My speech on the war efforts of Australians of Greek heritage - 24 October, 2017

I gave a speech in parliament about an event I attended hosted by the Lefkadian Cultural Association that highlighted the important contribution Australians of Greek heritage have made in our war efforts. One in particular, gunner James Zampelis whose ancestors came from my home  island of Lefkada.

James fought and died in the Battle of Crete - yet he was the only ANZAC of Hellenic heritage to do so. It was such an honour to see members of his family there on Sunday who were deeply proud of the honour bestowed on James.

In his message to the Lefkadian Cultural Association's event honouring James Zampelis, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP​ said:

'James' story and that of his parents is emblematic of many migrants who came to Australia, committed their lives to building and enriching our nation, participating in all aspects of our national life, and giving the ultimate sacrifice, fighting for the beliefs and values that we all hold dear.'

My condolences to the family of another Aussie digger Les Manning who died last week at the age of 104. Les was one of the last surviving ANZACs from the Battle of Crete, who was a longstanding friend of the Greek community and was revered by the Cretan community in Australia, particularly by those in Melbourne.