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Issue XI

December/February 2017


The Blessing of the Fleet

Recipe Focaccia

The art historian

Vittorio Sgarbi PLUS Interview

Italian-Australian filmmaker Ruth Borgobello

Giovanni Butera


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“There is nothing more temporary than a permanent immigrant!� An immigrant is always looking for a home, the further away they are, the stronger is their quest for a home. Italians always have had their roots deeply planted in their millenarian culture but they become completely oblivious to the fact that they have packed their historic and rich inheritance into their luggage when migrating to Australia. We like to hear their stories, we provide them with a forum to articulate their views, whether they are multinational enterprises, successful business people or young disoriented talents. Segmento aims to be the megaphone of the Italian Australian community. Its objective is to become the vital link between their Italian roots and the new culture of multi ethnicity that prevails in Australia.

Daniele Curto Founder and Managing Director


WE ARE INDEPENDENT AND ASIA-PACIFIC’S LEADER ON THE YOUNG ITALIAN EXECUTIVE GLOBAL COUNCIL (YEX) ALTO is building a strong, active and enduring Italian-Australian Community network based in Melbourne. We run events which showcase the great contributions Italians have been making in Australia for more than 60 years.

WANT TO MEET LIKEMINDED ITALIAN-AUSTRALIAN PROFESSIONALS? BECOME A MEMBER SEGMENTO THE ALTO ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP IS AVAILABLE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND STUDENTS FOR ONLY $50.00 $45.00 (Limited time only) ALTO MEMBERS RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS  ALTO key ring  Priority invitations to ALTO events  Access to ALTO referrals network  Discounted rates to paid ALTO events  Invitations to future members-only events  Regular newsletters about the ALTO community  Various product/service discounts from ALTO sponsors

Membership Discount


WAS $50.00, NOW. ..




Valid from August 1st Senators Breakfast With Greens leader Richard Di Natale until October 31st 2016 Property & Construction Night Talk business at BMW showrooms Italians in Fashion Explore the Italian prescence in the Aussie market Women in Business Celebrate Italian women who are raising the bar A Passion for Food Embrace Italian food in Australia (with your mouth full!)



Get a website quote today! Visit: WWW.360SOUTH.COM.AU



1.Omar D’Incecco

2.Ilaria Gianfagna

3.Marisa Ferraro

4.Salvatore Rossano




5.Agata Grimaldi


6.Ivano Ercole

7.Archimede Fusillo


8.Elizabeth Wisser & Enrico Massei




9.Fabrizio Battisti

10.Jenna Lo Bianco

11.Hayley J. Egan


12.Marco Maria Cerbo


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(Consul General of Italy)

13.Deirdre MacKenna

­14.Gerardo Papalia

15.­Johnny Di Francesco ­

16.Bernadette Novembre





17.Laura D’Angelo

18.Bronte Dee Jackson

19.Daniele Foti-Cuzzola





20.Mariantonietta Rasulo

21.Josie Gagliano

Founder and Managing Director Daniele Curto 041 8891 285

Associate Editor Ivano Ercole

Graphic Artist Aurora Delfino Creative Consultant Imbarani Poonasamy Photographers Paco Matteo Li Calzi, Daniele Curto, Ksenia Belova

For features, articles and editorial submissions: 041 8891 285

For advertising equires please contact: 041 8891 285

Cover photo credits Photographer

Paco Matteo Li Calzi

Translation Support Jenna Lo Bianco

Proof Reading Sarah Pradolin


Agata Grimaldi Hayley J. Egan Laura D’Angelo Ilaria Gianfagna Archimede Fusillo Salvatore Rossano Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy) Ivano Ercole Elizabeth Wisser Enrico Massei Gerardo Papalia Deirdre MacKenna ­Marisa Ferraro ­Johnny Di Francesco ­ Bronte Dee Jackson Matteo Preabianca Fabrizio Battisti I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase Omar D’Incecco Daniele Foti-Cuzzola Josie Gagliano Mariantonietta Rasulo Jenna Lo Bianco Bernadette Novembre DISCLAIMER The Editorial-Staff ensures that every details are correct at the time of printing, however the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors and inaccuracies.

