Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association Incorporated Queensland Chapter Launch
Mr Varitimos, Chief Justice Carmody, Chief Justice Kourakis, my colleagues, Justices Kiefel and Keane, your Honours, Mr Panna, ladies and gentlemen. My thanks to Justice Philippides for inviting me to launch the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association of Queensland. I also congratulate her on her appointment as its Queensland Patron.
I notice that when Chief Justice Kourakis launched the Association in Victoria in April 2014 he began by observing that it was probably important that, in accordance with Greek custom, he establish his Hellenic credentials. That was readily done beginning with the suffix ‘akis’ which indicates a Cretan heritage. He told of his grandfather’s travel from Crete to Ikaria and his father’s escape from the impending occupation of Greece before World War II and his migration to South Australia.
Sadly, I have no Hellenic qualifications. I have no Greek ancestry. I am not married to a Greek. I did not learn the Greek language, ancient or modern, although I became well acquainted with the Greek alphabet when studying physics and mathematics at the University of Western Australia. Every letter of it seems to designate an elementary particle or species of radiation or mathematical notation, as well as numerous astronomical bodies. And as a student I can still remember reading a plaque on the outside of the Physics Building at the University of Western Australia with the astonishing insight of the philosopher Democritus 2,500 years ago that:
In truth there are only atoms and the void.