Over 20 candidates of Greek background contested in this year’s federal election, but only a handful of them have emerged winners.
With over 15,000 votes counted as of Sunday afternoon in the Victorian seat of Calwell and 62% of the vote, it is safe to say that Maria Vamvakinou has secured yet another term in office.
The Labor member who has held the seat since 2001, has welcomed the win of her party saying that the incoming Prime Minister “understands migrant Australia.”
“Anthony Albanese has always had a close relationship with the Greek community. He has been a friend of Cyprus and has supported justice for Cyprus throughout his political life.
“Our new Prime Minister understands migrant Australia. As a child of migrants, I value the significance of having a Prime Minister with an Italian heritage. This reflects the coming of age of Australia’s post-war migrant nation building story.”
In a statement to Neos Kosmos following the election night, Ms Vamvakinou said that her electorate will benefit greatly from the Labor commitments in addressing the uncertainty facing people on temporary protection visas as well as access and equity issues affecting the broader community.
“This translates into the creation of jobs, affordable education and training, access to doctors and medical clinics, free childcare, safe, good qualify aged care, wages that keep up with the cost of living, affordable housing, and rebuilding Australia’s manufacturing sector.”
Labor’s Steve Georganas has also managed to secure a sixth term in office, retaining the safe Adelaide seat, previously held by ALP with margin of 8.2 %.
On Sunday afternoon, The South Australian was already leading by 19,837 votes ahead of Liberal opponent Amy Grantham.
“It’s a new beginning for a better progressive Australia. Under the Labor Government, led by Prime Minster Anthony Albanese, workers will have a government that will take real action on wages, job security, cost of living, strengthening Medicare and real action on Climate Change,” Mr Georganas told Neos Kosmos stating he was honoured to be representing Adelaide constituents in Canberra.
While the Liberal party suffered some unexpected defeats in the 2022 election, losing some seats considered very safe, Mitchell in NSW is not one of them.
Alex Hawke, whose mother was born in a village outside Thessaloniki, had been leading the race for the seat by at least 11,490 votes in the hours following Saturday’s election night.
Fiona Martin (Barbouttis) however appears to have lost the key inner-west Sydney seat of Reid to Labor’s Sally Sitou, who was leading by at least 8,000 votes with 87.5% counted.
The two had been involved in a fiery exchange during an election campaign debate, with Sitou accusing her opponent she had confused her with another Asian-Australian, and Martin denying the allegation and refusing to apologise.
Meanwhile, former senator’s Nick Xenophon’s comeback attempt has not been successful, sitting on 2.7% of the primary vote when counting was paused on Saturday night.
Beyond Xenophon, there were at least 7 more Greek Australian candidates for the Senate across Australia in this election, including Ian Markos (Liberal Democratic Party) also in South Australia, Ethan Constantinou (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party) and Νick Clonaridis (Informed Medical Options Party) in Victoria, Drew Pavlou (Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance) in Queensland, Kerry Georgatos (Independent) in WA, and ACT’s James Savoulidis (United Australia Party) and Andrew Katelaris (Legalise Cannabis Australia)