What’s Your Cro Factor!

Cro Factor Competition Sydney 2022 Competitors and organisers Photo: Domovina Weekly

The community is one of the most important components of the wider society. As human beings progress and new civilisations emerge, the definition of community has also evolved. Traditionally, a community has been defined as a socially cohesive group of people who interact with each other or organise themselves around common values, goals, or a geographic area, or involve themselves in various organisations and associations. For example, a football or social club, a church, a sports club, a school, actively participating in their activities and helping whenever possible contributes significantly to the feeling of belonging. However, in the modern world, the definition of community has grown beyond physical boundaries and now, thanks to advances in technology and the Internet, encompasses relationships across a city, a country, and people around the world.

So, in general, the concept of community implies the sharing of something, ties, culture, interest, or identity. In this sense, it is a broad term that characterises the feeling of cohesion or uniqueness among certain groups of people and guided by the idea of social capital, social capital is defined as a resource created through the interaction of people who have developed mutual relationships based on shared values and which is used to achieving individual and collective benefits. In addition, social capital ensures that shared values and norms are nurtured, created, and maintained in order to ensure social order.

And our Croatian community in Australia, in the diaspora in general, has also taken on broader frameworks than those we have known for a long time – clubs, churches, schools, etc., so there is a considerable number of children or persons of the second, third or fourth or fifth generation who have Croatian origins and who are often identified in the wider Australian society as persons of Croatian roots and origins. This is the case with all immigrant Croatian communities around the world. Before technological advances, before electronics and the Internet, it was relatively easy to maintain Croatian culture and customs together in life because we gathered in Croatian clubs or churches or playgrounds. Today, such gatherings are becoming rarer and more difficult, either because of the distance or because of other priorities for life. But the need for connection within Croatian content and the Croatian community has not decreased, it has only become more difficult in many ways.

And so, the Cro Factor competition plan for preschool and school children was created in Sydney, the goal of which is to connect children with Croatian content and open opportunities for them to compete with each other with their knowledge and skills related to Croatia; Croatian culture, history and the rich reality of their ancestors.

The first Cro Factor competition, in which children with permanent residence in Australia competed in several categories with mandatory Croatian content, was held from September to mid-November 2022. The competition categories for which children could register were Poetry, Dance (Individually or Group), Written composition (up to 800 words), Video (up to 5 minutes, own choice of Croatian content), Artwork, Singing/Music (recorded on video). Children’s registrations for the competition arrived, much to the joy and pride of the organisers headed by the Australian-Croatian Domovina Weekly Newspaper. Of the 16 children who competed, relatively the most entries came from the category of singing and music (playing Croatian songs on instruments such as accordion, tambourine, guitar). To be honest, given that the organisers and the public did not have much time for details or preparation for this first Cro Factor annual competition, we believe that this first competition was extremely successful.

It was very difficult for the judges to choose the winners from a wide range of singing, playing an instrument, artwork, written compositions, and poetry. The organising committee, delighted with the quality of the entries, decided not only to award prizes to the first three, but also to award a Certificate of Appreciation along with a cash prize to all competitors. For this opportunity, we are grateful to the sponsors who were generous to the children who participated with great enthusiasm and ability in this competition, which expands and enriches the Croatian identity in emigration to the youngest generations born in the diaspora. After thorough consideration, the judges gradually narrowed down their choices before selecting the three winners of the Cro Factor 2022 competition.

The First prize and the first place won in the competition went to the brothers Kiko and Niko Palavra, who sang the Croatian song “Geni kameni” (Stone Genes) by Marko Perkovic Thompson in a duet accompanied by the piano. Their attention to the pronunciation of Croatian words was at a high level. Excellent timing of the piano accompaniment. A serious, very well accomplished performance. Excellent duet synchronisation. We congratulate the Palavra brothers on winning the First Prize, which was $300, and we look forward to their performance at Cro Factor 2023.

Cro Factor 2022 First Prize Winners Kiko and Niko Palavra, front centre i red and white checkers shirts. Photo: Domovina Weekly

The Second prize and second place in the competition, with a prize of $200, went to young Marko Rimac. His manual and finger synchronisation on the accordion was excellent, the beat of the notes very good, a serious approach to the performance of the popular Croatian folk song “Pjevaj mi pjevaj sokole” (Sing, sing to me, falcon). And even more perfect playing of our dear instrument, the accordion, we wish from Marko at the Cro Factor 2023 competition as well.

