Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

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The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, headquartered in Sydney, is an eparchy of the Church of Constantinople. Its current primate is His Eminence Stylianos (Harkianakis), Archbishop of Australia and Exarch of Oceania.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Jurisdiction Constantinople
Diocese type Archdiocese
Founded 1924
Current bishop Abp. Stylianos
See(s) Sydney
Headquarters Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Territory Australia, New Guinea
Liturgical language(s) Greek, English
Musical tradition Byzantine Chant
Calendar Revised Julian
Population estimate 364,556

(Census 2001) to ~750,000 (Archdiocesan estimate)

Official website Greek Archdiocese


The first priest to serve in Australia was Archimandrite Dorotheos Bakaliaros around 1896. In 1898 the first Greek Orthodox parish was established, named after the Holy Trinity. Communities were originally supplied with priests from the Church of Jerusalem, and later the Church of Greece, and there was no attempt to organise the communities into a diocese.

In 1924, the Greek Orthodox parishes in Australia were transferred to the Church of Constantinople, who sent Christoforos (Knitis) to be the first metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand. He served until 1929 when he returned to Samos, his homeland. The next metropolitan was Timotheos (Evangelinidis), and he arrived in 26 January, 1932, serving until he was elected metropolitan of Rhodes in 1947. He was replaced by Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos), who served until his death in a car crash on 2 August, 1958. Ezekiel (Tsoukalas), then an assistant bishop in America, was elected metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand in February 1959, and arrived on 2 April 1959.

On 1 September of that year, the Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand was elevated to Archdiocese, and Ezekiel to Archbishop. Later, in 1970, the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople separated New Zealand from Australia, leaving the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand. In 1974 Ezekiel was promoted to the Metropolis of Pisidia, and the current Archbishop, Stylianos (Harkianakis), was elected on 13 February 1974 and enthroned on 26 April, 1975.

Recent History

In 2005, the Greek Orthodox Parish-Community of St George, Hobart, has suffered trauma due to the parish council deciding to break ties with the Archdiocese. The church building has gone to those ejected from the Archdiocese of Australia and are now affiliated with the Autonomous Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia (considered to be schismatic by the Patriarchate of Constantinople). The priest in Hobart, Fr Timothy Evangelinidis, remains under the Archdiocese and has begun a new parish of St George in Hobart.

In early February 2006 the new parish of St. Therapon in Warhoonga, in the northern suburbs of Sydney, celebrated their first Divine Liturgy.

St. Andrew's Orthodox Press recently (Feb-Mar 2006) published their first book, The Divine Liturgy of Our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, a bilingual text. See below.

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Antiochian - Metr. Basil
ROCOR - Met Hilarion
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GOM NZ - Met Myron

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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Ecclesiastical Organisation

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is treated as one single archdiocese with five archdiocesan districts: New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory; Victoria and Tasmania; South Australia and the Northern Territory; Queensland and New Guinea; and Western Australia. To assist the archbishop, he has a number of assistant bishops - currently three, but in previous times as many as five, overseeing the 118 parishes and communities across Australia.

The Archdiocese also includes 6 monasteries. The largest male monastery is the Holy Monastery of Pantanassa on the Central Coast of New South Wales, and the largest female monastery is the Holy Monastery of Gorgoepikoos in Geelong, Victoria.

Organisations of the Archdiocese

The Archdiocese has numerous successful organisations under its wings. Each of these organisations and schools have been built by donations of the faithful and by contributions by the Australian government.

In 1982, the Archdiocese began the St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney as a part of the School of Divinity of the University of Sydney. Archbishop Stylianos currently serves as the dean of St. Andrew's, while Bishop Seraphim serves as sub-dean. As the lone Orthodox Theological College in Australasia, it often accepts students of other jurisdictions. Approximately 100 students have graduated from St. Andrew's since its inception; of these, about 25 have been ordained as clergy, while others have become teachers in the Churches schools, catechists, chanters, or have continued into postgraduate studies. Under the auspices of the College is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Byzantine Music School, where students of the college and any other interested laity may learn Byzantine chanting in Greek.

Logo of St Andrew's Orthodox Press
St Andrew's Orthodox Press, was established to publish the VEMA newspaper, Phronema the academic journal of St. Andrews Theological College and The Voice of Orthodoxy the monthly journal of the Archdiocese. It has recently begun publishing books. The first book, The Divine Liturgy of Our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, has within it the Divine Liturgy, and also the dismissal hymns for Sundays and major feasts, prayers for the reception of Holy Communion, and the services of the Blessing of Loaves and Memorials. This is a bi-lingual edition, translated from the Greek by the Committee on the Translation of Liturgical Texts (chaired by Dr John Lee) into dignified modern English, with each language appearing on facing pages.

St. Basil's Homes (Australia), operate around Australia in each capital city since 1969 caring for all needs of the aged in their numorous facilities as well as delivering care into the homes of the Greeks under a variety of community care programs. St. Basil's cares for about 1200 aged Greeks in Australia. In 2006 St. Basil's commissioned a new $34 million state of the art facility in Miranda to the south of Sydney.

Logo of the Estia Foundation of Australia
The [Estia Foundation of Australia] offers respite to those caring for children and adults with disabilities, and currently cares for over 100 young people. A related organisation, the Provicare Foundation, has its main focus on drug and alcohol prevention, with telephone councelling and client visits.

The Archdiocese boasts seven bilingual colleges around Australia, including primary and secondary education, offered to both children of the Church and Australians alike. Each school has between 650-1000 students who enjoy education in all disciplines, including Greek language, culture and the Orthodox Christian faith.

Each parish in the archdiocese hosts any number of the following activities besides their usual worship and pastoral program. These include: Child Care centres, Greek language school, Companionship groups for the aged, infant play groups, teenagers groups, Bible Study, Orthodox Lecture series, Iconography courses, Church Chanting classes, Catechisms schools and social clubs, meals for the poor.

The Greek Welfare Centres, operating for over 35 years under government funding and charity in each capital city and other cities of Australia. The 150 staff of the Greek Welfare Centres around Australia offer a large variety of programs and catering for the enormous varience in the needs of the hundreds of clients that flow throught their offices and their satellite centres each week.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is also a founding member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia.

The Episcopacy

Diocesan bishops

Primates in Australia

External links