After my first week in Melbourne and just three days in the offices of Neos Kosmos as the new editor of the English edition, it has become clear that the Greek community of Australia is harder to define than ever before.
What was once a homogeneous group of post-war immigrants in search of a better life in a new world is now an interesting blend of tribes that interpret their Greek identity in different ways. Pulling and tugging in every direction, our readers have different needs, interests and expectations of what their community newspaper should offer.
It has become clear that the Neos Kosmos sitting on my desk caters to a different readership than the one that used to sit on my parents’ kitchen table so many years ago. Naturally, it had to evolve and keep up with the ever-changing identity of the Greek community. And as if that weren’t enough, it had to also deal with the challenges faced by the media all around the world and ride on the crest of huge upheaval where brave decisions had to be made in order to ensure our survival.
The fact that the little independent community newspaper is still available at news stands at a time when media giants are struggling is a bold achievement that has only been made possible thanks to the perseverance of its publisher, the dedication of staff members that are proud of their Greek heritage, loyal advertisers and sponsors who support us and the love that you, the readers, continue to shower us with by trusting us with your stories and coming to us as a credible news source.
But here at Neos Kosmos, we don’t want to just exist, we want to continue being what we always have been – pioneers! And we want to continue to be relevant to your lives.
Our mission is to create an environment of belonging and inclusion in a newsroom that is free from allegiances. It is only when we foster open, honest dialogue and robust debate that we can bring about fundamental change that can better the lives of our diverse readers around the globe.
As a Greek born in a Constantinople once filled with Hellenes, an Australian in Athens, and a returned expat to Melbourne after a long stint as a foreigner in rural Australia, I know firsthand the intrinsic struggle, nostos but also the rewards and benefits of having a hologram home that is neither here nor there.
Perhaps “home” is an idea more than a place. And here, in Melbourne, in the offices of Neos Kosmos, surrounded by other hybrid Greeks torn between two homelands, I can say, “Yes, I’ve finally come home!” So, if you happen to be in the area, and want to sample an interesting pocket of Greece, feel free to drop in and introduce yourself to us as our home is open to all our readers.
Do you have a story to share that is of interest to the Greek community? We’re all ears. Send your opinions, stories or even photographs from your daily life to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Mary Sinanidis, English editor at Neos Kosmos, 1/169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122.