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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 - civics and citizenship, culture, diversity, feminism, identity, immigration, workforce, see all tags


An Australian Greek Wife

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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


Students evaluate Australia’s pluralist society and explore the responsibilities of young adults in contributing to a socially cohesive, democratic society.

Students recognise that acts of racism and prejudice constitute discrimination and participate in appropriate ways to prevent or counter these.

Students examine the development of multiculturalism in Australia.

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. In what ways does this video clip indicate the tensions of cultures that Toula feels? Why do you think she feels trapped between two cultures whereas her husband feels more relaxed?

2. Ask students to write their first impressions of the meanings of the words ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘assimilation’. Use a dictionary to write a dictionary definition. Investigate how the two words have been used in approaches to, and debates about, Australia’s immigration and citizenship policies over the past 100 years. Is there any evidence of the two philosophies being explored in the video clip?

3. Is there any difference in being called a Greek Australian, compared to being called an Australian Greek? Is either one, or both, or neither a form of racism or prejudice?

4. What is a ‘pledge’? Migrants to Australia are required to agree to uphold the values of Australia if they wish to become Australian citizens. Using the internet and other sources, investigate the wording of the current citizenship pledge. Do you think Toula or her husband would feel comfortable in agreeing to the pledge? Imagine that you have been asked to update the wording of the current pledge. In small groups, brainstorm ideas about what should be included in a citizenship pledge and write a new pledge suitable to be used at citizenship ceremonies.

Further Resources


Go to The National Centre for History Education, choose Units of Work: Making History, select Making History: Middle Secondary Units – Investigating People and Issues in Australia after World War II, and go to Sunny Australia?