Neos Kosmos English edition journalist Helen Velissaris won the Multicultural Media Award for Best Feature article this week for the article The Mickey Mouse Club, published last year.
Fresh out of university, the feature article was written in Helen’s first three months working at Neos Kosmos proving to all that true talent comes natural to this wordsmith.
In the article, the 22-year-old tackled the issue of schizophrenia and was awarded for her piece due to her sensitivity, empathy and the ability to raise awareness of this mental illness in the Greek community.
“It was a topic I was fascinated with,” says Helen on the issue, “one that I knew had a stigma in the Greek community so it ignited a passion in me to pursue it and give it the awareness it deserves but with the sensitivity it needed.
Winning the award came as a complete shock to Helen, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt being in the office when she received the good news.
“I was rapt, very proud and shocked all at the same time,” she says when she was notified.
“I didn’t expect to win because I’m young and haven’t lived in the media industry for so long.”
Helen joins an elite league of winners in journalism and at such a young age in her first year in journalism this is an accomplishment that belies her age.
But also is amongst three Greek Australian journalists who were awarded for their work on Monday night. Gerry Georgatos took out the three awards: Multicultural Journalist of the Year; Coverage of Indigenous Affairs and Investigative Reporting as well as Steve Giannakouras, who won the award for Online Coverage of Multicultural Community Affairs.
In his speech on the night, Shaoquett Moselmane, chair of the MMA’s summed up Helen’s role to the wider Greek community, and all multicultural journalists when he said; “for it is our multicultural journalists who bring communities together and break down social and cultural barriers.
“You inform, you inspire, you involve and you integrate.”
A talented lady, a brilliant journalist – from all of us here at Neos Kosmos, and from everyone in the wider Greek Australian community, we say congratulations Helen.