Segmento media partner

Global Association of International Artists

Global Association of International Artists


EDITORIAL How Literature and immigration triggered

Italian stereotypes Clichés about Italians are the image, often distorted, that foreigners abroad have of us. They began in Europe with the spread of travel diaries of the intellectuals who visited our country, struggling with the educational journey called “Grand Tour”. Centuries later, in the early 1900s, the stereotypes were reinvigorated thanks to migratory phenomena. STEREOTYPES AND LITERATURE “A paradise inhabited by devils.” It would be incorrect to define this statement on Italy, like the one Goethe offered history and the world in the aftermath of his “Italian Journey”, but without a doubt this view has become more popular. It’s the Grand Tour that we must start from if we want to fully understand when these Italian clichés began.

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Naples is ‘one of the most loved cities’ (“... in my eyes, it’s beyond comparison, the most beautiful city in the universe” - Stendhal), but also the least understood by young European intellectuals (“... whose inhabitants seem to live on the border between heaven and hell” - E. Gibbon). In these travel journals we find a number of stereotypes about the habits and daily life of the city of Naples. Neapolitans eat macaroni, even at night; everyone knows how to play the mandolin and in the evening, everyone dances the tarantella on the seashore. They are full of life, gesturing and talking loudly. It’s plausible that the distinguished visitors, already at that point, pursued a stereotyped image of Italy. Perhaps they didn’t find one ‘single Italy’, but rather, many ‘Italies’. All distinct in historical, geographical and political point of view, that many most likely overlooked. STEREOTYPES AND IMMIGRATION Such conventional models are often intertwined with immigration. Mass emigration, coupled with the fact that Italians have ‘invaded’ nearly every corner of the globe, have contributed to the creation of a stereotyped image (often negative) that foreigners have of us. This in turn has transformed into a veritable’ anti-Italianism’, a phenomenon noted mainly in the United States and Central-Northern Europe (Germany, England, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, France). This anti-Italian racism also occurred in Australia. In 1934 in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, after months of tension, the houses of Southern Europeans were set alight. Italians, along with Yugoslavs and Greeks had to flee the city. Although this was an isolated case, it proves the inhospitable sentiment that fed the Australians to turn against the population of Southern-Central Europeans, primarily being the Italians.



Today the situation has definitely improved. With the explosion of the “Made in Italy” culture of the 80s and 90s, Italy carved itself a space in global public opinion, which has earned respect and dignity. We are no longer those who know how to make pasta and play the mandolin. We have made ourselves known and appreciated in many other fields that fall outside those on which others’ prejudices were built. In recent years in Australia, the term “wog” has lost its derogatory connotation, and living ‘all’italiana’ is often adopted in today’s society as a model to inspire to. However, no one should be fooled, as stereotypes against Italians are far from having disappeared. They often overpower common sense, decency and respect for human life. Consider the inappropriate cartoons of “Charlie Hebdo” representing the victims of the central-Italian earthquake of last August. In these caricatures people were buried in the rubble depicted as layers of lasagna, and it was stated that the Mafia built the houses. More recently, some schools in the UK require an ethnic-linguistic distinction between “Italians”, “Italian-Sicilian” and “Italian-Neapolitan” of the students at the time of enrolment. Who will explain to the British that Italy became a unified country on the 17th of March 1861?






Speciale Arte COVER STORY Giovanni Butera, a new art renaissance devotee


Ivano Ercole


My introduction to Italian Art Gerardo Papalia

Roots&Routes Quadriennale d’arte di Roma Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy)

Vittorio Sgarbi: a famous Italian art critic and historian

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Culture Bites A “human first” approach to life Bronte Dee Jackson

The health benefits of fermented food Agata Grimaldi

Recipe: Focaccia Pane & Pizzico

A Future in their Past When migrating to Australia led to a life of gloom and solitude Archimede Fusillo


The compass of our rights 88 days - Dreams, hopes and delusions of the young Italians Mara Rasulo

Stockist list

The blessing of the fleet in Fremantle Daniele Foti-Cuzzola



Glamorous Italian: A fashion showroom in Melbourne Michelle Nouri

Regulars The Subclass 485 Temporary graduate visa Enrico Massei and Elizabeth Wisser

Andrea Cozzolino: World Pizza Champion Jenna Lo Bianco

Our correspondent in Italy I. Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase



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The Italian-speaking inner voice


Pomodoro Sardo: A Sardinian eatery in Lonsdale Street Laura D’Angelo


Interview with Ruth Borgobello


Italy validates de facto and same-sex unions

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Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Our correspondent in Italy Omar D’Incecco



