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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3682..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

development and when services were few and far between but she represented the backbone of her family, as well as contributing to the broader community.

She was always willing to share her love of learning. Particularly as an avid reader, Mrs Notaras readily passed on her knowledge to her children, her grandchildren and her friends. While the men in her family were out helping to build this city, Mrs Notaras and many other women like her were the nurturers, the unsung heroines who raised the children and provided support to every other member of the family who was working hard to make a living in a foreign and ever-developing city.

They were difficult and challenging times when women like Mrs Notaras played a pivotal role in their family's early grinding existence, survival and eventual success and prosperity. Despite those early hard and challenging times, over time Mrs Notaras formed strong bonds with many in the Canberra community that have withstood the test of time and have become entrenched in this great city's social structure. Mrs Notaras also found time to contribute much to the Greek Orthodox Church.

For a number of years she was the president of the ladies' auxiliary at the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, as well as assisting others in need. Mrs Notaras was often involved in fundraisers to help the less fortunate, and these qualities made her an institution of sorts—a larger-than-life character whose achievements are an inspiration and worthy of celebrating here today. The multicultural community is a very important part of the ACT and the role Mrs Notaras played was highly significant, making her an outstanding Canberran. What also made Mrs Notaras exceptional was that not only did she become a model Australian citizen but also she did not lose any of her Greek heritage. She tried to help everybody in the Greek community, especially new migrants. What an admirable achievement.

I am sure everyone here in the ACT Legislative Assembly and the wider Canberra community will join me today in hoping that Mrs Notaras's family will take comfort from the support and affection of friends and loved ones who also share their sadness and loss of a pioneering Canberran.

Death of Helen Notaras

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (6.02): I am very happy that Mr Hargreaves has mentioned Helen Notaras because she is the subject of my speech in the adjournment debate. Helen Notaras was born in Athens in Greece on 21 May 1911. She sadly died in Canberra on 12 November 2007. She arrived in Australia in 1927 aged 16 years and she spent her early years in Sydney with her uncle the late George Harris, one of the city's leading Greek identities. She worked in her uncle's butcher shop in Taylor Square, Darlinghurst, where she not only learnt every cut of meat but also gained an invaluable insight into the grassroots operations of small business and how early immigrants made their way in establishing themselves in Australia.

In 1933 she married the late Harry Notaras, Canberra's first Greek resident and business proprietor who in 1927 opened the Highgate Cafe in Kingston, a few months prior to Old Parliament House being opened. They were pioneer immigrants,


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