Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

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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 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.


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.

In 1979, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia was a founding member of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia, with its archbishop being made permanent chairman of SCCOCA.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Recent History

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.

This article forms part of the series
Orthodoxy in Australia
Orthodoxy in Australia Timeline
Statistics of Orthodoxy in Australia
Antiochian Orthodox
Gk Orthodox Archd. of ANZ
GOA Aus - Abp Stylianos
Antiochian - Archim. Basil (Patr. Vicar)
ROCOR - Met Hilarion
Serbian - Bp Siluan
Romanian - Bp Michael
Without local bishop
Pan-Orthodox Synaxes
Episcopal Assembly SCCOCA
Antiochian Orthodox
Greek Orthodox (Aus)
Notable Monasteries
St Anna
Holy Cross
O.L. of Kazan
Proph. Elias
St John Mtn
St Sava (Elaine)
Complete List
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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.

Educational Institutions

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.

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.

Byzantine Chanting

Byzantine chanting is a key part of liturgical services in the Archdiocese. Two performance choirs have been formed: the Byzantine Ecclesiastical Choir "Saint John of Damascus" in Adelaide under Elias Frangoulis, the Archon Protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia; and the Australian Byzantine Choir in Sydney, now under George Combis, which in addition to performing, first provided a place for Sydney's chanters to be taught, and then provided two of the three teachers for the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music, established in 2005 under the auspices of the Theological College. Both choirs, and the school, teach and perform Byzantine chanting in Greek.

Publishing Institutions

Logo of St Andrew's Orthodox Press
St Andrew's Orthodox Press, established to publish the TO VEMA newspaper [1], Phronema and The Voice of Orthodoxy, 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.

Philanthropic Institutions

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.

Parish-run Organisations

Each parish in the archdiocese hosts any number of the following activities besides their usual worship and pastoral program. These can include: child care centres, Greek language school, companionship groups for the aged, infant play groups, teenagers groups, Bible study, Orthodox lecture series, iconography courses, Byzantine chanting classes, catechism schools, social clubs and 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.

Logo of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.jpg
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Archdiocesan Organisations
Educational Institutions
St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College
Philanthropic Institutions
St. Basil's Homes | Estia Foundation | ProviCare Foundation
St. Andrew's Orthodox Press
Phronema | TO VEMA | The Voice of Orthodoxy
Byzantine Music
Byzantine Music School | Australian Byzantine Choir, NSW
Saint John of Damascus, SA | David the Psalmist, Vic.

The Episcopacy

Current Episcopacy

Primates in Australia

External links