Alto: The torchbearers of a transformed Italian culture in Australia Ivano Ercole

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The strengths and weaknesses of Italian language education in Victoria Jenna Lo Bianco

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Jenna Lo Bianco

The Music of Negramaro and its huge success Bernadette Novembre

Segmento Magazine December/February 2017

words Jenna Lo Bianco PHOTO DANIELE CURTO

For me, making a pizza then watching someone eat it and enjoy it...that’s the ultimate satisfaction. It’s love

From life-long passion to World Pizza Champion


ndrea Cozzolino’s passion for the art of pizza making – and yes, it is quite an art – began in Naples during his school-age years. Andrea was just twelve years old. It all started quite modestly, working at a local family-run pizzeria, making simple pizzas, preparing ingredients and feeding the staff. By the age of fifteen he knew he had found his calling in life and finished school. As a result, Andrea has dedicated the last ten years to pizza. And guess what? He couldn’t be happier. We giggled our way through his life story, sign-posted with the expected mention of ‘concerned but supportive parents’, a courageous (and somewhat spontaneous) story of migration to Australia, and lots of pizza. After various stints working in famous pizzerie in Naples on Elba Island and in Udine, Andrea moved to Australia when he was twenty, leaving behind his parents and all that was familiar. “I don’t even speak English! What am I doing?” he had asked himself. As it turns out, the risk was worth it. Andrea’s story is much happier than many other young Italian migration stories today. He was never without work, though he did need to establish a friendship base here in Melbourne. Enter at this point his friend, ‘Ciccio’ – aka Francesco Crifò. Francesco and Andrea met as colleagues before opening Zero 95, a pizzeria in Melbourne’s Doncaster East. Andrea speaks of Francesco with great affection and respect. “To me, he isn’t just a business partner. To me, he’s family,” he gushes. “Italy is famous for it’s food, right? Sicily is famous for cannoli, Bologna is famous for mortadella, and Parma is famous for prosciutto… Naples is famous for pizza.” During the past ten years Andrea has competed in many pizza-making competitions, the most important being the Caputo Cup in Naples. This year Andrea returned to his beloved Naples and took part in the prestigious competition. He managed to take out the championship title, crowned the 2016 World Pizza Champion, beating over 600 international competitors. Naturally, when in the presence of such an expert, curiosity gets the better of you. I couldn’t help but ask what makes for a truly authentic pizza. Time. The dough proves for more than twenty-four hours. Quality Italian ingredients. San Marzano tomatoes. ‘Caputo’ flour. Artisan quality fior di latte cheese.

World Pizza Champion Andrea Cozzolino 8 FOOD&WINE

I came away from my time with Andrea in awe of the dedication and commitment he brings to his work. He lives and breathes pizza, and cherishes the joy he brings to people at the table. What struck me most about Andrea is his humility. Andrea acknowledges the support and time invested in him by colleagues and friends that have helped him reach this new level of success. Reflecting on this incredible achievement Andrea says, “Everyday I still work to improve, to get better and learn more.” This is not the end-point of success for Andrea, rather a departure for this talented, passionate pizzaiolo.


The health

benefits of fermented

food T

he intake of carbohydrates (“carbs”) remains a controversial subject of discussion. According to some health authorities, they are not essential and a potential source of many diseases ranging from cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. In contrast, others continue to emphasise their importance at the base of the food pyramid and state that they are crucial for our mood, general health and even cognitive performance. The truth perhaps is that no one size fits all. Carbs come in a large variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and tubers, the body converting them into sugar to provide energy. When on a low carb diet, the liver releases ketone bodies to provide energy to the body and the brain. The conversion of fats and proteins into ketones is an energy-intense process. Some people feel more energised and alert when consuming fats and proteins to fuel their brain and body, whereas others lean toward carbs as their primary source. For those in the former category, one hypothesis is that the transformation of fats and proteins into energy is hard and forces the adrenal glands to work overtime. Effectively, the brain enters into a starvation mode while the cortisol, the hormone involved in the body’s reaction to fight, increases. As the cortisol is released, the ability to respond to stress is affected and the mood compromised. According to a randomised controlled trial, stress-prone individuals saw a drop in their cortisol level and a reduction in their depressive mood by adopting a carb-rich and low-protein diet. According to the latest scientific research, the connection between the gut and the brain is very strong! The diet of an individual

