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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 - culture, diversity, identity, immigration, socialisation, 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


The focus of the study is the process of socialisation and the development and coming of age of individuals in a variety of social and cultural settings.

Outcomes – a student:
P2 identifies and describes relationships within and between social and cultural groups
P3 describes cultural diversity and commonality within societies and culture
P5 investigates power, authority, gender and technology and describes their influence on decision-making and participation in society

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. At first this clip seems to be about Toula’s work as a worker’s compensation officer but soon we find out that it is more about her identity and social self.
    1. What influence is Toula’s Greek background playing in the development of her identity and sense of self?
    2. Is is clear to what extent Toula’s search for identity is due to her feminism or her ethnicity? Explain
  2. Toula is in her thirties and yet still speaks of ‘needing to be me’. What does Toula’s story inform of about age and identity and the processes of socialisation?
  3. Do you share any similarities with Toula in terms of feeling pressured to act or be a certain way because of your cultural background? Explain.