Croatian Diaspora Spotlight Series - Jakov from Cro2000 Media

Croatian Diaspora Spotlight Series - Jakov from Cro2000 Media

October 19, 2019

In our fifth interview with the Croatian Diaspora, we interview Jakov (also known as Jay Mil) from Sydney, Australia! We met Jakov and his now wife Angela minutes before we were being interviewed for Uppermoda on Cro2000 radio back in 2017. They both made us feel welcome and calmed any nerves we had before the interview! Also, their love of Croatia was evident from the first second we met and listened to them. We could tell that Cro2000 was their passion and they were going to do great things with the program!

We wanted to interview Jakov as he is truly immersed in the Croatian culture and wanted to share his story and his achievements with Cro2000 Media. 

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

Photo: Jakov and Angela at the Croatian Film Festival

Interview with Jakov from Cro2000 Media

Firstly, thank you so much for being part of this Spotlight Series on how the Croatian Diaspora are keeping Croatian Traditions Alive. We are happy to have you as part of our Spotlight series!

1. Tell our audience a little about yourself! What part of Croatia is your family from, where did you grow up and why is Croatia so important to you?

Whilst I was born and grew up in Western Sydney, I was raised in a very “Croatian” way. We often spoke Croatian at home and had a very close connection to our heritage and our family in Croatia. I think a key part of that was because my dad is from Vukovar and because our family lost so much in the war - it was thus very important for our family to make sure that my sister and I understood our heritage, faith, identity and language. My mum’s side is from Nin, near Zadar and that gives me a nice Dalmatian side as well!

2. So Jakov, you are probably best known for all of the hard work you and the team put in at Cro2000 Media. Can you tell us a bit about the beginnings of Cro2000 Radio and how it has evolved over the years. 

Well as you’ve alluded to in your question, Cro2000 began as a radio show in 1991 and it was always a program produced, run and presented by young Croatian Australians. Sometime around 2011 (I think!) as a uni student, I was asked to be part of a new team of young adults to try and revitalise and reignite the radio show. It was a lot of work but still great fun with friends and over that time we’ve seen some great talent come and go. 8 years on I’m still here and we’ve transformed Cro 2000 from a radio show to a fresh, broad ranging program that is available to people on social media and other modern platforms that people use today. To this day it is still a voluntary role which everyone contributes to because they feel passionate about the project.

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

3. What is the purpose and mission of Cro2000 Media and what are some exciting things coming up that you can share with us? 

The purpose of Cro2000 Media is to provide a program and localised content that actually adds value to the Croatian community. We’re in a unique spot in that we actually provide coverage of issues that are close to the diaspora from a local perspective. We want to cover news and events from a unique perspective that isn’t too “heavy” and is accessible to young Croatian-Australians regardless of whether or not they know Croatian.

At the end of the day, I really feel like we are providing something that no one else is doing and that also provides an important historical record of what has occurred in the Croatian community. We’re trying to create content that will connect another generation of Croatian-Australians to their heritage and identity and I think that goes to the core of what motivates us.

We’ll be looking to expand our channel onto even more platforms and with an even wider range of content so watch this space!

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

4. What has been your Cro2000 Media highlight so far?

It’s hard to pick one, but I think generally the highlight has been able to provide something meaningful to the community and be part of a project that really has the Croatian cause at its heart. I’d like to think we are building a legacy that we can hopefully pass on to another generation, and seeing that develop and watching the community respond positively is the biggest highlight.

5. What opportunities has Cro2000 Media provided you?

Well, we’ve been able to interview some amazing people like artists; Mate Bulic, Prljavo Kazaliste, Zapresic Boys, Petar Graso, Maksim Mrvica, Matko Jelavic; sporting personalities like Mile Jedinak and Joe Simunic as well as a range of political, artistic and religious figures. However, it has also enabled us to link with a whole range of Croatian community organisations in the diaspora and be a voice for other groups that do so much for the community. Being a part of the show has also allowed us to develop presenting, communication and production skills which are just generally important in all walks of life. 

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

6. Most of us know you from your work on Cro2000. What other roles do you play in the Croatian community here in Australia and how can people get involved in the community?