10 Food&Wine

affects the composition of the microbiota, the gut environment. In turn, the gut bacteria sends information to the brain through the vagus nerve. This means a diet high in processed and refined food can contribute to the creation of unhealthy intestinal flora. Due to the strong gut-brain connection, unhealthy intestinal flora can impact brain health and increase the risk of developing anxiety, depression or other issues. One way to normalise the mood and keep the brain performing at its optimal level is to maintain a healthy intestinal flora. Eating fermented food is perhaps the best and most natural way to achieve this goal. Fermentation is the process used to make wine, yoghurt, bread and other products. Microorganisms including yeast and bacteria, consume the carbs found in food. The longer the fermentation time, the greater the number of carbs eaten by the microorganism, and generally the increased sourness of the food itself. A particular gut bacteria called Lactobacillus rahmnosus, which occurs naturally in some fermented food such as Parmigiano Reggiano, can dramatically increase the production of one of the crucial neurotransmitters responsible for calming the activity of the brain, GABA. What a great excuse to indulge on this delicious Italian cheese! Another example is the “mother yeast”, a real live organism that not only “eats” the sugar of the dough, but also “breathes” in the open air. If you find you are irritable and brought easily to tears on a low carb regime, maybe before reaching for medicine, grab some high quality fermented food such as yoghurt, a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano, a slice of a good quality sourdough bread or some focaccia.



using Pasini type Marrone flour INGREDIENTS 1Kg Marrone Pasini Flour 400ml Water 100ml Milk Y

25gm Yeast. Beer 15gm Oil (Sunflower) 30gm Sea Salt A pinch of sugar

Method Place the Pasini flour in a mixer and add water as you mix at a slow speed for 4 minutes. Once the dough has a consistent feel increase the speed of the mixer and add milk, yeast, salt and a pinch of sugar. Once all the ingredients have mixed in, slow the mixer and add oil for a final mix of 6 minutes. Your Focaccia mix should be ready. Grease a baking sheet 40 x 60 cm, or make round with a diameter of 50 centimeters. Put in the baking tray about 1,200 kg of the dough and slightly oil the dough Place the tray in an oven and slightly warm oven to approximately T 30/35° allowing leavening to commence for 1 hour. Remove and re-spread the mixture evenly in the tray right up to the edges and re-oil slightly. Make it rise again for 2 hours at 30/35 Remove & add sea salt and decorate with product of choice including either rosemary, onions & cherry tomatoes. Now the final bake for approximately 10 minutes at 280/290 ° C in an electric or gas oven.


WORDS Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Two major events of Fremantle join forces aiming to become the biggest

Italian Cultural Festival

in the Southern Hemisphere

It is not every day that one witnesses a medieval tradition in a hipster city such as Fremantle


hen Italian migrants made the courageous decision to move to Australia, they did not just leave behind family and friends but also their cherished traditions. The “Festa del Santo Patrono” – the feast in honour of the Patron Saint – was and still is the most important religious and social event in ones town or village. In Western Australia, the Italian community established a number of festas to display their devotion and affection to saints including Saint Anthony, Saint Joseph and Saint Leo, but none of the festas are as well-known or attracts as many people as “The Blessing of The Fleet” in Fremantle. While the port city of Fremantle is now home to a number of Italian migrants from various parts of Italy, the first members of the Italian community were mostly fishermen from Capo d’Orlando (Sicily), the Aeolian Islands and Molfetta (Puglia). These fishermen were accustomed to grand processions and religious celebrations in their hometowns, in which the local priest would bless their fleet to ensure a safe and prosperous fishing season. The first fishermen arrived in the early 1900’s but it was not until 1948 that those from Molfetta organised the first Blessing of the Fleet celebration. In 1954 the Molfettesi were joined by their Sicilian counterparts and since then the “Madonna di Capo d’Orlando” and “Madonna dei Martiri”, Patron Saint of Molfetta, have been affectionately paraded around the streets of Fremantle on the last Sunday of every October. The Blessing of the Fleet is a spectacle to behold. It is not every day that one witnesses a medieval tradition in a hipster city


