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The Greek Herald journalist wins award for exposé on Greek Orthodox funeral certificate

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The Greek Herald journalist and University of Technology Sydney student, Pamela Rontziokos, has won a Jerra Ossie Award for a recent article in The Greek Herald which investigated the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia’s (GOAA) ‘Certificate of death and funeral service.’

The exposé found families were expected to pay $250 for a funeral certificate that was not officially recognised in Australia nor Greece. The cost of the certificate was also found to be five times the amount compared to a government-issued death certificate in Australia and Greece. 

The annual Jerra Ossie Awards are organised by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, and recognise the exceptional journalistic work of undergraduate and post-graduate students.

Miss Rontziokos’ article won ‘The Crikey Award for Investigative journalism by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student’ in this year’s Jerra Ossie Awards, and she received a monetary prize worth $200.

the greek herald pamela rontziokos funeral certificate greek orthodox archdiocese of australia
Pamela Rontziokos has won a Jerra Ossie Award.

In a statement to The Greek Herald, the 20-year-old student said she felt “really fortunate and proud” the article won an investigative award.

“With the support of my team at The Greek Herald we combed through every issue around the funeral certificate and got down to the bottom of it,” Miss Rontziokos said.

“All we wanted to do – and continue to do – is make sure our community is being treated fairly. The award serves as a reminder of why publications such as The Greek Herald are essential to multicultural Australia.

“I share this award with The Greek Herald publication and my colleagues and I am very proud of all of us.”

Miss Rontziokos was also named as finalist for the Democracy Watchdog Awards 2023 this year.

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