A timely reminder that live Aussie music deserves a spot in TV schedules – Sydney Morning Herald

24 Hours in Emergency
SBS, 8.30pm
While the hospital observational documentary genre has been running for many years – this episode is from the 15th season of 24 Hours in Emergency – 2020’s coronavirus crisis has only served to emphasise the valuable work of Britain’s National Health Service. It adds a level of resonance to the everyday activities of the Accident and Emergency department at the St George’s hospital in South London.


Beginning with a 14-year-old boy with a serious leg injury received after jumping off a swing, the capably shaped narrative mixes on-the-spot decisions and treatment with a framing commentary that takes in frontline staff, specialists, and family members. You get a sense of how minutes and hours in a hospital are actually turning points across lives, whether young or old.

The production’s technical skills allows for an unobtrusive but immersive presence – the sound mix has the hum of machinery, cries of pain, and worried conversations among family members. For all the struggles the NHS faces, it does invaluable work. “It makes you realise the common threads of humanity outweigh any differences,” one doctor says.

Music from the Homefront
Nine*, 9.10pm
Originally broadcast late in April, when social isolation had Australia clinging to its couches and the music industry was reeling from the loss of essential live gigs, Music from the Homefront was an Australian Live Aid for the lockdown era.

Organised by music impresario Michael Gudinski and Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes – with his son, David Campbell, hitting the right notes as a co-host – it took audiences into the homes of Australia’s leading artists, for a series of stripped-down and often sombre performances. This encore screening marks the release of the night via Gudinski’s Mushroom Group as an album, with all proceeds going to the invaluable music charity Support Act.

Mark Seymour and James Reyne during their performance in April’s Music From The Home Front.Credit:AAP

You can take your pick of highlights (and home décor), from Mark Seymour and James Reyne doing Throw Your Arms Around Me and Reckless in a garage to G Flip’s invigorating About You. It’s already a moment in time that’s passed, but the music endures, as does the notion that we really need an ongoing showcase of live Australian music on our television screens.


Where Are You Really From?
SBS, 9.30pm
To open the third season of this lively social history series, host Michael Hing literally emerges from the sea and strides ashore, only to transform into his hosting persona. It’s a madcap anti-Clark Kent sequence – and not the only stylistic flourish in this episode – but it’s indicative of a show that uses a light touch to examine the sometimes seismic change in Australia’s multicultural identity.

Here Hing is visiting Inala in the south west suburbs of Brisbane, which is home to a thriving Vietnamese community that’s taken shape over the past 40 or so years. With a local guide offering tips and introductions, he interviews those who fled Vietnam after the end of the war in 1975 led to a humanitarian crisis, as well as the second and third generation descendants of those refugees who’ve grown up here.

Hing, who is 5th generation Chinese-Australian himself, teases out joyous anecdotes and proud beliefs. It’s a cheerfully optimistic reminder that each wave of migration to this country brings a welcome shot of industriousness, excellent culinary options (as the show itself emphasises), and an enduring measure of gratitude. Those who come here from other countries, especially as refugees, tend to actually see us in the best light. As one Inala local tells Hing: “You can’t really go wrong in Australia.”

Desert Collectors
7Mate, 9.30pm
Kalgoorlie memorabilia store owner and trader Nigel Quick swaps the dusty roads of Western Australia’s backblocks for the slightly less dusty roads of rural Victoria in this episode of his reality show. Every time a shed door opens in this series there’s a new surprise, and that’s certainly the case here as the host meets a motoring enthusiast who has built a replica of the V8 police interceptor from George Miller’s classic automotive action film Mad Max.

“Have a look at this,” marvels Quick, who brings a genuine level of bloke-next-door wonder to his travels, and it works to get the various collectors he visits to open up. There’s some minutiae revealed to what are specialised areas such as vintage garage display cases and engine oil packaging, as well as considerable pride. American versions of this genre place a premium on the monetary side – value, bidding, cutting deals. Quick’s Australian variant is thankfully more collegial and less overtly produced.


America’s Got Talent
Seven, 7.30pm
The cracks in Seven’s programming roster mean that the American edition of this reality format staple is back in Australian prime-time. Endurance, if anything, has given this modern-day talent show a triumphal tone – just making it on-stage can change lives we’re told, and intercut preparation scenes suggest an audience looms with a minor deity as opposed to some celebrity judges. The panel itself features Simon Cowell – his acidic commentary parked to one side – with Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Terry Crews serves as the jocular host. There’s a back story for every highlighted hopeful, as well as some hype work for new judges Vergara and Klum.

Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Terry Crews, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent. Credit:Trae Patton/NBC


ABBA: Secrets of Their Greatest Hits
There’s a decent mix of analysis, appreciation, and archival material to this music documentary, which looks into three classic songs from ABBA’s iconic songbook: Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, and The Winner Takes It All. Outside voices guide the narrative, with biographers and now ageing session musicians chipping in, as the circumstances of early 1970s Sweden and pop music’s changing landscape shaped the quartet’s savvy songwriting and interlocked relationships. It’s all a reminder that a classic pop song is a masterful act of distillation.


