Year: 2017

‘Very soon we will all be forgotten’: Wantirna Park residents vow to continue fighting for tenant rights | Neos Kosmos

Wantirna Park Caravan Park residents lost their homes due to a new development. Con Mylonas shares his story It’s the story of over 200 caravan park residents who lost their homes when property developer Longriver Group paid $36 million for Wantirna Park Caravan Park last year leaving those who had called it home – some for over 20 years – to relocate and rebuild, at their own cost. Some of the residents owned their homes but rented the land the homes stand on. Soon after purchasing the property, Longriver managing director Andrew Yu had attempted to raise residents’ rents by over 50 per cent. After a swift intervention by Consumer Affairs Victoria, park management lowered the increase. Still the rent costs were unaffordable for many residents. Then all residents received notices to vacate by early January 2018. As an incentive to leave the premises earlier, residents were advised that should they sign the paperwork and leave their homes by 10 July this year, their homes would remain and they could pay reduced rent until the …

Tired and desperate: Father of young drug addict pleads for forced rehab | Mojo

It was only a few months ago when 20-year-old Rhys Thomas was found by police lying face down, unconscious on a swimming pool cover. He was in possession of ice and had overdosed. Police took him to hospital where he was put on a saline drip for about eight hours, briefly assessed by a psychologist, and soon after sent home. But Rhys’s father, Simon Thomas, begged for the hospital to keep him. “I was there by his bedside looking at him, holding his hands,”  Mr Thomas said. “He’s 58kg, six feet tall and I was just watching, sobbing for eight hours thinking ‘that’s my son and he’s killing himself’.” Tired and desperate, Mr Thomas is urging the government to consider an inquiry into involuntary rehabilitation for adults. Rhys and Simon Thomas. Picture: Supplied. Every day thousands of Australian parents face the reality of having sons and daughters battling drug addictions. Figures from the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey show 43 per cent of Australians aged over 14 had used an illicit drug. However, drug …

Mental health emergency declared for asylum seekers on the Greek islands | Neos Kosmos

Harrowing reports reveal a “mental health emergency” faced by asylum seekers in camps on the Greek islands and call for the asylum seekers to be relocated to the mainland as refugee camps become severely overcrowded, and conditions continuing to worsen. The recent report released by Medecins Sans Frontiers reveals that current asylum seekers have experienced violence in Greece, and 80 per cent of new mental health patients treated on Lesvos reported experiencing violence. Just over a quarter reported experiencing torture, and 19 percent reported experiencing sexual violence, the report found. Mental health is quickly deteriorating, with more patients needing to be referred to psychiatrists, with an average of six to seven people requiring urgent care linked to attempted suicide, self-harm, psychosis and other emergencies. Grigoris Kavaranos, a psychologist working in the refugee camps at Lesvos, said the refugees in the camps, his patients, feel frustrated for having been “trapped” on the island for more than a year living in conditions that are “not humane”, exacerbated by the surge in inhabitants. The camps are built to …

‘No stone left unturned’ for restoration of Evangelismos Church | Neos Kosmos

Restoration of Melbourne’s oldest Greek Church Evangelismos will continue into 2018 as work to clean up debris and restore the extensively damaged ceiling continues, according to members of the committee managing the project. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) president Bill Papastergiadis confirmed the contracts to start the restoration were recently signed, and the first stage of the project will be completed soon. He said workers are currently on site with a superintendent, and that works are being run “professionally and appropriately”. GOCM treasurer Marinis Pirpiris said there are some obstacles the team is facing, and stage two of the process is dependent on funding and heritage approvals but he remains optimistic. “Churches take time to get built … there is lots of energy and passion to complete the restoration earlier,” he said. A devastating fire in May 2016 rendered some original features unable to be fully restored. The Church of the Holy Annunciation was built by N Longstaff in 1901 to a design by noted architects Inskip and …

The rise of Hellenic doughnuts | Neos Kosmos

Purveyors of Oakleigh’s finest doughnuts, Yani and Nicholas Kabylakis talk to Neos Kosmos about doughnuts that ‘touch people’s hearts’ Working in the hospitality industry was never such a far-fetched idea for the Kabylakis brothers. Born in Oakleigh to a Greek Australian mother and Greek father who migrated to Australia when he was 13, Yani and Nic Kabylakis had just the right amount of training, creativity and inspiration from their parents when they decided to launch one of Oakleigh’s newest dessert hotspots, the Oakleigh Doughnut Co. Their parents were involved in the hospitality industry, serving speciality coffee in Melbourne’s CBD to a largely corporate clientele. Day by day the brothers watched and learned from their parents – who were in the food game for over 30 years – and developed a finely tuned understanding of hospitality. “My dad always said to me, and I’ll always remember, if you get up to the alarm clock every day and work hard, you will always do well in life,” Yani told Neos Kosmos. The two brothers, “best friends, and …

Ho Ho Oh? Archaeologists find tomb of St Nicholas in Turkey | Neos Kosmos

A recent archaeological discovery underneath a Turkish church could shed light on the mysterious whereabouts of St Nicholas A recent discovery of a tomb in the Church of St Nicholas in Demre, Antalya is believed to be that of St Nicholas – the man, the mystery and the legend that created Santa Claus. While conducting “geo-radar surveys” of the 11th Century church as part of a restoration process, archaeologists came across an in-tact temple below the church. Cemil Karabyram, head of Antalya’s Monument Authority told the International Business Times the team believes the “shrine has not been damaged at all” but due to the intricate mosaic pattern on the floor it will be “quite difficult to get to it”. But the archaeologists will continue to find their way to the temple without damaging the Church. The whereabouts of St Nicholas has always been a mystery, as historical records have suggested that he was buried in Myra but his bones were stolen and taken to the portside town of Bari, the capital of Puglia, where St …

Fair fares: Pressure builds to secure concession cards for postgrads | Mojo

Fares Fair PTV, a coalition of Victorian university student associations, is working to secure student public transport concessions for full-time postgraduate students. The group claims the concession, which is available to postgraduates in all other states, would be beneficial as postgrads have the same limited earning capacity as undergraduate students. Graduate Student Association (GSA) president Georgia Daly, who studies at Melbourne University, said there was a common misconception about postgrad students that put the issue on the backburner. “There’s this perception that the average postgrad student is a 40-year-old coming back from work to get a promotion or to indulge in their intelligence,” Ms Daly said. “But really, it’s me. I’m 24, I went straight through from an undergrad, I’m very poor, I’ve got no savings.” The average annual income for full-time domestic postgraduates and higher degree students is $25,330 and $35,634 respectively, a report by the Centre for the Study for Higher Education shows. Average hours that students work during the semester have also risen from 17 to 20 hours per week for postgraduate …

The Long Road Home | On Dit

The following interview was with David in 2009.   “When I was in primary school, and they asked you to put your hand up, asking what you wanted to be to be in life, I didn’t stick up my hand saying that I wanted to be a drunk on the street…” he laughs. “I had a family, I had a house, I never thought that within six months that I’d be wondering the streets just looking for somewhere to sleep.” David is homeless but he works as a vendor for the Big Issue. David had completed a TAFE course, had a job, a home and was a sole parent with a 15-year-old daughter. However, after injuring his back at work one day, things took a turn for the worst. “Because I couldn’t do the work, I ended up as a host employ- ee, but I couldn’t do my job anymore and then my daughter decided to leave, so then I just decided to pack up and come to Adelaide for an adventure.” “I ended up …