such as Fremantle. Children and adults are dressed in traditional costumes, Italian music serenading the town. A group of women carry the silver Madonna di Capo d’Orlando, and the men carry the Madonna dei Martiri from the historic St. Patrick’s Basilica to the fishing harbour. Since its humble origins the festa has grown in size. Other Italians and the Croatian and Portuguese communities have embraced it. “Even non-Catholics love seeing the procession as we walk through the streets of Fremantle” says John Minutillo, President of the Blessing of the Fleet’s organising committee. “They like seeing the procession, the Italian culture. People come from everywhere. You’d be surprised how many come out onto the streets just to see it.” While the festa attracts thousands of spectators each year, committee members have allowed it to become bigger and bolder to ensure its longevity. This year The Blessing of the Fleet collaborated with Nella Fitzgerald, festival director of Little Italy By The Sea, a weekend-long street festival that brought Italian flair back to the historic town of Fremantle, which was once considered a Little Italy of Western Australia. This year the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and Bathers Beach were transformed into bustling piazzas, which celebrated everything Italian from food to art, with over twenty pop-up restaurants and bars, dazzling floorshows, cooking demonstrations, spaghetti eating competitions and the Australian Specialty Coffee Championships. “There is so much more to our culture than just food!” says Fitzgerald. “It encompasses art, science, family, music, fashion and to bring them all together is amazing… It’s celebrating what we are perceived as being and bringing our people together to share our heritage and our brilliance.” The festival director hopes that having “Little Italy By The Sea” with “The Blessing of The Fleet” will encourage young Italo-Australians to embrace their heritage and the traditions of their ancestors. “Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition and by bringing Little Italy by the Sea into it, I’m incorporating the contemporary Italian culture with the historical culture and I’m bringing recognition to all our people. Our parents, our Nonni, that came to a new country and started with nothing and tried to bring their culture and their people together.” Whilst interest in The Blessing of the Fleet grew considerably this year, Fitzgerald and the Blessing of the Fleet committee have ambitious plans for 2018 when the festa will celebrate its 70th anniversary. “We want to make ‘The Blessing of the Fleet’ and the ‘Little Italy By the Sea’ the biggest Italian cultural Festival in the Southern Hemisphere by 2018,” says Fitzgerald. With a renewed interest in Italian culture, a new wave of Italian migration and the two teams managing to launch an incredible inaugural festival, it seems the prayers to ensure the festa’s longevity have been answered.

Images from previous years festa




o you ever hear voices in your head? I do. All the time.

I hear two. One voice, usually the voice of reason and control, speaks English. The other, the voice that pipes up in moments of extreme emotion and passion, speaks Italian. For the most part they happily take turns expressing my opinions, narrating my life and inner-monologue. But in all honestly, I think my Italian voice is the dominant player. When unjustly silenced by my English voice, the Italian voice self-combusts, forcing the ‘Italian-ness’ through my arteries and veins. It flows at high speed through my limbs until forced to escape through my hands, sending me into wild fits of gesticulation. There are some things that only my Italian voice can express. I dare say that many of you have similar experiences. Born and bred an Italo-Australian, there are certain things in my life that simply demand the Italian voice. Years ago I found myself Googling “come si dice ‘scolapasta’ in inglese?” My soul shrank upon learning that ‘colander’ was the answer to that question. ‘What an ugly word!’ I thought. Similarly, I can’t bring myself to say ‘dish cloth’ when using a ‘pezza’ in the kitchen. Honestly, it just feels wrong.

The Italian-speaking inner voice that can’t be silenced

Italian Language Teacher Jenna Lo Bianco 14 CULTURE

I find myself trapped in this mental bilingual tug-o-war given the life experiences provided to me in my most formative years. My parents don’t speak Italian, they speak Calabrese. For those of you unfamiliar with the Calabrese dialect, or with Italian for that matter, let me assure you that they are two very different linguistic experiences. I was raised in a world in which the most comfortable language choices for my parents informed my own linguistic growth. Thankfully they chose to expose me to as much Italian as possible from a young age - songs, stories, words and rhymes. The process of negotiating two voices in my head, as you can gather, started from birth. Our distinct Calabrese dialect indeed shaped those early experiences I had growing up, and it continues to play a significant role in determining who I am today. Despite the fact that it was not always smooth sailing, I can now appreciate those experiences with warmth and fondness. At times I struggled to balance the two worlds. During my primary school years I longed to be more culturally exciting than ‘just another Italo-Australian kid’. I recall enjoying studying French in Year 7, but decided to make a choice for my future. When the time came to tick the subject selection box for my Year 8 subjects I chose Italian. During a conversation with my mum I promised her that I would finish Year 12 speaking fluent standardised Italian. That was my goal and my driving force. I could

