The Cretan Association of Sydney and New South Wales Limited is a not for profit organisation, established in late 1959 by Greek migrants from the island of Crete. The Association became a place where migrants and their families could come together and be part of a Cretan community in Sydney.
Today, the Cretan Association remains a community of 1st, 2nd and even 3rd generation Greek Australians. With approximately 400 members, and over 800 families and friends of members that attend our events every year, the Association is still a place where they can express their culture, and learn about their history and traditions.
Shortly after the association’s creation, a dancing group was established. Every Friday night at Ashbury, we hold traditional Cretan dancing lessons for our youth and currently have over 90 dance students. We also hold a variety of events throughout the year including periodical dinner dances and taverna nights, with authentic Cretan food and live traditional Cretan music.
One of the main aims of the association is to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Crete. Every year we organise and participate in several events to commemorate the Battle of Crete including the cenotaph ceremony in Martin Place, our Annual Ball as well as commemorative church services at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Redfern and Garrison Anglican Church.
For many years the association has also invited military officials to participate in the commemorations representing the Greek armed forces. Throughout the year, we also participate in the commemorations for Greek National Independence Day, “Oxi Day” and the Holocaust of Arkadi. Our dancing groups perform at many other community performances including Greek festivals, church feast day festivals and private functions throughout the year.
We also have the honour of being one of the few non-military organisations permitted to march at the Sydney ANZAC Parade due to the involvements of the ANZACs in the Battle of Crete. The Cretan Association is a member of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand and sends representatives and dancing groups to attend annual Federation Conventions, attended by members of Cretan Associations and youth from all around Australia and New Zealand.
The Cretan Association is managed by an Executive Committee, made up of 11 members, who organise and coordinate all the events held throughout the year. The Association also has a Youth Committee, made up of 7 youth members who actively organise events and outings for the youth throughout the year. Being a not for profit organization we rely on the generous support of our members to function.