Woman Kostakidis, Mary (1954 - )


Written by Kathryn Mcleod, National Film and Sound Archive

Mary Kostakidis was born in Greece in 1954 and relocated to Australia with her family two years later. Kostakidis completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney and was the founder and first president of the University's Greek Society. Talented with languages (French, German, Italian and Modern Greek), Kostakidis supported herself during university by working as a language tutor and interpreter. Later, she saw an opportunity to use these skills by working as a 'subtitler' at a new television station called SBS. She went on to join the SBS Management team that established and set up SBS Television in 1980.

Kostakidis worked in a number of roles at SBS, including running the subtitling department and in acquisitions and children's programming. She was also responsible for developing and implementing the SBS network's classification and censorship policy in her role as Director of Program Preparation. While Kostakidis made many contributions behind the scenes at SBS, it was her role as chief newsreader that made her iconic in Australia. She left that position in 2007 after nearly 20 years in the role.

Actively engaged with the community, Kostakidis served on the National Human Rights Consultation Committee in 2009, chaired the Sydney Peace Foundation from 2010-2011 and worked as an ambassador for Beyond Blue. In 2012, the University of Sydney awarded her with an Alumni Award for Community Achievement 'for her role as chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation and human rights leadership in the wider community' (University of Sydney, 2012).

Published Resources


  • Hogan, Christine, Look at me! : behind the scenes of Australian TV with the women who made it : 50 years, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney, New South Wales, 2006. Details

Online Resources

See also