All posts filed under: news

All aboard the Multicultural Express: Greek band delights passengers on Melbourne’s trains | Neos Kosmos

Five years on the Multicultural Express still runs on Melbourne’s Frankston line “Welcome to the Multicultural Express!” announced a Greek band as they boarded a Melbourne metro train with a bouzouki, clarinet, lyra and tympanon all in tow. Train passengers on Melbourne’s metro trains were treated to the sights and sounds of a live traditional Greek band in the trains, thanks to the wildly successful multicultural initiative from Metro Trains and the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM). After initially being trialed in London to great success, the Multicultural Express was brought to Melbourne in 2013 in an effort to combat racist and anti-social behaviour after a series of racist attacks on the Frankston train line. In Melbourne there are 10 different ethnic groups playing, from Latin America to Africa as well as three different Greek groups. The groups are formed with some of Melbourne’s best musicians from a few different genres, to give people a true sense of what Greek music is. Nick Papaefthimiou has been involved since it all started in 2013. “The amount …

A first course of kindness: Athens-based chef Iakovos Apergis cooks up goodwill in Greek hospitals | Neos Kosmos

For chef Iakovos Apergis, it was the influence from his grandparents that inspired him to become a cook; his grandfather was a baker. Born in Canada in 1974, Iakovos migrated with his family to Greece the year after. A few years after finishing his schooling, and after earning his degree in cookery, and working in a range of kitchens, he became a member of the Academy of Chefs of Greece. His mother’s experience as a hospital patient inspired him to think of his connection with food as an experience beyond just cooking it: commenting on the food that she received as a patient in hospital, she decribed it as cold and tasteless, not something a sick woman needed. His mother, who passed away in 2003, was a patient at Piraeus at Tzaneio (Piraeus General Hospital) and that, serendipitously, is where he finds himself working now as head chef, after relatives suggested that he apply. Iakovos is starting to create change with hospital food because, as he says, food can be, and should be, a positive …

An increase in the teaching ATAR could boost education enrolments | Neos Kosmos

Round 1 offers of places in tertiary courses were delivered to many eager Victorians last week, with more than 50,000 prospective undergraduate students being accepted into their top selection. Figures released by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), indicated Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne is one of the most popular courses, with 8,505 applications in 2017. Bachelor of Arts courses received a total of 7,093 applications. VTAC also revealed that the most popular fields were society and culture, health, and architecture and building which saw an increase in applications from previous years. Following the Round 1 offers, the Victorian Government announced that those wanting to pursue a career in teaching will now need to have a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of at least 65, increasing to 70 in 2019. The increase is an effort to ensure that education students in Victoria come from the top 30 per cent of Year 12 graduates. “We always said we wanted to raise the bar for those wanting to become a teacher to ensure …

‘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 …