Michael Preneas was only recently elected the President of the Kytherian Youth Association (KYA), but he’s hit the ground running.
The Greek Herald sat down with Michael to hear more about his life and his plans for the future of the KYA. This is what he had to say.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Michael Preneas and I am the newly elected president of the KYA. My family heritage is Kytherian. I am 20 years old and currently in my third year studying music at Western Sydney University. My goal is to complete a Masters of Teaching for secondary school.
I want to make a positive impact on the lives of our young adults and inspire them to be the best they can be. I believe my family has mostly impacted who I am as I have been surrounded by such strong role models.
2. How did you become involved in the KYA?
My grandparents were very involved in the Kytherian community. My yiayia and pappou were both on the committee and contributed a great deal to the Kytherian community for many years. My mum has been on the Kytherian Young Family Group for as long as I can remember, helping with the organising of events and functions, and my dad has been on the Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) since 2017.
My family has been very active within this community but it wasn’t until I attended my first Greek family dance in 2008, that I knew I wanted to get more involved. I saw people my age doing their Greek dancing performances and I said to myself, ‘that’s what I want to do.’ I guess I just loved being Greek and I still do. The music, the culture, the food – how can you not enjoy it all?
After that family dance, I signed up to Greek dancing with the Kytherian’s and ever since I’ve been as active as possible attending events and performing any chance I get. Going to events would be the highlight of my holidays during school. The functions were always fun because that’s where my friends were and I enjoyed every moment of it, whether we were bowling or doing the treetops adventure course. Attending Greek events the community organises brings a feeling of belonging, like you are where you’re meant to be, like you’re at home.
3. How does it feel to be President of the KYA?
Being president of the KYA is a great privilege, especially as it is the 100th year of the KAA. For me, just being on the committee is a privilege in itself. To serve the community that has given me so much from such a young age means the world to me. Last year I joined the committee and had the role of IT Officer and in that year, I learned so much and I knew that I wanted to continue working in this committee as long as possible no matter the role.
4. As President, what are your hopes for the future of the KYA?
I cannot express how grateful I am to have been voted in as President of the KYA, after the tenure of past President Georgia Galanos. I know that we can continue to create amazing events and expand our community.
I would like for everyone that attends our events to have fun and enjoy themselves in the moment, not think about assessments or work. These functions help us focus on our social lives and give everyone a bit of an outlet from the stresses that life may bring.
In saying that, after coming out of COVID, we want to host more events and are planning to host more in 2022, as well as 2023. To encourage more youth to join, we are planning on hosting more functions. Our next event is on June 5, which is in collaboration with all Kytherian sub-committees to celebrate the 100 years. This will be a free event where you can come down with your family.
Our next upcoming KYA event will be mid-June, with more details to come soon. There are some really exciting events that we’re planning for the near future so stay tuned. I encourage everyone to follow our page on Instagram and Facebook so that you can be up to date with our upcoming events and we hope to see you there!
5. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I would like to thank the 2022 KYA committee for volunteering for their roles. It is an honour and privilege to work alongside them and I look forward to our future and all that we can and will accomplish together.