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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 December 2018
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 DECEMBER 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM State Government refuses to pay for Greek man’s funeral who was left unburried for four months “This is religious discrimination and has to stop now,” says the deceased’s son Angelos Angelopoulos THEODORA MAIOS Angelos Angelopoulos' 93-year-old dad Anastasios passed away on 23 June in Townsville Hospital following complications emanating from a fall, but the Greek migrant's body remained in the hospital's morgue for four months as his son battled with the State Government to secure a religious burial for his father, despite having received approval for assistance via the Burial Assistance Scheme, a policy which did not cover services or religious ceremonies. A law student himself, the 60-year-old son alleged that the Queensland Government was engaging in religious discrimination and was in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld). "My intention was never to beg for money, but to raise awareness on this matter which appears to be a case of religious discrimination that borders on disguised racism," added Mr Angelopoulos, who together with Human Rights and Civil Rights lawyer, Klaire Coles, lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland (ADCQ). In a letter to Mr Angelopoulos' lawyer, Klaire Coles in October, Director General David Mackie acknowledged the importance and significance of religious and cultural beliefs. "Queensland is a multicultural state with a diverse range of cultures and religions," he said. "Should DJAG (Department of Justice and Attorney-General) agree to provide church services and viewing in the current circumstances, then it would be obliged to provide a similar offer to all applicants of all cultures and religions. "The cost to the State would be very significant and this would be a huge impost on limited Government funds to provide specialised funeral services, as opposed to a simple burial service, for each and every culture and religion in circumstances where burial assistance is approved." Thankfully, the Greek Orthodox communities in Cairns and Townsville came to the rescue and paid for the religious service for Mr Angelopoulos' dad, who was finally buried on 16 November, more than four months "They were saying either take it or leave it, when all I was trying to do was facilitate my father's funeral with an integral religious ceremony," says Mr Angelopoulos. Mr Angelopoulos posing in front of the mango trees his father left for him to look after… “I will fight for justice,” he says. PHOTO: SUPPLIED after his death. "The church had even of- fered to pay for the service, saving the State Government money, and the burial plot for my dad had Greek Australian woman found guilty of murder committed in 2005 Katia Pyliotis has been found guilty by a Supreme Court of Victoria for a murder she committed back in 18 September 2015, following a legal saga that lasted for more than a year after she first faced trial. The woman, a former McDonald's worker, bludgeoned a 69-year-old man to death with a Virgin Mary statue and a tin of mangoes in his Kew East home over 13 years ago. Elia Abdelmessih, a widower and loner, was found with his head submerged in a bowl of water after a concerned neighbour called police. The then 23-year-old Pyliotis, met the victim at the Kew McDonald's where he would dine regularly during the week. Although the motive still remains unclear, Mr Abdelmessih had a reputation round Kew Junction for making in- been paid since 2016, which would be another saving for the Government, so basically their argument just doesn't pass the reasonable person test. A conciliation hearing about the dispute was held in Brisbane this month but according to the son of the deceased, the State Government simply offered him an apology which he did not accept. Now Mr Angelopoulos is planning to take the issue to the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal to make a point that the policy needs to change. "I could have walked away from this after the funeral, if I just wanted to think of myself, but I want to help people because I believe that someone in my position, that's vulnerable and in financial hardship, if they're a religious person, whether it's Indigenous, Catholic or whatever, should be allowed to have that service performed as part of the funeral service." According to Mr Angelopoulos, a Department of Justice and Attorney-General spokeswoman said funding Fitness queen Kayla Itsines announces pregnancy 'Sweat' sensation Kayla Itsines and fiancé Tobi Pearce who is also her business partner, have announced they are expecting their first baby in May 2019. Itsines and Pierce have been an item for six years, and got engaged in April, an announcement that broke the internet. "It turns out that when we Katia Pyliotis outside the Supreme Court in 2017. PHOTO: VINCE CALIGIURI/THE AGE appropriate advances to women after his wife's death and reportedly paying a woman with an acquired brain injury $20 for sexual services. Police had found deposits of blood and DNA on a number of items in the house including on one of the murder weapons, the metal tin which was dented from the blows. A statuesque, a vase, two wrenches and a ceramic ornament were also found near the body. Mr Abdelmessih's murder remained a mystery up until 2016, when while living in South Australia Pyliotis was asked to provide DNA with a saliva swab over a minor matter. Her DNA was matched with DNA at the crime scene, and she was extradited back to Victoria, AAP reports. Pyliotis will face court again on 28 February 2019 for a plea hearing ahead of final sentencing. were ready it was just perfect timing," Kayla wrote later, revealing that her pregnancy was planned as the two always wanted to have children. "I think he will make the most perfect father, I've never seen him so excited about anything. He has already planned the funniest fluffy outfits for our winter baby and he talks to my tummy every morning and night." In a video shared on Instagram the influencer and multi-millionaire creator of the popular BBG workout plan announced Wednesday that she's 20 weeks pregnant and can't wait to bring the new addition to their family into this world. "To be able to start my own family with the person I love most in this world is just an absolute dream come true," the Greek Australian posted. "I know you ladies probably have 1 million questions ... but for now, let's celebrate this amazing moment together as we are adding one new #bbg member in May next year." Itsines said that she will continue to be a 'Sweat' trainer and will be developing, content for the global Sweat community app counting more than 40 million female members, both during her pregnancy as well as after. "I'm so blessed to have such a strong BBG community, including many BBG mums throughout the world. I'm so excited to relate to my BBG mums even more through my was not provided for "religious services or observations prior to burial, headstones or plaques, viewings, church services or funeral notices", adding that the Burials Assistance Act 1965 imposed a duty on the chief executive of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to bury or cremate the body of deceased person where it appeared no suitable arrangements for the body were in place. "This ensures that a deceased person's remains are disposed of in a way which preserves public health," the spokeswoman said. "Under the Act and the Burial Assistance guidelines, the Queensland Government, through DJAG, may organise a simple burial or cremation where a deceased person's estate cannot cover burial costs and relatives are also unable to pay. "The legislation and guidelines provide for a simple burial or cremation at the State's (taxpayer's) expense." "This is religious discrimination and has to stop now," says Mr Angelopoulos who has now started a petition to get the State Government to change its policy. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM pregnancy journey," she said. Many of her followers expressed their excitement at having pregnancy specific workouts by Kayla not to mention tips that will help them get back into shape post partum. Meanwhile, 'Sweat' has recently been recognised as Apple TV App of the Year for 2018 being Apple's largest grossing app in the health and fitness category.
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