The Greek Herald, one of the first Greek Australian newspapers, and currently the largest national daily Greek newspaper in Australia, signified its transition into the new era, with a relaunch party last Thursday evening.
The newspaper, which still stands as one of the only national daily Greek newspapers outside of Greece, celebrates its 94th year under new management, as new visions were announced by the two young women who will lead the paper into a new age.
Sisters and new publishers, Dimitra Skalkos and Elaine Kintis officially introduced the Greek Australian community to their new vision for this historic, landmark platform.
The “new” Greek Herald
With 28-year-old Dimitra assuming the role of Publisher, after the death of her late father Theo Skalkos, in February 2019, she signified the importance of young Greek Australians “stepping up” to carry on the legacies, and fill the very big shoes, left to them by the generations before.
The sisters announced they will be continuing the daily print newspaper, which continues to be a landmark in the homes of older generations, whilst also engaging younger Greek Australians through a new digital platform that was established in June, 2019. The Greek Herald aims to build on the multi-generational audience it has already congressed, to achieve three main outcomes:
- To engage young Greek Australians in the Greek community, and to inspire them to carry on the legacies left behind for them
- To promote Greek language and culture for successive generations
- To engage the Greek Australian community in continuing what The Greek Herald always was…a platform to celebrate the success, achievements, initiatives and stories of all individuals, groups and organisations, and to unite the Greek Australian community in continuing the strong presence of Greeks in Australia.
“The Greek Herald has been there throughout history, and is itself a part of history,” said Ms Skalkos.
Continuing on from Ms Skalkos, her sister and co-Publisher, Elaine Kintis emphasised the significance of The Greek Herald in promoting the Greek language and culture amongst younger generations. This is particularly pressing, as it was recently announced that Greek is the second fastest disappearing language in Australia.
“I’m sure you will all agree, there are two things that remain relevant and prominent for all of us and is possibly at the core of everything that we do as a community. That is our language and our culture. I believe that through The Greek Herald, we can help continue to play a role in promoting our language and the Greek culture, which is imperative for our future generations. We are in an era of change,” said Ms Kintis.
The Greek Herald has undergone its biggest transformation in 94 years, with plans to reach out to younger generations through the development of its online platform, which has a primary audience of Greek Australians that starts from 25-years-old. This, combined with a following through the newspaper that spans up to 90-years-old, means The Greek Herald “has the market covered”.
The event was MC’d by former news presenter prominent Greek Australian, John Mangos.
“I think the loveliest thing to say about the The Greek Herald is that it has just always been there…The Greek Herald has played such a vital role in our society, in the decades of its existence…When I say the paper was just always there, well it was. It was there when Cyprus was invaded, it was there when reporting the Polytechnio, it was there when the ‘Patris’ landed in Australia and it played a significant role I think in connecting Australians to Greece, especially newly arrived Greeks,” said Mr Mangos in his opening address.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Consul-General Mr Christos Karras, Trade Commissioner Katia Gkikiza, MP Eleni Petinos representing the State Premier, CEO of Multiculural NSW, Joseph La Posta, Shadow Minister for Transport and Corrections, Chris Minns, MP Sophie Cotsis, MP Steve Kamper, John Loukadellis President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne, and Paul Nicolau, CEO of Australia Chamber of Commerce, were among the distinguished guests.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios joined celebration of new beginnings at The Greek Herald, took the opportunity to thank the Greek Australian community for their acceptance of him and his new approach as head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
His Eminence offered to make a speech to signify this occasion, and placed emphasis on the importance of new beginnings, abandoning tensions of the past, and moving forward as a united community.
“This Relaunch for the Greek Herald is a very appropriate theme because we are, in truth, experiencing a new beginning. A new era is unfolding before us, with many opportunities at our doorstep because it is a period of love and unity between the Church and the people and we should take advantage of this to rise even further,” His Eminence said, before cutting a vasilopita – the cake of the new year – with both Dimitra and Elaine.
His Eminence assured his support for The Greek Herald and the rest of the Greek Australian community, highlighting values of unity and forgiveness.
“As your Archbishop, I would like to assure you that we, the Church, are by your side and that you have our support in whatever you may need. I mean these words because unless we remain united and have forgiveness and love, we will not be able to give a good witness to those around us,” said His Eminence.
The room was truly filled with a fresh air with all attendees consumed by the words of Archbishop Makarios, Consul-General Christos Karras, Publisher Dimitra Skalkos, and Co-Publisher Elaine Kintis, who discussed the new era of unity in the Greek Australian community, put forward by The Greek Herald.
Guests were also entertained by a number of musical Greek acts.
The Australian Hellenic Choir, under the direction of Thessaloniki’s Penelope Menounou, and Foteini Stavridis on the piano, performed three wonderful songs: “Tis Agapis Emata”, “Menexedes and Zoumpoulia” and “S’agapo”.
The Greek Australian community that were present at the event also experienced a performance by three generations of bouzouki players – traditional prodigy, Sotiris Prokopiou, the ever-popular young bouzouki player, Tommy Tsonis, and an up-and-coming young star that stole the hearts of the room, 10-year-old George Athanasiou.
The performance aligned with the significance of the night, joining together all different generations through the universal connection of our Greek culture.
Co-publisher, Elaine insisted that, despite suggestions that there was no future in print, the sisters understand that this newspaper holds a historical legacy, and for as long as there is a shred of demand, The Greek Herald will continue to publish. In saying this, The Greek Herald also understands the demand for an online platform in catering for the needs of younger generations. With a hard-working, collaborative team behind it, who range from 19 to 70 years-of-age, The Greek Herald has secured a personal understanding of meeting modern needs, whilst respecting traditional values, which is showcased throughout its pages and into the community.
Full coverage of the event in-print will also be posted in Wednesday’s edition of The Greek Herald newspaper.