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An Australian Greek Wife

Video clip synopsis – Toula, an Australian-born Greek wife, is a Workers' Compensation officer. Breaking free from traditional Greek women's roles, she desires a career and creative freedom.
Year of production - 1978
Duration - 2min 13sec
Tags - culture, diversity, gender, identity, immigration, multiculturalism, self concept, stereotypes, women, see all tags


An Australian Greek Wife

How to Download the Video Clip

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download clip icon Premium MP4 georgetoula_pr.mp4 (16.4MB).

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About the Video Clip


An Australian Greek Wife is an excerpt from the film George and Toula (10 mins), an episode of Our Multicultural Society Series 1 (11 × 10 mins), produced in 1978.

Our Multicultural Society Series 1 explores Australia’s cultural diversity. The 11 documentaries in this first series explore issues around identity, community, communication, and lifestyle. They consider specific problems or challenges faced by particular individuals or groups, and look at our similarities and differences. The people featured in the progams range from new arrivals and second generation Australians to Indigenous Australians.

Our Multicultural Society Series 1 was produced by Film Australia.

Curriculum Focus


This Digital Resource can be used to achieve the following outcomes:
H.5 A student analyses the effect of technology and medium on meaning.
H.6 A student engages with the details of text in order to respond critically and personally.
H.8 A student articulates and represents own ideas in critical, interpretive and imaginative texts from a range of perspectives.

This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies website for more information.

Background Information

Born in Australia, Toula is the daughter of a Greek-born father and an Australian-born mother from a Greek background but, by her own admission, she doesn’t feel comfortable in a wholly Greek environment. As a teenager she wanted to date but was pressured to marry instead. She’s been married ten years, has no children, lives in an apartment rather than a house, and works as a workers compensation officer — lifestyle choices that she feels attract the Greek community’s disapproval. Her husband George, on the other hand, is Greek-born — a welder who enjoys the races. The two don’t have much in common, according to Toula, who feels much greater ambivalence than her husband about the traditions in which she was raised.

Classroom Activities

  1. Discuss and write answers to the following questions.
    1. Toula represents a culture clash (traditional Greek wife versus modern Australian woman). Describe how she deals with this clash.
    2. What are predominant values and influences in Toula’s life — her belief in equality? Her feminism? Her relationship with George? Her Greek culture? Her Australian culture? Justify your answers.
    3. What are the costs and what are the benefits, to Toula for what she is doing?
  2. In small groups prepare a set of five questions that explore aspects of identity, the experience of life as a migrant and life in a multicultural society.
    1. As a class pool these questions and come up with a series of comments about life in Australia for a migrant.
    2. Compare these comments with a literary text, such as a film or novel that deals with migration or an everyday text, such as an official government website. Discuss the differences and similarites.
  3. Imagine that Toula is viewing the video clip today —30 years later. Write a 500-word monologue on what she might say. To do this you will first have to decide Toula’s situation today.

Literacy Activity: Focus = Listening / Reponding

  1. What job does Toula do? (1 mark)
  2. Why is she doing something ‘totally out of the ordinary’? (1 mark)
  3. Why is she determined to succeed? (1 mark)
  4. Why do we see a close-up of the books? (1 mark)
  5. What does she mean when she says; “I don’t want to be an appendage of a man”. (1 mark)

Further Resources


Drama Feature
Jan Sardi (director), Love’s Brother, Palace Films, Sydney, 2004

Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alibrandi, Penguin Books, Australia, 1992