see the end point and worked tirelessly to get there. When you start dreaming in a language other than the native tongue that dominates your world, you know you are making progress. My love and passion for all things Italian became an obsession in my late high school years. I would dream, think, read and write in Italian. I translated and memorised Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be…’ soliloquy in Italian at the tender age of fifteen just for fun. Would you consider this ‘normal’ teenage behavior? As my friends idolised movie stars and drooled over the latest boy bands, I was transcribing the lyrics of Eros Ramazzotti’s greatest hits, scribbling them on my school diary and exercise books. As you can see, my English voice didn’t stand a chance during adolescence. My complete and utter obsession came to a head during a period of language study in Rome. Not only was Italy (and all things Italian, for that matter!) my life, but I now felt more at home in Rome than I did in Melbourne. The rhythms, pace and idiosyncrasies of the città eterna spoke to me and I felt truly at home. When my time came to an end I was faced with a somewhat existential crisis: Where do I belong? Who am I? I was stuck in a terrifying position; in all honesty I didn’t want to return to Melbourne. I would have happily set up shop in Rome, married a local, had lots of little Roman babies and called it a day. At a certain point, though, logic kicks in and life moves you along. More than a decade has now passed and my Italian voice still can’t be silenced.

WOR DS JE The s NNA LO BI tren ANCO of It gths alian and w lang uage eakness es educ atio n

in Vi



The delegation was accompanied by the Italian Consul-General Dr. Marco Maria Cerbo and comprised Sen. Claudio Micheloni, Sen. Francesco Giacobbe, Sen. Pippo Pagano and Sen. Vito Rosario Petrocelli. The congregation included current and pre-service Italian language teachers, members of educational institutions, such as Coasit, Vati (Victorian Association of Teachers of Italian), the Dante Alighieri Society, and representatives of various media organizations. The visiting senators reflected in their addresses on recent travels, outlining advice received and clarifications sought with regards to the challenges faced in today’s Italian language classrooms. A general theme of discussion was the validity and relevance of the Italian language and Italian language education in today’s society. The establishment of Victoria’s first Italian bilingual school program, starting at Brunswick East Primary School in 2017, was noted, leading to a discussion of teaching approaches used in Victorian schools. Similarly, the roles of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and immersion programs were outlined. The long-standing support of Vati, Coasit and the Dante Alighieri Society in providing opportunities for extra-curricular activities and professional development for teachers received recognition and in the same vein, the Italian Language Assistant program facilitated by Coasit was a positive talking point.

Nowadays my life is absolutely grounded in Melbourne, but my heart and mind wander back to Italy on a daily basis. I’m an Italian teacher and PhD candidate, conducting research in the field of Italian language education. In all that I do, I try to bring the Italy that I love and adore into the classroom. I want my students to share the same passion and enthusiasm for the Italian language and culture that I do. We celebrate every milestone, no matter how big or small. Learning a language and appreciating another culture is a journey, not a destination. Every student will take a different path on their journey with different pit stops along the way. Looking back at my humble linguistic beginnings, I appreciate the opportunities given to me by my parents, and the sacrifices made by my grandparents that have led me to where I am today. - “What are you trying to say here?” I ask one particular student. - “I’m not sure, Miss.” She pauses thoughtfully then adds, “It just sounds right when I hear it in my head. You know what I mean?” Yes. Yes, I do.


few weeks ago, at the Italian Institute of Culture of Melbourne, a group of key stakeholders met a delegation of members of the Italian Senate to discuss the current state of Italian language education in Victoria.

Critical discussions reflected on the outdated image of Italy presented in schools, signaling a need to shift to a more contemporary portrayal of modern Italian culture. Furthermore, the perceived prejudice against Italian language teachers of non-Italian heritage was also highlighted. Italian-based language teaching courses were also discussed, validating the need to improve teacher-training programs in Victoria.

