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Ioannou, Varvara (1953 - )

2004 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Human Resources Consultant, Educator and Human Rights Advocate
Alternative Names
  • Athanasiou-Ioannou


Varvara Ioannou arrived in Melbourne in 1972 and has been instrumental in the evolution of multicultural policy in Victoria. Committed to social justice and human rights for migrant women refugees and other disadvantage groups, Varvara has worked hard towards changing the policy of assimilation (which governed relationships with and between culturally and linguistically diverse groups until the 1970s) to one of inclusiveness. Her work in industry and the community is based upon encouraging and celebrating diversity. Most recently, she has worked as the 'Get a Balanced Life' Program Manager at Australia Post in Victoria. In terms of her community work, her most recent achievement is the establishment of a Greek women's network called 'Food for Thought'.


Varvara Ioannou arived in Australia from Greece at the age of nineteen. After completing a teching diploma, she then went
on to undertake a Bachelor of Education at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Victoria, followed by a masters degree. Varvara also developed skills in the Human resources area.

Varvara has worked extensively as an educational and human resources consultant. She wrote, initiated and implemented policy for the Victorian Department of Education that dealt with managing cultural change in schools that were introducing languages other than English frameworks. She worked with the Ethnic Education Services of the Victorian Department of Education and wrote national curriculum on teaching Greek from prep to year 8; a model that was then adopted for use in sixteen other languages. She has taught in schools with culturally and lingusitically diverse populations, helping them to implement new, inclusive curriculum.

In 1996 the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoia nominated Varvara to represent women of Greek background from Oceania at the International Conference held in Greece by the world Council of Hellenes Abroad. In 1999 she was elected to the eleven-member board of the World Committee for Hellenic Women Abroad.

Through the Cultural Association of Hellenic Women of Victoria, Varvara has been the founder of a unique initiative called 'Food for Thought Network', a women's network with a developmental focus in the areas of work, family, language, culture, health and wellbeing.


Inducted onto Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry: Victorian Women's Honour Roll>:, [Accessed 2006-01-24].

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