Orthodox Church Of Our Lady's Dormition

Parish of Russian Orthodox Church

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 Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov

 Fr Michael was born in 1944 in Serbia. In 1949 he migrated to Australia with his mother and brother, and settled in Melbourne.

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He was educated at the University High School, Burwood Teachers' College, Melbourne, Victoria University and the Australian Catholic University, receiving degrees in Education, Administration, Theology, a Master's degree in Philosophy, and a PhD in History.

From 1964 to 1989 Fr Michael was employed as a school teacher, and from 1977 onwards was principal of a number of government schools. Ordained to the diaconate in 1972 and the priesthood in 1975 by Archbishop Theodosy Putilin Fr Michael continued to teach until he retired from the Teaching Service in 1989.

Fr Michael was originally appointed parish priest in Geelong and on 1 February 1982 was transferred to Dandenong where he was commissioned to complete the building of the new church. In addition to his other duties, from 1975 to 1985, he was appointed responsible for the parish in Canberra, and also for Hobart, from 1975 to 1995 and again from 2001 onwards. In 1988 Fr Michael was appointed Dean of Victoria and Southern Australia. During 1991 and 1992 Fr Michael was Administrator of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese and has been a member of the Diocesan Council from 1981 to 1993 and again since 2005.

Fr Michael is currently Deputy President of the Melbourne Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies and lectures in history and theology at Melbourne University. He is the author of a number of historical monographs, including a comprehensive history of the Russian Orthodox community in Australia.

Fr Michael is noted for his community work as Chairman of the Russian Welfare Society, Deputy Chair of the Federation of Russian Welfare Organisations in Australia, Chairman of the Fraternity of the Holy Cross and Founding Chairperson of the South Eastern Region Migrant Resource Centre (Melbourne) from 1993 to 2010. Fr Michael is also a Justice of the Peace, a Member of the Australian Institute of Management, the Australian College of Education, the Royal Society, and Patron of the Australia Day Council (Vic) and the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Monarchist League.

Fr Michael was awarded the Order of Australia (1991), "For services to the Russian community", The Order of Friendship by Government of the Russian Federation (1997), "For outstanding charitable work and initiatives in forming stronger ties of friendship, co-operation and cultural development, between the peoples of Russia and Australia." The UN Volunteer Service Medal "For Commitment to Humanitarian Causes" (2001), the Victorian Government Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs (2003), the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Gold Medal (2006) and the Russian Consular Service Medal (2009) "For acting in an honorary consular capacity."