America In Colour
SBS, 7.30pm
As Paul Simon sang, everything looks worse in black and white. The obvious corollary of which is that, clearly, everything looks better in colour and so it is with this series, which presents momentous events from the history of America in the early 20th century in vivid colour rather than the monochrome in which we’re so used to viewing such footage.

America In Colour: a treat for the eyes.Credit:SBS

This episode deals with the Wild West: that mythic period of US history that was coming to an end in the face of remorseless progress at the dawn of the 1900s. The conflict between the old and the new makes for compelling doco subject matter. America emerges into a new century on the brink of something big, an embryonic superpower set to ascend in a century in which both human ingenuity and atrocity would reach new heights.

Whether the liberal-Hollywood narration is your cup of tea depends very much on your perspective, but it’s undoubtedly a treat for the eyes.


Love Island UK
What can you say about a show like Love Island UK? That it’s a modern-day morality tale? That it’s a cautionary fable about late capitalism and the fate of societies that invest an excess of civilisational capital in cults of celebrity? All of this and more is true of Love Island, a social experiment designed to test humans’ tolerance for nothingness. If you enjoy looking at attractive people wearing very little, you may get a kick out of this paragon of hollowness. If you enjoy shows with literally anything to offer apart from attractive people wearing very little, you may find it a bit lacking. But for fans of the grotesquely depressing, it’s tailor-made.



Operation Buffalo
ABC, 8.30pm
Nothing shines a light on historical wrongdoing like a beautifully mounted series that combines hard, brutal truth with a healthy dose of making stuff up. Operation Buffalo is a high-class production, well-written, superbly shot and supplying juicy roles for some of the best acting talent from here (the always-impeccable Ewen Leslie) and abroad (James Cromwell in a role quite a way removed from Farmer Hoggett).

There is much to be outraged about in the story of Maralinga, when the Menzies government opened its arms to embrace British nuclear tests, proving Australia’s loyalty to the motherland before its own people lasted well into the 1950s. In fact, whether this country has ever stopped bowing and scraping to its overseas overlords is a pertinent question still, and Operation Buffalo pushes it front of mind.

It’s just a bit of a shame the fascinating-cum-infuriating true story has to be draped in soap opera finery. Melodrama, gratuitous romance, and an insistence on shoehorning modern sensibilities into history keep getting in the way, making Operation Buffalo just a little bit less than it should’ve been.

*Nine is the owner of this masthead.

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Community groups condemn criticism of Archbishop Makarios over $6.5 million purchase – Neos Kosmos

Greek associations across Australia have sent public messages of support for Archbishiop Makarios of Australia following the press reports regarding the purchase of a $6.5 million investment property.

The purchase first came to media attention in March following a report by Neos Kosmos. At the time there was speculation regarding the purpose of the purchase, however the Archdiocese of Australia did not respond to questions regarding the apartment.

Another article by news.com.au as well as articles in the Greek press condemned the purchase and sparked fresh debate this month. On Friday, the Archdiocese finally addressed the issue with a statement that the purchase by the Consolidated Trust of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia was not for the Archbishop to permanently live in but as an investment property.

There was also mention that the hierarch may live there temporarily if it is deemed necessary while renovations take place in his quarters in Redfern.

Following Archbishop Makarios’ announcement, a number of organisations have come out in support of the Greek primate.

Below are statements made by various organisations.

St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College

READ MORE: Controversy surrounding Archbishop Makarios of Australia and the $6.5 million apartment

Byzantine Music School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

The Byzantine Music School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, condemns the defamatory, unfair and inaccurate reports and comments currently being expressed and published irresponsibly and maliciously by various media outlets (mainly in Greece) targeting the Archbishop of Australia, Makarios.

Our conscience does not allow us to remain inactive and silent while our Church is being targeted via the recent attacks against him.

We unequivocally support our virtuous Archbishop. Our trust and confidence in him have not been affected in the slightest by the recent malicious reports and insulting comments appearing in the media.

We cannot stress enough our love and support for His Eminence who silently and patiently endures the hate speech and the orchestrated war attacking his person and by extension, the Orthodox Church. We are unable to accept the irrational criticisms against the decision of the Consolidated Trust of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia to purchase a property in Sydney. We discern that jealousy and intolerance are most likely the sources of this evil reaction. We call upon anyone affected by the whole controversy to show patience and not rush to conclusions.

