve their socio- economic position. The Australian Government wasn’t very keen on Greek migration to Australia. It preferred migrants from Britain who were considered kith and kin. The Levant Express shipping agency stood to gain financially, if the Australian Government granted visas for these Asia Minor refugees to resettle in Australia.

About the Author

Stavros Terry Stavridis was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1949 of Greek parents. He migrated to Australia with his parents in September 1952. Stavros has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Political Science/Economic History and B.A (Hons) in European History from Deakin University and M.A in Greek/Australian History from RMIT University. His MA thesis is titled "The Greek-Turkish War 1919-23: an Australian Press Perspective."

Stavros has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, lecturing at University and TAFE (Technical and Further Education, the equivalent of Community College in the US) levels. He has presented papers at international conferences in Australia and USA and has also given public lectures both in Australia and on the West Coast of the US. Many of his articles have appeared in the Greek-American press. He currently works as a historical researcher at the National Center for Hellenic Studies and Research, Latrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

Stavros' research interests are the Asia Minor campaign and disaster, Middle Eastern history, the Assyrian and Armenian genocides, Greece in the Balkan Wars 1912-13 and the First World War and history in general.

Readers interested in the works of Stavridies may read more of his fine articles posted on HCS at the URL

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