The presence of traditional Greek songs in Australian school music classrooms: From Psaropoula to Ψαροπούλα

Jane Southcott, Maria Gindidis


Migrants have formed and enriched the social and economic fabric of Australia. Greek migration to Australia began early in the nineteenth century but remained limited until the 1950s when over 160,000 Greeks arrived. Currently the estimated Greek community exceeds 600,000 people, nearly half of who live in Melbourne, Victoria. Greek culture makes a significant contribution to Australian community life. Given this strong Greek presence in the Australian community, particularly since the mid-twentieth century, it is insightful to explore how Greek songs and their cultural context are presented to children in Australian schools. These offerings reflect Australia’s changing understandings of migration. Through the Greek songs offered to children in Australian schools it is possible to trace our changing understandings of linguistic and cultural diversity. As an example, this article traces the inclusion of Psaropoula in materials used in Australian schools.  In the twenty-first century Australia aspires to support the different cultural identity of all its citizens – school music mirrors these aims and tells us much about what we want our future citizens and community to be. 


multiculturalism; cultural and linguistic diversity; Australian school songs; Psaropoula; Greek-Australian culture and heritage

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ISSN: 1792-2518
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