ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection
HMSS 0174 Soutsis Family Papers
Scope and content notes
Soutsis Family Papers
0.08m (1 box)
Available for reference
Dimitrios Soutsis (?-1979), also known as Elias Soutsis and commonly called Leo, was born in Northern Greece. Leo married Christina and had a son and daughter, Fanny, before migrating to Australia in about 1928. In Australia, Leo travelled looking for work, supporting his family by sending money back to them.
Leo settled in Canberra in about 1940, subleasing 6 acres (later 9.5 acres) from Mr. Ernest Joseph Scott, a portion of Block 94 Canberra City District, beside the Molonglo River, between Scotts Crossing and Kings Avenue upon which he established a vegetable farm.
In 1954, Leo was joined by his wife Christina, his daughter Fanny, Fanny’s husband, Norman Milianis (known as Nick) and their first two children, Chris (b. 1945) and Helen. Subsequently two further sons were born in Canberra and the family name was corrupted to Miliano.
The whole family lived near the lease in a house on the site of the present National Gallery of Australia, just to the north of the tin huts used by the Australian Archives.
The family farmed the lease until 1961 when it was resumed for the construction of Lake Burley Griffin. As a family, they purchased a house in Barton where they remained from 1961 until Leo’s death in 1979.
Vegetables were sold from the farm. Locals would typically drive to the lease and purchase from Leo or a member of the family.
Leo kept draught horses to assist with ploughing and chickens for eggs and meat. Fertiliser for the vegetables was usually superphosphate purchased in large bags.
To supplement his income, Leo also worked in the rose garden at Parliament House. Nick got work as a concreter.
The children attended Forrest Primary School and Telopea Park High School.
Photograph of Dimitrios Soutsis, Canberra
Duplicate Money Orders
Sixteen (16) duplicate money orders drawn in varying amounts from banks in Rylestone, Portland, Bathurst, Lithgow, Sydney, Captain’s Flat and Queanbeyan, NSW; Geraldton, WA and Canberra, ACT
13 Aug 1928-2 November 1951
Agreement between Ernest Joseph Scott and Elia Dimitrios Soutsis
Agreement for Soutsis to sub-lease 6 acres of land from Scott for the purpose of a vegetable farm.
27 October 1943
Letter addressed to Dimitrios Soutsis from the Property and Survey Branch of the Department of the Interior.
The letter is an offer of lease on 9.5 acres of land, being a portion of Block 240, Canberra City District, beside the Molonglo River to be used as a vegetable farm. Attached to the letter is plan of Block 240 Canberra City District with the portion marked.
19 November 1945