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Old 09-16-2016, 07:27 AM   #1
Momce Makedonce
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Default Macedonians in Sydney

Feel free to merge this into another thread if need be.

I feel like talking about the Macedonian community living here in Sydney. I was born and have grown up in Sydney, lived my whole life in the Western Suburbs. I don`t know what it is but I feel as though there is not much support and acknowledgement between Macedonians here. It`s almost as if we are weary and in constant competition with one another. Don`t get me wrong it does exist, but for some reason we just don`t support each other enough in my opinion, especially considering the situation Macedonians find themselves in the modern day.

It might just be a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but it genuinely seems like Melbourne Macedonians for example, are much more united and supportive of each other than Macedonians here. Sydney as a city has the second largest concentration of Macedonians in Australia. In saying that there is honestly not much to show for in regard to this. There are only a handful of Macedonian restaurants, delis and cafes, four football clubs of Macedonian origin, four Macedonian Orthodox Churches and not much more. We do not even have a Macedonian community type club or anything in that nature here. You see ethnic groups here with much smaller numbers with their own particular clubs that act as strongholds for the community and are just generally much more established as a group. Even in regards to nightlife type events, Macedonian orientated events like MK nightclub have changed into things like Evropa Superclub with this whole idea of a "Balkan" theme and catering for the other groups as well.

I know other ethnic groups are probably in the same predicament, people of the same stock donít always get along for a range of reasons and that is fine. But like I said given the situation you would think we would be more accepting and encouraging of one another and that it would be more important for us, more so than other groups like Italians, Greeks e.t.c.

Is it the fact that Sydney is a massive city that is already geographically divided? You have Macedonians in St George, Bankstown, Liverpool and Fairfield which are not exactly that close to one another.

This isn`t a rant or anything. I just want to understand why this seems to be the case here in Sydney and if there is anything we as a community can do to bring us closer. Or perhaps this is just my perspective and there is nothing wrong here? Would love to hear some opinions from Sydneysiders or others who have visited Sydney or maybe even what your Macedonians communities are like wherever it is that you live.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Hi Momce

I am from Melbourne, born and raised. I sort of understand what you are saying in regards to geographical divide, I am from the eastern suburbs where there are not many Macedonians, the few that are here are all family and we're fairly close but we have almost no connection to the Macedonians in the northern suburbs. I feel this is mostly because Melbourne is a big city and there is geographical divides (not as much as Sydney) that make it difficult to fully connect across the different regions of the city. Another likely factor for this is that a lot of Macedonians in the northern suburbs are from the Republic or have parents from there. Whereas in the east we are mostly Aegean Macedonians that have been here for a lot longer, so unlike in the north where the youth have parents from Macedonia, in the east only our grandparents are from there.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:12 AM   #3
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Hi Momce

I am from Melbourne, born and raised. I sort of understand what you are saying in regards to geographical divide, I am from the eastern suburbs where there are not many Macedonians, the few that are here are all family and we're fairly close but we have almost no connection to the Macedonians in the northern suburbs. I feel this is mostly because Melbourne is a big city and there is geographical divides (not as much as Sydney) that make it difficult to fully connect across the different regions of the city. Another likely factor for this is that a lot of Macedonians in the northern suburbs are from the Republic or have parents from there. Whereas in the east we are mostly Aegean Macedonians that have been here for a lot longer, so unlike in the north where the youth have parents from Macedonia, in the east only our grandparents are from there.
Yeah I think I agree Liberator. A larger city normally has more divisions, whereas a smaller city generally equals a tighter community. I have never lived in a smaller city of this nature but I think that it would probably suit me to be honest. I think places like Wollongong and Newcastle here in NSW would match this criteria.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:23 PM   #4
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Yeah I think I agree Liberator. A larger city normally has more divisions, whereas a smaller city generally equals a tighter community. I have never lived in a smaller city of this nature but I think that it would probably suit me to be honest. I think places like Wollongong and Newcastle here in NSW would match this criteria.
Yes I was going to suggest them. I know there is also Macedonian communities in Richmond and Queanbeyan, also in New South Wales.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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Yeah I think I agree Liberator. A larger city normally has more divisions, whereas a smaller city generally equals a tighter community. I have never lived in a smaller city of this nature but I think that it would probably suit me to be honest. I think places like Wollongong and Newcastle here in NSW would match this criteria.
Have you ever participated in these Macedonian communities? It would be nice to hear from someone that lives in either Newcastle or Wollongong.

