-Where did you grow up and if I may ask what is your Greek origin?
I was born and grew up in Melbourne, Australia. My parents were born in the Peloponnese and immigrated to Australia at a young age.
– Can you share with us one memory from your childhood that still brings a smile to your face?
I spent my childhood attending St John’s College (Greek Orthodox School in Melbourne). Growing up with other Greek Australians from Prep through to Year 12 was a fun experience that helped build my identity. Celebrating our heritage through language, dance class, and cultural/religious events is something I cannot forget
– Zoology and Genetics, how did you decide to follow that path?
As a child, I enjoyed exploring nature and feeding the animals at my papou’s farm! In school, I did well at science wanted to continue my studies at a tertiary level. I am fascinated by the diversity in the human race as well as the flora and fauna of the world.
– You design jewelry. Was it something you always knew you will do?
I have always loved to create and am always learning new hands-on skills. My hobbies range from painting and pottery, to making soaps, candles, and paper. Designing and making jewellery employs a range of skills that have come together to create my new collection.
– Tell us a few worlds about your latest collections. The Queen Bee collection is exceptional.
The Queen Bee jewellery line consists of real bee specimens in resin along with gold leaf and beeswax. Being a beekeeper I get to see bees up close and marvel at their beauty. My jewellery is a way to bring the beauty of bees to people in a personal way by representing them through art and fashion. The gold leaf represents honey as in the olden days it was often called “liquid gold”. The real bee specimen represents the importance that every single bee plays in the world and the dangers which face it such as Colony Collapse Disorder. Growing up, my dad always kept beehives and I enjoyed the honey! Now that I am a beekeeper, I have learned a lot more about them and want to showcase their beauty and promote awareness about the importance of bees through my artwork.
– Bee preservation, many people don’t know much about its significance. What can you tell us?
One third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees. Bees are absolutely vital to our survival and the survival of other species of birds and mammals that rely on nuts, seeds and fruits. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon specific to other parts of the world rather than Australia, however there are many other threats that bees face and they are often completely defenseless. Viruses, climate change, and urbanization all affect bees and it is our responsibility to understand and limit the impact we have on them. Everyone can play their part – it can be as simple as keeping a garden of flowers and herbs to help support local bee populations.
– Where can we find your jewelry?
In Melbourne I attend local artist markets as well as having all my individual, hand crafted items online at www.etsy.com/shop/Marzrian. I actually made my first shipment to Greece recently!
– Have you visited Greece recently? Do you have any favorite places?
In 2003, the Greek Consulate in Australia through my school sponsored me on a trip to a school in Crete for a month with other Greek students from around the world. There I got to experience Greece first hand – people, school, food, music, language, traditions, religion, art and nature. I learned so much in the short time I was there; it is an experience that I am truly grateful for and will never forget.
– What does Greece mean for you?
Even though I was born in Australia, Greece is a significant part of my identity. My grandparents came from Greece, bringing with them a beautiful heritage rich with culture and tradition, which my parents have passed on to me. The city in which I live, Melbourne, actually has the largest Greek population of any city in the world outside of Greece!
– If you could address a question to all Greeks, what would you like to ask them?
I would like to ask all Greeks that if they have a skill, knowledge, a story, or tradition that they have not shared with someone to please share it as it keeps our culture alive!