Cro Factor Second Prize Winner Marko Rimac (Centre). Photo: Domovina Weekly

The Third prize and the first place in the competition, with a cash prize of $150, went to the young Ante Sincek. Ante Sincek appeared as a small talented musician, tambourine and keyboard and guitar player. Excellently executed with great confidence and diverse ability in development.

Cro Factor 2022 Third Prize Winner Ante Sincek (Centre) Photo: Domovina Weekly

Certificates of Appreciation for participation in the competition with a cash prize of $50 were awarded to: Matilda Herceg, Ivana Herceg, Jasmine Mrvica, Jacob Mrvica, Katia Vukasovic, Lana Vukasovic, Monika Mandic, Mihaela Lesic, Ante Thomas Broz, Mate Rimac, Renato Rimac and Tomas Reljanovic.

The vivid enthusiasm of all the children who competed in their submitted works was the highlight of this competition as was the joyous belief that the idea of the Cro Factor competition will bring children together, connect them around Croatian heritage and culture; to enrich their lives and ours in the future. Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to this new way of connecting within the community.

Fundamental to Cro Factor is a view of children’s lives characterised by belonging and existence both within the large, diverse and broad community in Australia and the need for a sense of specialness that every child and adult strives for. Our specialty lies in the Croatian content of culture, customs and language. From before birth, children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, especially within the family, which are the first and most influential educators of children. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and build their own identities and understandings of the world. And the daily life of the Croatian community contains at least some of the Croatian heritage, if not significantly. The experience of belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is an integral part of human existence. Children first of all belong to the family, cultural group, neighbourhood and wider community. Belonging recognises the interdependence of children with others and the foundation of relationships in defining identity. In early childhood and throughout life, relationships are key to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to existence and becoming because it shapes who children are and who they can become. Childhood is a time of living, searching, and making sense of the world we live in, and we in Australia live in a multicultural, rich, broad community where Croatian has and has had a significant role in upbringing and growth. Being recognises the significance of what is here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and their getting to know themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, facing life’s joys and complexities and facing challenges in everyday life. Early childhood is not only preparation for the future, but also for the present. Living in a country where it’s easy to assimilate with different cultures, we think it’s crucial to be aware of your own ethnic origins. And that’s how the idea for the Cro Factor competition came about; support for pride in what it means to be a Croat or a woman of Croatian origin.

Cro Factor nurtures Croatian ethnic pride and lets it be seen through the annual competition, which we hope will grow and become one of the important links that connect the Croatian generation born in emigration into a strong, proud community. Therefore, with Cro Factor we choose to highlight certain Croatian traditions, speak the Croatian language, educate others about our history, and give back to the community as much as we can and often because this enables us to strengthen the connection with our culture and strengthen the truth and togetherness in the country outside of Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina in which Croats live.

Cro Factor Australia Logo

The act of nurturing the pride you have for your Croatian ethnicity and culture should be based on the actions you take to keep it alive. And Cro Factor wants to make a significant contribution to that! Thank you to everyone who participated in the Cro Factor competition this year! Everything was wonderful, and we expect your contributions next year as well! With such new Croatian forces, let’s go together into the future! Ina Vukic


  1. I read your article on Croatian community the world over with especial reference to Cro-factor in Australia . Your definition of ‘the community’ again appears to me as half-hearted . As you have not included Croatian sentiment . Those sentimental to the Croatian causes must also be included in the definition of community as such . As I am not Croatian , I am from India , I am not Christian but a staunch HINDU , yet I ,myself, find immensely connected with the Croatian causes and sentiment as such . That’s why I am also your community men , Madame Inavukic . And without hesitation you can consider me so .

    Thanks with Merry Christmas in advance !

  2. Oh this is so sweet! So nice to see the young kids having a go and keeping Croatian community alive!

  3. Congrats to your national team for a big win against Brazil. Happy week end and Keep winning. Cheers.

  4. You highlight the Croatian cause so sensibly

  5. Americaoncoffee says:

    The internet is for the whole world (not simply disconnected Croatians) to positively connect, and quickly to takedown the evil governments. Prayer thru Christ is the greatest empowerment. Peace Love to you all for the season and always.🔔⛪️✝️

  6. ❄🧊⛄🌿🎄🕯🤍🕊🎁🎉🥂✨

  7. Amazing community

  8. Pray for peace 🕊️

  9. Love your depth in the definition of community.Nice article

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