Apart from Cro2000, I write for the Croatian Herald (Hrvatski Vjesnik) and contribute articles about happenings in Sydney. As a member of the St Nikola Tavelic Parish along with my wife Angela, we host the annual Christmas Carols event there and read at Mass. I also sit on the Croatian Australian Community Council as well where we try to connect government with the Croatian Community

I would suggest that the simplest way to get involved is to simply put your hand up and “dive in” so to speak. The community needs people to take an active role and take the initiative because if no one does so, eventually the Community will fragment and all of the great things the generations before us built will be in vain. That’s something I would dread to see happen. 

I’ll also take this opportunity to allude to the fact that Cro 2000 will be looking for new talent in the short future so if you’re a young member of the community make sure to get in touch when the call comes out!

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

7. Keeping in mind that we have readers from around the world, what would you recommend for those looking to get more involved with learning about their heritage. What tools or places would you recommend them to search to find out more? (ie particular Facebook groups, communities, etc.)

If you haven’t really thought much about your identity and heritage before, ask your relatives and elders about the parts of Croatia they are from, ask to hear their stories about their towns and villages. Find out about your surname, name and what they mean/why you were given them. Do a bit of reading, understand Croatia’s millenia-long fight for independence and appreciate that you are the product of hundreds of generations of Croatians who fought and died for our people to exist – and that you have a responsibility to not let that heritage die out!

If you’ve got that bit covered (and you start to feel that fire burning) then I think the key is to engage with your community actively. Facebook groups and social media is OK for a start, but it is really important to roll your sleeves up and not be afraid to actually go and physically participate. Try and make an effort to go to the Croatian mass, get reacquainted with the language, go to Croatian Community clubs, teach your kids about their heritage- these are all really simple things that you can do to show you are living your identity – and along the way, you will learn a tonne! Truly being active in terms of your heritage is about more than just posting online when there is a soccer match going on!

Uppermoda Croatian Diaspora interview with Jakov Miljak from Cro2000Media

8. Now for a bit of fun, tell us your favourite Croatian:

  1. Food – Slavonski Kulen w/ Paski Sir
  2. Drink – Cedevita
  3. City or Region – Vukovar – Grad Heroja!
  4. Song – So tough to pick one because there are so many great songs with different levels of seriousness and for different types of occasions – but to blurt out a few random ones would be Geni Kameni, Heroj Ulice and Da Je Srece Bilo!!
  5. Tradition – Any of the Croatian Wedding Traditions, (which I recently had the chance to experience!)
  6. Hidden gem – Marina, a small coastal town near Trogir where our family has a “vikendica”. Its just magic.

 

9. If people want to stay up-to-date with you and what you do in the Croatian community in Australia, how can they follow you or the Croatian groups you are part of?

Follow us on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cro2000radio/ or

Instagram  @cro2000media https://www.instagram.com/cro2000media/ 

And get in touch if you’d like to be involved as well, there’s plenty to do in addition to reporting- scriptwriting, research, production, camera work, audio work, social media posting, makeup ….

WOW, I am thoroughly impressed with Jakov and what the team have accomplished with Cro2000 media. You set a fantastic example of how to get involved in the Croatian community and we are ecstatic to showcase your incredible efforts! 

♡ Meagan & Michael

__________________

We hope you enjoyed our fifth Croatian Diaspora interview in our Spotlight Series! If you would like to be interviewed or would like to recommend someone let us know at meagan@uppermoda.com

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to hear more about us and to stay up to date with events we will be attending and what new products we are releasing.

Also, don't forget to sign up to our newsletter for access to exclusive sales and early releases!         



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Latest News from uppermoda

What is Uppermoda doing differently due to COVID-19
What is Uppermoda doing differently due to COVID-19

April 22, 2020

Thank you for your support during COVID-19. We wanted to provide an update of what we are doing differently during this period to ensure your safety when you get your order.

Read More

Croatian Diaspora Spotlight Series - Nik Kraljevic
Croatian Diaspora Spotlight Series - Nik Kraljevic

February 02, 2020

In our first 2020 Croatian Diaspora interview, we spoke to Nik Kraljevic, the founder of the Croatian social media platform Pleme! 

Read More

Uppermoda’s Croatian Wedding Fashion for Ivana & Tony’s Big Day!
Uppermoda’s Croatian Wedding Fashion for Ivana & Tony’s Big Day!

October 28, 2019

Find out how we incorporated Croatian traditional patterns in a modern way into Ivana and Tony's Wedding Day!

Read More