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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

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

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


Reading standard: Students read, view, analyse, critique, reflect on and discuss contemporary and classical imaginative texts that explore personal, social, cultural and political issues of significance in their own lives.

Writing standard: Students write sustained and cohesive narratives that experiment with different techniques and show attention to chronology, characterization, consistent point of view and development of resolution.

Speaking and listening standard: When engaged in discussion, they compare ideas, build on others’ ideas, provide and justify other points of view, and reach conclusions that take into account of aspects of an issue.

The activities in this learning module are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strand of Level 6 Communications (Listening, viewing and responding standard; Presenting standard) and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, processing and inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Interpersonal Development (Building social relationships standard; Working in teams standard) and Personal Learning (The individual learner standard; Managing personal learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority 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.

Further Resources


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

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