Both are beautiful areas, away from the hustle bustle.

Are you considering retirement? What do you intend to do there?

I didn't intend to be pessimistic, I'm just curious.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:25 PM   #6
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I live in Newcastle, we have a very tight Macedonian community here.
Our first grade football team Broadmeadow Magic was in the grand final of the Northern NSW Premier League 2 weeks ago and the crowd attendance was approximately 4,500 people, not saying all were from our community. Sadly we lost the grand final 2-1.
We have a community hall here in Newcastle as well as a sports club. Functions are often on, for example a few weeks ago there was a beer appreciation night at our sports club and it was well attended.
We are the largest ethnic community in Newcastle and very close knit, I attribute this to the fact that we are a smaller city and basically everyone knows everyone, my wife is amazed at all the "vrski" through our community either through blood or marriage. As I stated being a smaller city we are not spread out as much as the larger cities. In my street alone I know of at least 7 other Macedonian families or households.
Most of my fathers side of the family who emigrated to Australia are concentrated in Melbourne around the Epping, Lalor and Thomastown suburbs. I had to laugh when my wife and I went down early last year for a wedding of a second cousin of mine early last year my wife felt she was like in the korzo in Bitola when we went to Epping Plaza, as virtually every second voice we heard was Macedonian.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
I live in Newcastle, we have a very tight Macedonian community here.
Our first grade football team Broadmeadow Magic was in the grand final of the Northern NSW Premier League 2 weeks ago and the crowd attendance was approximately 4,500 people, not saying all were from our community. Sadly we lost the grand final 2-1.
We have a community hall here in Newcastle as well as a sports club. Functions are often on, for example a few weeks ago there was a beer appreciation night at our sports club and it was well attended.
We are the largest ethnic community in Newcastle and very close knit, I attribute this to the fact that we are a smaller city and basically everyone knows everyone, my wife is amazed at all the "vrski" through our community either through blood or marriage. As I stated being a smaller city we are not spread out as much as the larger cities. In my street alone I know of at least 7 other Macedonian families or households.
Most of my fathers side of the family who emigrated to Australia are concentrated in Melbourne around the Epping, Lalor and Thomastown suburbs. I had to laugh when my wife and I went down early last year for a wedding of a second cousin of mine early last year my wife felt she was like in the korzo in Bitola when we went to Epping Plaza, as virtually every second voice we heard was Macedonian.
I saw Newcastle Suns won their league.

I attend Macedonian school in Thomastown, can confirm a strong community there haha.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:29 AM   #8
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Yes Newcastle Suns won their grand final. They play in the comp below the Northern NSW Premier League. They are our 2nd team with a Macedonian foundation, and most of the players are of Macedonian background. Broadmeadow Magic on the other hand did not have any players with a Macedonian background in their first grade team, the way the league and competition has changed over the last couple of decades or so, they sign the best players in order to pursue success. Prior to this most of the players were of Macedonian background in the first grade team in the first 30 years or so of the clubs existence, whether they were known as Newcastle Macedonian Football Club, Newcastle Red Star etc
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:10 AM   #9
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Have you ever participated in these Macedonian communities? It would be nice to hear from someone that lives in either Newcastle or Wollongong.

Both are beautiful areas, away from the hustle bustle.

Are you considering retirement? What do you intend to do there?

I didn't intend to be pessimistic, I'm just curious.
Hey Redsun. I`ve only ever visited Newcastle and Wollongong and I quite liked them. Very different to the hustle bustle and congestion that I`m used to here in Sydney. I have relatives in Wollongong and have been there a few times, I haven`t been there in a while though.

Hahaha retirement is quite a while away for me mate, I`m 21 years of age. I was just saying that places like that have much more of a 'community' type feel to them, over a place like Sydney or Melbourne. Everyone kind of knows everyone which is pretty cool, but can sometimes be a negative I suppose. There are positives and negatives of both styles of cities I suppose.

