The Australian Slovenian Review  (A.S.R.)

This publication was unlike any previous newspaper.  It was written solely in English and targetted the second generation Australian Slovenians, whose first language was English.
It was published as a quarterly by a team of young, enthusiastic members of the Sydney Slovenian community. As well as publishing this newspaper, ‘the team’ was well known for its technical work at major productions and events.
The first edition came out in December 1993, with the final edition in 1998.

The Editor was Irena Stariha.



Ime publikacije/Name of Publication:  

FROM: FIRST ISSUE                       SUMMER (DEC) 1993
TO:      FINAL ISSUE                        WINTER 1998

Year                Issue
1993                1  Summer                                          
1997                2   Autumn
1994                1   Summer                                         
1994                2   Autumn                                         
1994                4   Spring
1998                2   Autumn
1995                1   Summer                                         
1995                1a Summer                                         
1995                2   Autumn                                         
1995                4   Spring

1996                1   Summer
1996                2   Winter
1996                4   Spring
1997                1   Summer

1997                3   Winter

1997                4   Spring

1998                3   Winter


asrTeam.jpgOne freezing night in the winter of 1993, a small group of eager, determined but terribly naïve young Australian Slovenians huddled around a miniscule heater in the back room of St Raphael’s Church Merrylands.  We’d been drawn together by the initiative of Joe Andrejaš and word spread, predominantly among people who had been in previous community projects such as ‘The Slov Mob’ (an A4 style newsletter encouraging social outings amongst the youth – in fact the first publication of our generation in Sydney), Australian Slovenian Youth Concerts (SYP Slovenian Youth Productions) and choirs such as ‘Zarja’.  I personally was invited to attend by my brother-in-law Henry Stariha, who gave little information but made our new project sound like fun.

Joe, Henry, Ciril Košorok, Dorothy and John Kobal, Robert Šuber, Marjeta Bolko, Robert Pečovnik and I patched together the first issue that was distributed in the summer of 1993.  We put our hands up for jobs, article ideas, layout concepts, mailing list addresses (with much help in that department from Father Valerian Jenko) and all other aspects of publishing.  Friendships were stretched when we begged, pleaded and forced people to contribute articles but eventually we filled 8 pages, which we photocopied (on the sly) at our workplaces.

Our target audience was always the “youth”, that is anyone under 40!!  But to our pleasant surprise, our publication became ‘must read’ material even by our parents’ generation.  Controversy was never far away, as many outside our team (particularly the older generation) felt that at least a portion of the paper should be presented in Slovenian.  We opposed this throughout the full 5 years we were in existence.  Our aim was to draw in those Australian Slovenians who had no access to the existing media – usually due to the language barrier.  We wanted to encourage interest in the community and help it grow to include those who had any affiliation to Slovenia regardless of their language base.  My first article (in issue 1) disappointed many in the community.  I wrote a  piece entitled “Should my children learn to speak Slovenian?”  It was based on the research of the day, on language development and the advantages / disadvantages of bilingualism in young children.  Many people read it as, me rejecting my heritage.  I was surprised by the cuffufle but it turned out to be great training for many future issues in which I was disagreed with.  Somehow I was voted Editor by the team after issue 1 and I firmly believe their choice was based simply on thickness of skin rather than any knowledge base or ability!

Our team changed many times.  We had some’ long haul’ people that I will try to list (but please forgive my fading memory now that I’m no longer within our target group the “youth”!)  Dorothy & John Kobal, Henry Stariha, Robert Šuber, Ciril Košorok, Jude Bavčar-Skubla, Boris Kobal, Renata Sušanj-Kobal, Sonia Kolar, Jenny Stariha-Bleesing, Mark Stariha, Sylvia Kužnik, Robert Pečovnik and myself.  As well as zillions of people that came and went, contributed articles, ideas, time and of course good wishes. 

From an 8 page photocopied newsletter type publication distributed to a handful of people, the ASR grew into a true community Review, professional gloss publication of 32 pages.  We distributed to approximately 1000 households across Australia (and even overseas) on a quarterly basis – and all free!! (Funded by generous sponsors and advertisers.)

All of this was achieved by an eager, determined, naïve bunch, with no journalistic qualifications or publication experience.  We were all working full-time with most of us being parents of young children and doing this in our ‘spare time’ from home.  Each of us contributed in many ways to our community and although this project gave us incredible pride and satisfaction, it also drained us totally of energy.  We desperately needed new blood but it was hard to find.  The last straw was when my family and I moved to Slovenia for a year.  With tears in our eyes we prepared our last issue for postage – each of us believed that someone from the new “youth” would take on the baton.  We’re still waiting for that to happen.  I know it will be, because even today, a hole exists that was once filled by the ASR.

Irene Stariha, Long time editor of ASR. Jan., 2004

Australian Slovenian Review 1997

Australian Slovenian Review Spring 1997Australian Slovenian Review Sum 1997
Australian Slovenian Review Autumn 1997 Australian Slovenian Review Winter 1997


Australian Slovenian Review 1996

Australian Slovenian Review Spring 1996Australian Slovenian Review Sum 1996
Australian Slovenian Review Winter 1996


Australian Slovenian Review 1995

Australian Slovenian Review Sum 1995Australian Slovenian Review Aut 1995
Australian Slovenian Review 1995


Australian Slovenian Review 1994

Australian Slovenian Review Summer 1994