St. George Free Serbian Orthodox Church (Forrest, Australian Capital Territory)
The St George Serbian Orthodox Church in Forrest, Australia, was formed in 1955, ended in 1963, and resurrected in 1992. From 1963-1992, a group of former Yugolav Royal Military officers registered the 'Free Serbian Orthodox Church St George Inc' organisation with the ACT government, acquired land in the suburb of Forrest, built a church building, a hall which they call to this day 'Serbian Centre Draza Mihailovic', and a monument to Yugoslav General Dragoljub 'Draza' Mihailovic, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The First President of the Church-School Community (in 1955) was Vojislav Miletic, who, together with his wife Jelena, became a major benefactor to St Sava Monastery in Elaine, Victoria.
The interior of the church was painted by Czech artist Karl Matzek in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily in the Western mural style.
Since 1992, when the schismatic 'Free Church' came into the Serbian Patriarchal fold, it has been visited by several canonical Orthodox bishops, including the Serbian Patriarch Pavle in November 2004.
A sad chapter in the history of this church took place in August 2006, when Bishop Milutin took the unprecedented step of removing the antimins and thereby making it impossible for any liturgical services to take place in this historic church. The issue that sparked this action is reportedly due to the church's connection to the Serbian anti-communist freedom fighter Draza Mihailovic. In particular, a plaque carrying a dedication to Draza appears at the entrance to the church.
Bishop Milutin left the Diocese in September 2006, having presided for 3 years; he leaves behind a legacy that is filled with controversy and mistrust throughout the land.
- Fr Dusan Popovic (19??-1963)
- Fr Jakov Jovic 'prophet' (1992-2004)
- Fr Stanisa Ostojic (2004-2006)
- Parish now has no Priest (as at 17 July 2006)
Address: 32 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT
Postal Address: PO Box 3339, Manuka ACT 2603