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Production   /  Sepia Tones

Puskás and the South Melbourne Hellas

This is largely unknown football story-but one that says something about migrants and multiculturalism too

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Cam Fink; and Rob Heath

  • PRODUCER Tony Wilson

Synopsis

DURATION: 60 MINUTES

Ferenc Puskás was THE player of the 50s, an icon of world football. He was the star of Real Madrid and the Hungarian national team. How did a FIFA team of the century superstar become the coach of a football South Melbourne Hellas in the early 90s? This film will explore his bizarre recruitment to Australia (via a Hungarian junior club in Geelong), South Melbourne's 1991 triumph, and his relationship with his captain, Ange Postecoglou, future coach of the Socceroos.
But this is more than a football story. It's a story about immigration, multiculturalism, and the parallel universe that was Australia's NSL, invisible to sports fans from an Anglo background, but vital to European Australians and their children.
This film will document the life of Greek migrants in Melbourne in the 80s and 90s – the struggles they faced, and how their cultural and sporting institutions helped them to make a contribution to multiculturalism, their communities and Australian society.

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Through the story of Ferenc Puskás, we hope to educate Australians about the life and ordeals of Greek migrants and their families in Australia in the 80s and 90s. We also want to do three other things: (1) challenge community attitudes (here and overseas) concerning migrants and refugees; (2) show today's migrants and refugees that they can make a contribution to their new communities; and (3) show that sport can provide an important source of pride and release for those who are not part of mainstream society. In light of increasing fear and xenophobia, these issues demonstrate the importance and benefits of multiculturalism, and why it should it should continue to receive broad support (here and overseas).

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

We want to engage with all Australians concerning the place of migrants in Australian society, how they struggle to adapt to their new country, and their potential to contribute to Australian society. The film will enable people to understand that: (1) migrants can contribute constructively to Australian society; and (2) multiculturalism is healthy and constructive.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short-term and medium-term outcomes: foster pride among the Greek migrants and their descendants; show new migrant groups that they can ‘make it’ in their new countries; provide an historical record showing other Australians that migration and multiculturalism are positive, constructive things worthy of ongoing and increased support; and show politicians and other community leaders (here and overseas) that today’s migrants (for example, Sudanese in Melbourne and Syrians in Hungary) can contribute successfully to their new countries. and communities, and that migration is a positive institution.

Long-term outcomes: increased empathy for migrants and refugees; reductions in the levels of xenophobia, racism and intolerance; and national and international policy change.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Influential members of Melbourne’s Greek community have been providing advice and encouragement to our team. We also hope to build relationships with sporting bodies such as Football Victoria.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

For any viewer concerned about migration and migrants, we want our film to film to cause such concerns to be questioned. We want our film to spark discussion about the constructive and beneficial elements of migration. In short, we want to change behaviours and attitudes. For Greek migrants and their families, we want the film to engender a sense of pride in respect of their achievements. For newer migrants and their families, we want them to see that they too can overcome obstacles and make contributions to life here. We want the film to provoke thought and discussion. Ideally, such thought and discussion will lead to concrete action - action, for example, to preserve historical records, to contact a politician, to create a new football competition, to provide funding to a group of Sudanese youths to play football.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Our indicators for success are as follows:
• our ability to create an accessible historical record for posterity’s sake;
• our ability to track the number of people of attend screenings of the film or watch the film online;
• the number of screenings and broadcasts that we are able to achieve, including screenings at community events and schools;
• our ability to gather
• the nature and extent of media exposure that we are able to achieve;
• the nature and extent of social media commentary relating to our film;
• the nature and extent of engagement with thought leaders such as politicians;
• the nature and extent of engagement with sporting federations such as Football Victoria (and any achievements arising from our encouragement programs; and
• our ability to obtain and use qualitative data such as the information provided through interviews to use for engagement purposes as set out above.

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