Timeline of Orthodoxy in Australia

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Pre-Diocesan Era

  • 1820 April: First Orthodox service in Australia. Held at Kirribilli Point (Sydney) by Fr Dionisii, a Russian Orthodox chaplain on the Vostok.
  • 1868: Fr Christoforos Arsenios settles at Clermont in Central Queensland. No record exists of any services conducted.
  • 1896: Archimandrite Dorotheos Bakaliaros is first resident priest who functions as such. Conducts services in Melbourne and Sydney
  • 1897: Greek Orthodox communities in Sydney (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria) become established.
  • 1898 May 29: Foundation stone laid in Sydney of the first Greek Orthodox Church in Australia. Dedicated to Holy Trinity.
The Church of Jerusalem appoints Fr Seraphim Phocas to Sydney and Fr Athanasios Kantopoulos to Melbourne.
  • 1900: Foundation stone laid in Melbourne. Dedicated to the Annunciation.
  • 1902: Church of Greece takes responsibility for Greek parishes in Australia.
  • 1903: Fr Nikandros Bettines arrives in Melbourne from Zakynthos, sent by the Archbishop of Athens.
  • 1908: Ecumenical Patriarchate grants jurisdiction of Greek parishes in Australia to the Church of Greece.
  • 1920 May 24: First Antiochian Orthodox parish in Australia. Fr Nicholas Shehadie is the first priest.

Ausralasian Diocesean Era

  • 1924 Mar 7: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand established by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Jul 8: Metropolitan Christoforos (Knitis) of Australia and New Zealand arrives.
  • 1928: Metropolitan Christoforos (Knitis) leaves for Samos.
  • 1931 Sep 18: Timotheos (Evangelinides) elected Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • 1932 Jul 26: Metropolitan Timotheos (Evangelinides) arrives in Australia.
  • 1947 Apr 22: Archimandrite Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos) elected Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • 1948 Nov: Bishop Theodore (Rafalsky) arrives in Australia.
First Ukrainian Orthodox services held in Canberra by Fr A. Theodorovych.
  • 1949: First Serbian Orthodox services held by Fr Sv. Sekulic.
  • 1950: First Bulgarian Orthodox parish in Melbourne.
  • 1952: First Estonian parish established by Fr D. Juurma.
  • 1958 Aug 2: Metropolitan Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos) killed in car accident in Melbourne.
  • 1959 Apr 27: Metropolitan Ezekiel (Tsoukalas) of Australia and New Zealand arrives in Australia.
Sep 1: The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand becomes the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, and Metropolian Ezekiel becomes Archbishop.
  • 1961: St Andrew's Brotherhood set up by Archbishop Ezekiel for the improvement of Archdiocesan services.
Jan: First Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
Jun 19: Land purchased for St George Monastery, Springwood.
  • 1965: Second Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
  • 1969: Metropolitan Iakovos of Philadelphia arrives as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Australian Archdiocesan Era

  • 1970: Sister Dorothea places St Basil's Homes for the Aged under the patronage of the Archdiocese.
Jan: New Zealand seperated from the Greek Orthodox Archdicoese of Australia, and becomes a seperate Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand with jurisdiction over Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea.
  • 1972: Third Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
Nov: First Antiochian Orthodox hierarch, Bishop Gibran (Ramlaoui) of Australia and New Zealand, arrives in Australia.
Dec 20: First Romanian Orthodox parish established in Carlton, Melbourne. Dedicated to Ss Peter and Paul.
  • 1974 Dec 30: First Serbian Orthodox hierarch, Bishop Nikolai (Mrdja), enthroned.
  • 1975 Feb 13: Metropolitan Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Miletoupolis elected Archbishop of Australia.
Apr 15: Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia arrives.
26: Archbishop Stylianos enthroned.
  • 1979 Sep 22: Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia established, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Archbishop of Australia as chairman.
  • 1981 Jan: Fourth Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
  • 1982: First National Youth Conference held at University of Melbourne. Resolution passed to hold National Youth Conferences every second year thereafter, with State Youth Conferences held on the alternate year.
  • 1983: St Andrew's Brotherhood revived and better organised by Archbishop Stylianos.
  • 1984: Second National Youth Conference held in Sydney.
  • 1985 Jan 27-29: Fifth Clergy-Laity Congress held in Brisbane, Queensland.
May: Construction of St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College commences. College prepares to open in 1986.
  • 1986 Feb: St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College begins teaching.
Third National Youth Conference held in Melbourne
  • 1989 Jan: Sixth Clergy-Laity Congress held in Melbourne.
Fourth National Youth Conference held in Melbourne
  • 1991: Fifth National Youth Conference held in Adelaide
  • 1994: Sixth National Youth Conference held in Brisbane
  • 1993 Jan: Seventh Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
  • 1996 Nov: First Visit of Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • 1998 Jan: Eighth Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
Seventh National Youth Conference held in Sydney
  • 2002: St Andrew's Orthodox Press established to publish The Greek-Australian Vema, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese.


Further Reading