Mary Kostakidis (BA ’77)
Mary Kostakidis is a co-winner of the Alumni Award for Community Achievement for her role as chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation and human rights leadership in the wider community. Mary’s award epitomises the way a broad liberal arts education (BA ’77) provides the foundations for a critical engagement with society.
From her career as Australia’s first woman to present a national prime time television news bulletin to her period as chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Mary has become a leading figure in Australian public life.
This began at university, when Mary founded the Sydney University Greek Society and became its first president. She was a member of the management team that set up and developed SBS Television, and maintained her role as newsreader for 20 years until 2007.
At the same time, she has nurtured a long-standing interest in human rights. In 2009 Mary served on the National Human Rights Consultation Committee and from 2010-11 was Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation. In this role she championed Wikileaks, chairing a packed meeting at Sydney Town Hall, organised by the Foundation and Amnesty International, which was titled “Breaking The Silence” over Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.
Among many other community roles, Mary has also served as an Ambassador for Beyond Blue and was a member of the Drug and Alcohol Council.