Former Neos Kosmos journalist Penni Pappas has been appointed Assistant Secretary of SA Labor. Ms Pappas was appointed to the role at last week’s State Council meeting of the Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) and is the first female Greek Australian Assistant Secretary for SA Labor.
Ms Pappas credits her father George Pappas, a migrant from Vouliasta, Epirus, for her strong Labor values.
“Dad always instilled in us a belief that we treat every person with respect and dignity, irrespective of how old you are, where you live or what you do for a living. And he led by example. If he had $10 left and he saw someone in a more vulnerable position than him, you can be sure he would give them his last dollar. That’s who dad was, and that’s what I grew up with.
“So when I became politically active, I searched out a party that would replicate these values of fairness, and equality, making sure no one was left behind, and the only party that demonstrated these values was the Australian Labor Party.”
She also paid tribute to the union movement, and the many Greek Australians and Greek migrants who have worked hard in protecting and advancing the fundamental rights of working people.
On the morning after her appointment, Neos Kosmos Editor-in-Chief, Sotiris Hatzimanolis, called to congratulate his past colleague, and together they reflected on how many former Neos Kosmos staff have gone on to have successful careers in politics.
“The great thing Neos Kosmos did for all the staff was foster a culture of healthy political debate. I remember plenty of early Sunday mornings with the late Kostas Nikolopoulos – we would argue from either side of the political spectrum, and we would both believe in our personal value system but we never, ever begrudged, belittled or disrespected each others’ view of the world,” she says.
“Having this positive experience in political conversations was so important when I was starting my career as it ensured I stayed engaged with the national conversation so when I saw injustice and unfairness, I was inclined to get involved and make a difference.”