Passion to profession
Telling stories every Australian should know
Humans have been telling stories long before we could even write them down. Moving beyond the written word, postgraduate student Con Stamocostas harnessed the power of storytelling via video to take full advantage of the changing landscape of media.
After many years covering Australian sports, Con turned his passion for writing to the screen to tell the inspiring story of John Moriarty, former Indigenous football player and founder of the John Moriarty Football organisation. His Masters of Journalism final project was broadcast on National Indigenous Television Australia in July this year.
“I was really happy to learn that NITV would broadcast my documentary. It’s an important story that needs to be told.
“John Moriarty is such a significant figure in helping Indigenous people to get the right to vote. He says football was the anchor that gave him the confidence to get an education. He is using his experience to make a difference in his community,” said Con, who plans to expand the documentary into a series that portrays the stories of other Indigenous football figures.
Having never completed an undergraduate degree, Con said his postgraduate studies gave him the practical skills required to turn his passion into a profession.
“When I started my degree my single focus was to get better at writing. I was really inspired by the enthusiasm and passion of my teachers, particularly in my video journalism classes. That’s what sparked my interest in the screen."
Throughout his studies, Con was writing for FoxSports, FourFourTwo and the Greek Australian newspaper Neos Kosmos.
While I was writing stories I was using all that I was learning at University in a really practical way. I was able to sharpen my writing; my news stories and features improved as I became more disciplined.
“One piece of advice I always try to follow is to write the first draft with a leather jacket and edit the next couple of drafts with your grandmother’s cardigan. The first draft is never going to be perfect, so I don’t try to make it perfect.”
Con continues to cover Australian football for Neos Kosmos and FourFourTwo, and has also branched out with some features on Greek migrants and cultural diversity. Though he remains aligned with his passion for sports journalism, it is the human element of storytelling that appeals to him most.
“My long term goal is a documentary on Australian Soccer that chronicles its history from its Indigenous and migrant roots to the modern day. I’d like to start with the Greek-Australian Socceroos because a lot of them came to prominence in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It’s an underreported segment of Australian society.”
“I really want to focus on the human stories around football. Stories to do with cultural diversity and the migrant experience are important to me because they give an opportunity to hear the voices of the actual Australian community as opposed to just the mainstream. Being from a non-Anglo background myself, these issues really speak to me personally.”
Con’s work has already earned him national and international success. He has recently written a feature for ESPN that was broadcast around the world, as well as a feature for Inside Sport magazine, one of the most read sporting magazines in Australia. His outstanding work has earned him a nomination for a 2017 Ossie Award for student journalism.