Nektaria McWilliams is a PhD student at Oxford Brookes University researching cinema-going, Greek diaspora, identity and cinematic memory in 1960s-1970s rural South Australia. Her areas of interest are the recording, collecting and archiving the social histories and memories of post-war, working-class, Greek film audiences in a rural and geographically isolated, Australian setting.
Growing up as a child of first-generation Greek-Australian migrants had countless privileges. But being different from the dominate white demographic was something I did not look too favourably upon, at that time anyway. Whiteness was all over Australian television screens as programmes were mostly British or American imports, with some Australian soaps, drama series or entertainment shows, so it was difficult to feel anything other than different. But when sitcom Acropolis Now (1989–1992) came on Australian TV, I found I could relate to and identify with the on-screen characters, for the very first time. They were mostly working-class, second-generation Greek-Australians – the children of Greek migrants to Australia, and I saw a reflection of my own culture, history, family and difference, which was enormously important for my teenage sense of identity and cultural belonging.
This self-reflexive approach of writing about Acropolis Now, is as important a subject now as it was then. Back then, the show was like a companion, a good friend who would come to visit once a week in small, white, country town Australia. What is more, it came with an imagined community of thousands of other second-generation Greek-Australians who, like me, were trying to make sense of the world and where to fit in it, particularly given we were “white,” but also considered ethnically different. Revisiting the show years later was like reuniting with an old friend, only to discover we had both moved on. What follows is a brief account of this friendship. ... More