A year ago we welcomed amongst us our newly elected Archbishop. His election by the Holy Synod of our Ecumenical Patriarchate was not by chance. It was a divinely inspired decision. A worthy leader was appointed to lead the Orthodox Church in Australia during these troubled times. His Eminence instantly demonstrated his qualities, and we proclaim with certainty that Archbishop Makarios is a genuine bearer of the spirit of the Orthodox patristic tradition, an industrious and pious hierarch, who performs his ministry with the fear of God and who has inspired us all in our spiritual struggle.

During these times where the world is characterised by its passivity and which is facing its future with fear and uncertainty, His Eminence has recruited his perspicacity and creativeness to shape a Church that cares, is creative and brave. One of the many examples of His Eminence’s initiatives and concerns is the establishment of the Byzantine Music School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

We are indebted to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in Australia and we feel compelled to publicly express our devotion and faith to His Eminence. We stand by him, helping him in bearing this Cross, like Simon of Cyrene, knowing that the Resurrection will follow for him and for us.

On behalf the Byzantine Music School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

READ MORE: Archdiocese of Australia responds to criticism over $6.5 million purchase

Australian Hellenic Educators’ Association, Sydney

As the Australian Hellenic Educators’ Association, based in Sydney, we declare our full support for our Archbishop His Eminence Makarios who at this time is the recipient a rabid and completely unethical attack.

From the first moment of his arrival in Australia, His Eminence’s spirit of paternal love, unity and spiritual guidance has opened new opportunities for Hellenic education in the Antipodes. The educational work of our Archdiocese through St Andrew’s Theological College, the network of day schools, as well as the afternoon and Sunday schools of the parishes as much as through the state and independent schools which provide programs of study of Hellenic language, history and civilisation.

The actions and announcements of His Eminence the last twelve months, which have opened our Archdiocese to First nations’ peoples and other peoples of multicultural Australia, have created conditions of dialogue and cooperation with all the members of the society in which we live.

As educators, we believe that by his example, His Eminence is incorporating Orthodoxy within the Australian society in which we all live and clearly demonstrates the future of the community. The next generation does not live in a Hellenic region. It will live and will be developed in a multilingual and multicultural Australian environment.

Those who fight Hellenic-speaking and Orthodox education – and as a consequence our identity – in the ranks of the community are jannisaries who we all have the duty to uproot.

The future of the Australian Hellenic community is in our hands. As educators, we do not accept the dishonourable and without sincerity attacks of Archbishop Makarios, a spiritual man who by his example illustrates the methods to cultivate our Hellenic identity in the Australian context: with Hellenic language and mind, with Orthodox faith.

On behalf of the Committee and the membership,

Dr Panayiotis Diamadis



In recent years I have had the opportunity to get involved with the Australian Hellenic community through my work with AHEPA NSW INC. However, the recent internal fighting has detracted from the programs that the organisation is trying to achieve for the Hellenic community and Australian society at large. Unfortunately, AHEPA NSW Inc is not an isolated incident within community. Many other Hellenic organisations throughout Australia have been plagued by the myopic views, stubborn resistance to change and personal agendas of those entrusted by their associations to enact in the best interest of their organisation.

When will we learn that only as a united Australian Hellenic community can we establish the foundations to keep our culture and language alive in Australia for future generations? It has been a blight within our community to bicker and squabble amongst ourselves for years. It is time for us to learn that only through unity can we achieve the foundations required to keep Hellenism alive for the future. We need to guide the next generation to ensure they do not repeat the mistakes by the past generations to ensure they have the best opportunity to build and maintain on the foundations that we start.

The recent attacks on the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Australia is a shameful example of how some attack those who can see a better future for the community. His Eminence holds the values and virtues of Hellenism deep in his heart and has demonstrated those repeatedly ever since taking his post in Australia. His belief in seeking the truth, his demonstration of respect for all individuals, his endeavour to create an environment for the common good by offering a harmonious life through the teachings of the church and mostly by his openness to adopting change within the church. It is only through change that we as individuals and a community will we be able to grow and develop both spiritually and emotionally.

The people behind these attacks are misusing old traditions and misguided values to suppress the changes his Eminence has embarked on, which I believe to be actions that are fundamentally an enemy of the spirit of Hellenism. These actions threaten the good work that our Spiritual Leader is trying to achieve. We all need to remember that His Eminence is a man of true faith and the people and not a man of commerce and industry. It is only when we are united can we move forward to achieve the common good for everyone.

If you observe closely none of the attacks have been about Archbishop Makarios’ character; they have been about decisions made by others within the Archdiocese. It is important that we all play a role to ensure unity prevails within our community. This does not mean that we follow blindly as sheep; it does mean that we create an environment where we can air our grievances with respect and amicability; that the consensus reached is supported to ensure the common good and future of our Hellenic community in Australia.

Bill Skandalakis

President AHEPA NSW Inc

READ MORE: ‘Lord and Master of My Life’, a new book by Archbishop Makarios of Australia

St John’s College Preston

Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand