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Get to know your old scholar community. Each month we'll introduce you to an old scholar so you can get better acquainted with your peers.

13 April 2022

Ellis Gelios (2012) is a journalist and radio producer at Flow FM Australia. After graduating from the University of South Australia, he worked in a number of media roles before eventually landing at Flow FM, where he has produced a number of interviews with high-profile politicians, presenters, academics, singers, performers and sports stars.

What is your favourite memory of your time at Pembroke?
I can say with no doubt whatsoever that I have a library of joyful memories from my Pembroke days, though there is one particular period of time that definitely stands out. It was in the backend of 2011 (crazy to think over a decade ago). I was a Year 11 at the time and there was just something special about that year which many of my schoolmates often seem to gloss over without the same enthusiasm. I thought it was an amazing time to be at Pembroke, because it felt as though we were given those specific senior-school privileges; young-adult type of entitlements, but without the pressures of intensified Year 12 workloads which we knew carried consequences on how our professional pathways would pan out.

Doing Drama at Pembroke involved some long days and stressful nights, particularly in final year when the performance component of our production counted as the official SACE examination. Despite this, it was such a fun time in Year 11 doing a self-devised piece with what was a phenomenal ensemble led by Sharon Reynolds and Julianne English. I recall that our Drama cohort spent the week everyone else was away on work-experience, rehearsing for the production. I thought it was such a blast waking up every day virtually not needing to pack a schoolbag; it was just 8.30-3.30 Drama every day for a week. Breaking off for lunch and heading down The Parade in our casuals knowing there was no maths class to head back for in the afternoon but rather a few laughs to be had at Wright Hall felt like a real joyride.

What is your biggest career highlight?
I’d have to say my biggest career highlight is checking my social media feeds at work one morning and clicking onto an article run by Fox Sports Australia. I was passively reading the article and then I realised the quotes I was reading sounded extremely familiar. It then dawned on me that I was reading my own quotes that I had made in relation to a football-related event that had occurred the previous day on my podcast Purebred Reds – Adelaide United Fan TV, which I credit for giving birth to my eventual radio career. That was a euphoric moment.

How did you start in radio?

It was post-COVID in Spring 2020 when I was freelancing as a media practitioner in the most productive way that I could, dipping my toes in anything I could but not breaking through in any specific way. I decided that I’d never given radio a crack and so I enrolled in a radio course taught by SAFM announcer Sean Craig Murphy. There were things he did and didn’t like about what I brought to the table, but, crucially he arrived at the conclusion that I could pursue a radio career and had many good strengths. This then became my biggest professional focus and after a chance encounter with a great man by the name of Jason Regan, I was introduced to some of the powerbrokers at Flow FM. After a bunch of nervy early appearances and a spate of voluntary contributions, I was eventually offered a position as a Content Producer.

Do you have a hidden talent?
I spent the majority of my weekends working as a wedding MC for a company, so maybe with a bit of a stretch I could claim this as my hidden talent. It was also a real blast to be able to recently MC the wedding of one of my longest-standing Pembroke friends Michael Banitsiotis (2012).

What do you do to relax?
Usually my downtime consists of a marriage of streaming movies, playing video games or heading out for a coffee with friends.

If you could have any three people over for dinner, past or present, who would you invite?

To line up a random dinner with Stanley Kubrick, Kyle Sandilands and Ange Postecoglou I think would be a dream come true. Kubrick because he was such a curious mind but also obviously made such riveting films – I’d love to get him to clear some conspiracies with me. Kyle, because I would love to know where he gets his unfounded confidence from and how he has managed to forge his unrivalled media empire in Australia. Postecoglou meanwhile, he’s a fellow Greek/Aussie and as I love the game of football, to see him escalating to such ridiculous heights right now as the manager of one of the world’s biggest football institutions in Celtic FC in Scotland.

The best advice I have ever been given was...
No matter how bad or difficult life can be, there’s always someone worse off, is the best advice I’ve ever received.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?
In terms of my favourite subjects in school, it would be impossible to split between Drama and English Comms (Communications). English Comms in Year 12 really allowed me to express myself creatively and I basically viewed it as the closest thing to a media course which I really appreciated as an aspiring journalist – which is what I knew I wanted to be from Year 10. I also had an awesome teacher in Ray Clark who was brilliant at simplifying things and installing confidence in his students. Drama in Years 11 and 12 with Sharon Reynolds was all in all a series of truly unforgettable memories. At times it felt like more than just a classroom. Sharon was also a bit like a second mum to many of us at times and I absolutely loved the performing component of Drama at Pembroke.

Name a dish that reminds you of your childhood.
A dish that reminds me of my childhood is without doubt my grandma’s pastitsio (Greek-style lasagne). It still tastes as good now as it did in 1997.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
The best advice I could give my 18-year-old self is without doubt to take university a lot more seriously and to use it as an ample opportunity to do as much networking and to chase as many leads as possible and not to wait until graduating. Setting yourself up before receiving your degree is impeccable for aspiring media practitioners.