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Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
I live in Newcastle, we have a very tight Macedonian community here.
Our first grade football team Broadmeadow Magic was in the grand final of the Northern NSW Premier League 2 weeks ago and the crowd attendance was approximately 4,500 people, not saying all were from our community. Sadly we lost the grand final 2-1.
We have a community hall here in Newcastle as well as a sports club. Functions are often on, for example a few weeks ago there was a beer appreciation night at our sports club and it was well attended.
We are the largest ethnic community in Newcastle and very close knit, I attribute this to the fact that we are a smaller city and basically everyone knows everyone, my wife is amazed at all the "vrski" through our community either through blood or marriage. As I stated being a smaller city we are not spread out as much as the larger cities. In my street alone I know of at least 7 other Macedonian families or households.
Most of my fathers side of the family who emigrated to Australia are concentrated in Melbourne around the Epping, Lalor and Thomastown suburbs. I had to laugh when my wife and I went down early last year for a wedding of a second cousin of mine early last year my wife felt she was like in the korzo in Bitola when we went to Epping Plaza, as virtually every second voice we heard was Macedonian.
Hey Spirit. Yeah this is the kind of thing that I think is missing in Sydney to be honest. There isn`t much of these Macedonian type events and places for a city with such a large Macedonian population.

I`ve actually visited Newcastle but only stayed for the day unfortunately. I want to go back because it actually seems like quite a nice place and something different from what I`m used to living here.

Having a smaller ethnic community, normally means that people want to form relationships, get along and be closer with their own. The different ethnic groups are in bigger numbers in the larger cities so I think that is a reason why this community type feel is kind of lost compared to a place like Newcastle. Not just Macedonians even with Lebanese, Greeks, Italians e.t.c it`s the same. It`s different for a group like Vietnamese, for some reason they really stick together here in Sydney even though it`s a big city and they are in a big number.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Momce Makedonce View Post
This isn`t a rant or anything. I just want to understand why this seems to be the case here in Sydney and if there is anything we as a community can do to bring us closer. Or perhaps this is just my perspective and there is nothing wrong here? Would love to hear some opinions from Sydneysiders or others who have visited Sydney or maybe even what your Macedonians communities are like wherever it is that you live.
I think it's just our generation in general that doesn't share the same community values as the stari. They came here as a community and basically maintained those close-knit ties. 2nd/3rd generation Australian-Macedonians don't share that same bond, so it's far more difficult to find common ground. That said, it is possible. Just look at how many young Macedonians turn up to the annual food festival in Melbourne over the last few years.

I was talking to a Macedonian from Sydney earlier today and that 'Evropa' event at Ivy last night was mentioned. The same thing happened in Melbourne regarding maco night. I think the organisers realised that their target market was quite small (and probably dwindling) so they went down the path of 'Yugo/Balkan' themed events. It's a shame but I assume the only other alternative was to have nothing at all. That said, I don't think things are at the critical stage yet. For the most part, I think the community is starting to adapt more to the interests of the younger generations. The conventional gathering events like church/dinner dances/picnics simply don't muster enough interest in the youth. When the stari are gone I fear for the survival of these cornerstones of the community. It's not just us though, every ethnic group experiences the same process. That's just part and parcel of assimilation. Add in mixed marriages, mingling with other groups, etc and kids in a few generations time won't even know what Macedonia is. That's why education is vital. Even small efforts such as that 'Macedonian Australian Pride' page on facebook provide a great benefit. Targeting the youth with humour and topics they can relate to, whilst throwing in the odd fact here and there about Macedonia.

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Hi Momce

I am from Melbourne, born and raised. I sort of understand what you are saying in regards to geographical divide, I am from the eastern suburbs where there are not many Macedonians, the few that are here are all family and we're fairly close but we have almost no connection to the Macedonians in the northern suburbs. I feel this is mostly because Melbourne is a big city and there is geographical divides (not as much as Sydney) that make it difficult to fully connect across the different regions of the city. Another likely factor for this is that a lot of Macedonians in the northern suburbs are from the Republic or have parents from there. Whereas in the east we are mostly Aegean Macedonians that have been here for a lot longer, so unlike in the north where the youth have parents from Macedonia, in the east only our grandparents are from there.
Likewise. I'm born and raised in the East as well, so I'm not sure whether this disconnection is a product of that or a blanket issue across the entire Macedonian community. We used to have a language school in Box Hill and a dancing club in Doncaster, but those are long gone now. Given that, it's a good feeling when you meet other Macedonians out and about. I met a few last night that are friends of friends and naturally I always ask where they are from (in terms of their family in Macedonia and also Melbourne). 90%+ will say Bitola or Skopje and reside in the Northern suburbs, so in general the north (as you said) are Macedonians from the Republic.
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