Maria was born in Athens and came to Australia at a young age with her mother. They were reunited with her father, an industrial chemist, who had migrated to Sydney a few years earlier. Maria grew up in Newtown when it was predominately Greek and has fond memories of the area.
She spent a gap year in Athens working as an administrative assistant in the Australian Embassy where she experienced first hand the impact of 1974 invasion of Cyprus. On first day of the invasion cab drivers in Athens refused to take her fare because they thought she was an American - part of the NATO alliance that supported Turkey against Greece. On the same day shops in Athens had been cleared and the normally bustling streets were empty. It was a very frightening experience but nothing compare to the unceasing bombing by German planes that Greece endured during the Second World War.
Upon her return to Australia she attended the University of New South Wales where she graduated with honours in History. Her Honours thesis on the Greek family in Australia 'GreeksinOz' was a three generational study of Castellorizian and Kytherian families in Australia and can be found at www.cybernaut.com.au/greeksinoz
Her work on the Greeks in Australia earned her an offer of a PhD scholarship from La Trobe University that Maria declined to pursue a teaching career.
In 1998 Maria completed her Masters degree in History focusing primarily on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Nazi Germany in an effort to make these complex and contentious histories more accessible to secondary school students. With her Masters’ supervisor Professor Ian Bickerton Maria co-authored Contested Spaces: the historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, one of the few textbooks that have enabled students to examine the conflict from multiple perspectives.
After a successful teaching career Maria decided it was time to pursue her passion for history and writing professionally.
Maria is married with 4 children and lives in Sydney with her husband Stuart. She enjoys gardening, travel, cooking, fine wines, attending concerts and is a big fan of Early Music and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
Summary of CV
2008- PhD in History
1998 - Masters in History
1981 - Diploma of Education
1979 - Bachelor of Arts (Honours in History)
‘Images of the Greek Family in Australia: Continuities and Changes.’ (see website)
1981 - 2001 - History Teacher in Government and non Government schools; Head Teacher History (relieving); Oral History Interviewer SBS; TAFE Senior History Teacher; University Tutor UNSW; Project Officer Federation NSW Department of Education and Training. *
*Full CV available on application
National Winner , Secondary Teacher Category, Discovering Democracy Achievement Awards, Canberra, 20th June 2001.
State Winner , Secondary Teacher Category, Discovering Democracy Achievement Awards, Sydney, 27th June 2001.
Australian Postgraduate Scholarship from UNSW to complete PhD in History, 2001.
Scholarship from the NSW Department of Education and Training to undertake PhD studies, 2001.
Army History Grant to undertake overseas research for the PhD study, 2003.
Centenary Medal by the Commonwealth government for the conceptualisation and writing of the History teaching kit Federation: Inclusion-Exclusion, 2003