Yianni is a first-year candidate for PhD in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He started a Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary Schooling)/Bachelor of Arts at Flinders in 2013, majoring in History and Modern Greek, and graduated in 2017.
He then completed his Honours year in 2018, focussing on the Chios Massacre (1822) and British Christian-humanitarianism.
Yianni has always had an interest in migration and Greek history, and during his undergraduate degree, he attended an in-country programme at the University of Crete with the Flinders Modern Greek department, as well as won the Wakefield Companion to SA History Undergraduate Prize for an essay on Greek migration.
His current project, ‘Aegean Islander Migration to the United Kingdom and Australia, 1815-1945: Emigration, Community Building and Integration’, explores the migration of Greek islanders to the English-speaking world between 1815 and 1945.
Yianni’s project focusses on two case studies in particular: Greeks from the island of Chios emigrating to London (1815-1900); and Greeks from the island of Ikaria settling in South Australia (1900-1945). The study discusses the reasons for emigration, methods of community building and integration into their respective places of settlement.
The National Archives Australia/Australian Historical Association (NAA/AHA) Postgraduate Scholarship is awarded to four postgraduate students nation-wide every year and helps them to access records held in the National Archives that they otherwise would not be able to.
It is awarded based on students’ prior achievements, the research value of their proposed study, the records required for their research, and the location of the student compared to the location of the records.
This year, due to Covid-19, the scholarship will be used mainly for the digitisation of records, rather than for physical research trips.
For Yianni’s research, the scholarship allows him to access and digitise records relating to his South Australian case study – the Ikarians. These include migration, shipping, naturalisation, sponsorship, conscription and employment records, which are held between Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. This will create a paper trail for him to trace the immigration, community building and integration of Ikarian migrants in South Australian society.
By obtaining these records, Yianni will also be able to understand and unravel some of the ways Greek migration happened during the early nineteenth century, seen through government policies, the methods of migration, and migrant demographics.
Yianni is extremely humbled and excited for winning this scholarship and looks forward to work closely with the NAA and AHA.
Yianni hopes that his future research will lead him to look deeper at a diverse range of diasporas and migrations, as well as the marks that different diasporas have left on Australia and the wider world.
Visit the NAA/AHA Scholarship blog post.