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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 March 2016
NEWS 20 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 MARCH 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Elder abuse on the rise CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 While the perpetrators vary, many cases involve 'boomerang kids' - adult children who return to live with their elderly parents following the breakdown of their relationships, often returning with a sense of entitlement and a 'you're my mum, you're my dad, you will help me' mentality. "It is often the expectation of middle-aged children that their parents have to do this for them. They have to give them the house, they have to change the name on the account, they owe them that," Mr Maglis explains. These pressures can often lead an already vulnerable victim to become further isolated from their family and friends, by way of losing their independence, space and finances. There are also cases where abuse is unintentional, often coming in the form of neglect where the person is dependent on their child for their basic needs such as food, clothing and transportation. "People get very busy with their lives, or the carer, especially in cases of dementia, becomes overwhelmed, but it's still considered abuse because that person misses out on all those basic human rights," he says. To avoid such situations arising, Mr Maglis says planning is vital. "What we suggest to people is to have a chat with our social workers about all those issues. Make a care plan, put powers of attorney in place, write your will, and have your wishes clearly stated so the carer knows what you want. In this way you minimise the risk of finding yourself in an unfavourable situation," he says. While elder abuse is an issue across all cultural groups, there is a value system, not unique to the Greek culture, that often makes it harder to seek help. "For first generation Greeks it can be a big deal because they're not used to discussing these issues openly and accessing services," he says, adding that Greek Australians come from a collectivist culture, where what is good for the group is more important than what's good for the individual, with the added worry of ‘τι θα πει ο κόσμος?’ (‘What will everyone say?’). To raise awareness and breakthrough the stigma, the AGWS has extended its services to elderly Greek Australians, hosting workshops that raise awareness on how to identify abuse, what their legal rights are, and where to get help. "The more we talk about it, the easier it will be for people to come out and say 'that's happening to me too'. It's about enabling them and helping them realise that they're safe and that their confidentiality is going to be respected." If you or someone you know is interested in the AGWS services, visit www. agws.com.au or call (03) 9388 9998. Elderly members (aged 65 and above) of the Greek community attending one of the workshops on elderly abuse at the AGWS. Author faces repercussions after coming out Catholic school informs Will Kostakis upcoming talk at the school on his latest book would be inappropriate just days after he comes out as gay ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS Just days after author Will Kostakis came out as being gay on his blog, he was contacted by De La Salle College in Sydney's southwest to inform him that a talk he was scheduled to give on his latest novel The Sidekicks would be inappropriate. In the blog post, the author reflects on the experience of finding out that one of his ex-partners had cancer. Realising he could possibly lose someone he cared about dearly, the young writer was inspired to be honest about his sexual orientation. Following the post, one of the school's staff members emailed Mr Kostakis, expressing concerns about the book, which features a gay character. "We have a concern about promoting your new book at our school as it is a Catholic school," the email reads. "We were reading over your blog and I think it might not be appropriate, and parents might not be happy." The teacher went on to clarify that it was "nothing personally against" the author but that it just wasn't "appropriate". Εργασία Employment Ζητήσεις Positions Vacant LADY REQUIRED for busy Cafe/Deli in Northern suburbs, part time, with experience, food preparation and English speaking a must. Call 0431 987 269. "I'd like to say I was surprised, but it was always something that was in the back of my head as a possibility, and it was certainly a fear of mine," Mr Kostakis told Neos Kosmos. The 26-year-old spoke at the same school last year to promote his previous novel, The First Third, which also openly dealt with gay themes, including casual sex in the gay community and the use of dating apps. Although he admits that it "felt like a risk when I was writing it" it was an experience he knew a lot of people would connect with. "The fact that they embraced The First Third so wholeheartedly, it was just very strange to get this response for The Sidekicks," he said. The themes of his latest novel have never been hidden, with a segment made public in the middle of last year. While there is a scene where two boys kiss, he says it is a mi- Will’s latest book The Sidekicks. nor sub-plot of the book, which is about three very different boys and the ways in which they deal with a close friend's death. "I think no matter what religion you are, no matter what school you go to, that kind of story is important," Mr Kostakis said, adding that literature can often be the best way for young people to encounter various issues, as it is carefully crafted with the best interests of the child in mind. With his books targeted at students aged 12 and above, his school talks are tailored depending on the age group and their maturity level, but he is clear about the fact that his "sexuality is not the subject of my speeches". "The thing is, we wouldn't say you can't read a book about someone of a Writer Will Kostakis. different religion or about someone of a different race. It isn't a manual to teach kids how to lead a different lifestyle, it's just encouraging them to understand that people live lives that are different to theirs," he explains. While the school banned Mr Kostakis from talking about The Sidekicks, they offered him the option to re-promote his earlier book again. "We still absolutely want you in June, but if possible can you please do the same talk as last year with focus on becoming an author and The First Third?" PHOTO: TWITTER/@WILLKOSTAKIS Mr Kostakis declined to take part however, stating in his reply "that is not something I will accept for the promise of a pay cheque". "It's the fear running through organisations like this that's underestimating kids’ ability to make their own decisions," he told Neos Kosmos. "It wasn't a blog post about being gay, it's a post about treating people with love and respect and cherishing them while they're here. At the end of the day, if you have a religion, that's what is at the core of it. It's about loving one another."
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