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The first Greek in South Australia
Port Adelaide 1842
Georgios Tramountanas was
born in Athens, Greece in
1822. He was from a family
of shipbuilders/seamen who
lived on the Isle of Limnos,
but also had family connections
to Salonika (formerly Thessaloniki).
The first Greek migrants to Australia were seven convict sailors convicted of piracy by a British naval court in 1829 and sent to serve out their terms in New South Wales. Though eventually pardoned, two of the seven settled in the country. The first known free Greek immigrant to Australia was Katerina Georgia Plessos (1809–1907), who arrived in Sydney with her husband Major James Crummer in 1835. They married in 1827 on the island of Kalamos where Crummer, the island's commandant met the young refugee from the Greek independence wars. She is thought to be one of the last people to speak to Lord Byron. They lived in Sydney, Newcastle and Port Macquarie where she is buried. They had 11 children. The first free Greek settler to South Australia was George Tramountanas who arrived in Pt. Adelaide in 1842. He was a Pastoralist on the West Coast of South Australia and eventually became a well-respected sheep farmer and prominent member of the Elliston District. He is revered by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia as their Pioneering Grandfather. Groups of Greeks then settled in significant numbers during the gold rushes of the 1850s. The 1901 census recorded 878 Greek-born, but this must surely omit a few hundred other ethnic Greek migrants from the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere. The expulsion of Greeks from Asia Minor in 1922 - 23 led to further Greek migration to Australia, primarily to New South Wales. These Greeks are difficult to trace but the number of Greeks from Greece proper had risen to 12,291 by the time of the 1947 census.
First Hellenes in Australia