The sister city relationship with Thessaloniki was formalised on 19 March 1984.
Hosting the largest Greek-speaking population outside of Europe, it is appropriate that Melbourne should have a strong and vibrant sister city relationship with a suitable Greek partner.
The city has been prominent since Alexandrian times. Over the years it has been occupied by Romans, Crusaders and Turks – Thessaloniki was, in turn, the co-reigning city of the Roman, Byzantine and Turkish empires.
Today it is still the second most important city in Greece. It is an administrative, political, economical, spiritual and cultural centre, has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and an industrial area that is the second largest in Greece.
Sister city logo
Thessaloniki is represented by the ‘White Tower’. The function of the Tower, which dates back to the 15th century, has changed many times and now houses Thessaloniki’s Byzantine museum.
For more information on the Thessaloniki Association visit www.thessaloniki.org.au
The Thessaloniki Association was created to bridge the distance between the two sister port cities. The association aims to foster greater cultural bonds between the city of their forefathers and the city where they now live.
Sister city news
30th Anniversary Celebrations
2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the Melbourne Thessaloniki sister city relationship. To celebrate this achievement the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr Yiannis Boutaris, President of the Thessaloniki Municipal Council Mr Panagiotis Avramopoulos and three councillors visited Melbourne.
Over the weekend of 22-23 November the group attended the 30th anniversary dinner and dance and Glendi Festival at Federation Square, both organised by the Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower.” The Mayor also spoke at the Jewish Holocaust Centre as he continues to formally recognise the contribution of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki.
On Monday 24 November the group met with City of Melbourne Tourism staff to discuss shared ideas and challenges concerning tourism in both cities. These discussions focused on volunteer management, the benefits of cruise ships especially as Thessaloniki is also a port city and the importance of targeting business event delegates to explore the city. Cr Spiros Pengas also met with members of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to learn how the festival is organised and discuss potential ideas for collaboration.
After these meetings the group met with the Lord Mayor and then the City of Melbourne hosted a function to celebrate the 30th anniversary. It was great to see so many prominent Melburnians from the Greek community at the function as well as some former Lord Mayors of Melbourne involved in creating the sister city relationship in 1984.
European Youth Capital 2014
As part of the Hamer Hall Digital Art Projection for the World AIDS Conference the City of Melbourne asked their sister cities to contribute to the project. Images were provided by Thessaloniki to promote the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship and Thessaloniki being the European Youth Capital 2014.
The projection was organised by YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), Australia’s only youth led HIV and sexual health promotion organisation and entitled ‘Honouring the Past & Hope for the Future: An AIDS Free Generation'.