The impact of the local Greek diaspora on Marrickville’s cultural fabric has been formally recognised: The stretch of Marrickville Road between Livingstone and Victoria roads has been declared “Little Greece” by the Inner West Council. The precinct’s new moniker was confirmed last week at a council meeting and will now be submitted to the Geographical Names Board, which officially assigns and records name and place details.
“Naming a section of Marrickville as ‘Little Greece’ is a gesture of respect to all the Greek migrants who helped establish the inner west as the birthplace of Australian multiculturalism,” said Inner West Council’s mayor Darcy Byrne in a statement. “By establishing ‘Little Greece’ in Marrickville, we have an opportunity to reinforce Marrickville as one of Sydney’s great cultural assets.
“This precinct will formalise the ongoing special bond that exists between Marrickville and the Greek-Australian diaspora.”
The precinct has been named Little Greece after consultation with the local community, which favoured the nomenclature over alternatives such as Little Athens.
Between the 1950s and 1960s Marrickville became home to up to one-third of Sydney’s Greek population. In the 2016 census 8.8 per cent of Marrickville’s residents identified as having Greek ancestry. And while in recent years the Vietnamese-born population has become prominent in the area, the Greek influence still remains in its restaurants, Greek Orthodox churches and delis.
“Greek Australians continue to be an important core to our community and local economy in Marrickville,” said councillor Sam Iskandar in a statement. “Marrickville would not be the vibrant community and suburb that it is today without the thousands of Greek Australians who have chosen the area to be their home. This announcement also importantly looks to the future and cements the ongoing place of Greek Australians in the inner west.”
The Inner West Council will host a community event to celebrate the naming of the precinct on March 25 – the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. It is also beginning to consult with the local Vietnamese community to name the Illawarra Road precinct – which is loaded with Vietnamese restaurants, cafes and grocers – in its honour.