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Property developer, urbanist and shopkeeper Linda Gregoriou cannot understand why you’d go for a Hamptons look if you don’t live in the Hamptons. Or why you’d have a formal parterre garden out the front of a simple worker’s cottage. She is obsessed with sense of place: with identifying and then respecting the unique set of qualities and characteristics that make a place what it is. It’s as if knowing where you are helps you know who you are. 

‘What does it mean to be Australian? It’s a question I ask myself all the time,” said Gregoriou. And you can’t find the answer in chain stores that could be anywhere in the world.

Growing up in the beachside Melbourne suburb of Brighton with a Cypriot-Greek father and an Anglo mother descended from the well-known West Australian Sharpe pastoral family, Gregoriou has always known being Australian could be many things.

She was called a wog, even though her mother’s family had been in Australia since 1840. She looked like a Cypriot, but didn’t identify with a lot of the migrant families around her because her father had moved to Australia to attend Melbourne University.

“I was kind of in no man’s land, not an Anglo-saxon or a migrant.”

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