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Kytherian Association of Australia

The Kytherian Association of Australia, had its humble beginnings in Sydney in May 1922 when several Kytherian expatriates met in an Oxford Street café to discuss the formation of a new fraternal association - which would function almost like a substitute family - to maintain and promote the diaspora’s links with the island of Kythera. Although small, the Kytherian community which existed in Sydney in the early part of the 20th century was tight-knit and very supportive. In 2012 the Kytherian Association in Sydney celebrates its ninetieth year as a prominent player in the broader Greek-Australian community.

The Kytherian wave of migration to this country is legend. By 1940 it is estimated that there were approximately 2,200 Kytherian settlers in Australia, mostly men and mostly arriving in Sydney before moving on to country towns in search of work. As the historian Charles Price wrote, the Kytherians had a special system of “business promotion”, a procedure where many newcomers started as assistant cooks, waiters and counter-boys in established restaurants, milk bars and cafes, and then moved on after a few years to their own little business in some other town, then gradually passed on from town to town, each time obtaining a larger and more prosperous business until finally many of them moved back to Sydney as men of means and substance. Kytherians were resourceful and industrious, because they had to be.