about us


The Return to Anatolia Committee is comprised of members of the local Armenian, Assyrian and Greek communities, each of which members traces their roots from the region of Anatolia.

The history of Anatolia, ancient as it is vibrant, is shrouded in conflict and tragedy, the culmination of which, in the early twentieth century, was Genocide: a Holocaust against the Christian population of Anatolia.

With the migration of the Diaspora to Australia, the land of opportunity, the Anatolians of Armenian, Assyrian and Greek descent have maintained the memory and traditions of their place of origin whilst making a positive contribution to their new homeland.

It is the mission of Return to Anatolia to help merge this common historical heritage and utilise it to inspire and educate the wider Australian community about the tragic events which took place in this once great land.

Presentations by dedicated historians at our conferences have illustrated the universal themes of community, conflict, tragedy and survival which touch us all.


Return to Anatolia greatly appreciates the support of committee members, sponsors and friends who make our work possible. Every gift helps ensure that we can continue our work to successfully achieve our mission goal and continue to offer the highest quality of experiences back to the community through our events.




Greek flag

Greeks have been present in Anatolia (Asia Minor) for over 3000 years. The first Greeks settled in Asia Minor around the 12th century BC. The great age of Greek colonization however was in the period 750-550 BC when Greeks settled along the western shoreline of Anatolia in places such as Miletus and Ephesus. Around the 7th century BC, the Greeks of Miletus, in an attempt to control the Black Sea trade route to the north, colonized the city of Sinope which led to other cities being colonized such as Amisus and Trebizond along the Black Sea coastline.




assyrian flag

The Assyrians are an ethnic group whose origins lie in what is today Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, but many of whom have migrated to the Caucasus, North America and Western Europe during the past century.

Hundreds of thousands more live in Assyrian diaspora and Iraqi refugee communities in Europe, the former Soviet Union, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. As a result of persecution in the wake of the First World War, there is now a significant diaspora. Major events included the Islamic revolution in Iran,[18] the Simele massacre in Iraq, and the Assyrian genocide in what is today Turkey.

The latest event to hit the Assyrian community is the war in Iraq; of the one million or more Iraqis reported by the United Nations to have fled, nearly forty percent (40%) are Assyrian, despite Assyrians comprising only three to five percent of the Iraqi population.





armenian flag

The Armenians (Armenian: Hayer) are a nation and ethnic group originating in the Caucasus and in the Armenian Highlands. A large concentration of them has remained there, especially in Armenia, but many of them are also scattered elsewhere throughout the world (see Armenian diaspora). The Armenians have had a significant presence in countries such as Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Ukraine due to their proximity to Armenia. After the Armenian Genocide, a large influx of survivors fled to France, the United States, Argentina, the Levant and other countries that welcomed the Armenians. There are an estimated 8 to 10 million Armenians around the world.

Christianized in the early 4th century, Arsacid Armenia became the first Christian nation, although Christianity had began to spread in Armenia soon after Christ's death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, St. Jude and St. Bartholomew], thus most Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church. They speak two different, but mutually intelligible dialects of their language: Eastern Armenian, spoken mainly in Armenia, Iran and the former Soviet republics, and Western Armenian, spoken primarily in the Armenian diaspora.