When you start dreaming in a language other than the native tongue that dominates your world, you know you are making progress

The attrition rate noted in the study of Italian in post-compulsory years of study was also debated. Members of the congregation expressed concern over competing languages as a possible contributing factor. Tertiary teaching colleagues shared insights based upon the notion that students at tertiary level are a product of the education they receive in secondary school, signaling a need for upgrading the level of language knowledge acquired before entering university. The event was a positive opportunity to reflect on current teaching practice in Victorian schools, acknowledge successes and outline areas worthy of development and refinement to ensure a prosperous future for the study of Italian in the state of Victoria.


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Get a 10% discount off all garments by presenting the coupon below. Visit my showroom for your Spring Summer outfits 2016/17. Free 60 minutes fashion consultation. Book your private appointment today; call me at 0434018503 (Michelle) Or book directly online at: Thank you and I hope to meet you soon!


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a l l g a r m e nt s

26 FOOD&WINE valid until mid of March 2017

1. Flower cotton dress by Sandro Ferrone 2. Black&white dress by Sandro Ferrone 3. Dolce&Gabbana style by Babylon


Black&White dress by Sandro Ferrone

Linen dress by Numero Primo

Dolce&Gabbana style floral dress Babylon

Tiger dress by Babylon FASHION 17

WORDS Ivano ercole

GAIA a Melbourne-based organization working for an

art renaissance across the world


izza for us Italians is more than an appetising dish. It’s a magnet for getting together and spending good time with family and friends. It’s our gastronomical mandala, symbolising our gregarious spirit. Over a pizza we laugh, we joke, and most of all, we talk. Talking while eating is what Italians normally do but doing it over a pizza has a quality of its own: it stimulates the mind and generates ideas. This is the reason why Giovanni Butera, a Melbourne-based economic analyst and strategist, likes hosting pizza parties in his home in Ascot Vale. He believes that from little things great things can grow, especially when people exchange thoughts and opinions over an authentic Italian pizza. He has equipped his home garden with a wood-fire oven and regularly invites a large circle of friends and connections to enjoy a few pieces of his freshly-baked pizzas. And so it happened that during one of these pizza parties, out of a conversation on the role of art in human society and the dominant influence of science and technology in today’s world, the idea was born of doing something to revamp people’s interest in the visual arts.

Quite an undertaking for a small bunch of Italian art lovers eating pizza in the backyard of a house in a Melbourne suburb but, incredible as it may seem, that was the start of a big international project that has taken the name of GAIA-acronym of Global Association of International Artists, a non-profit organisation working for an art renaissance across the world. GAIA’s main task is to run an international exchange program for young artists, providing a comprehensive framework of activities and services. The fundamental principle that underpins GAIA’s vision is the power of art as a 18 SPECIALE ARTE

Giovanni Butera. Photo by Paco Matteo Li Calzi

A greater focus on art creates social cohesion and a better understanding and appreciation of other people’s values, attitudes and beliefs

Photo by Paco Matteo Li Calzi


The Creation of Adam by Adele Ceraudo

universal language fostering communication and dialogue among different societies and cultures. A greater focus on art creates social cohesion and a better understanding and appreciation of other people’s values, attitudes and beliefs. It can also change the perception of the world. A most incisive description of this phenomenon was enunciated by Oscar Wilde. Speaking about the foggy conditions in London in the late 19th century, he wrote that the way people perceive them changed because of art. Referring to the “wonderful brown fogs that come creeping down our streets, blurring the gas lamps and turning houses into shadows,” he argued that “poets and painters have taught [people] the loveliness of such effects.” According to Wilde, “they did not exist till art had invented them.” Art then, can change and enlighten the way people look at the world and GAIA wants to contribute to bring about this change. Its goals and aspirations have received the support of prestigious public and private institutions, such as the Office of the President of the Italian Republic, the Italian Parliament, Culture Action Europe, just to mention a few, and are waiting for the patronage of Unesco and the Australian Council for the Arts. GAIA has also been approved as a charity institution by the Australian Taxation Office, which makes donations to GAIA tax deductible.


GAIA is currently in the process of setting up an extensive web portal whose primary aim is to connect artists from around the world and to open pathways for artists to disseminate their artworks at local and international levels. The web portal will include artists’ personal web pages, an art community blog and chat-room for discussion, an e-market component for the purchase of art services and materials, multimedia art clips, information on art schools, links to online art magazines, news and events, access to the largest international art directory, and information on art grants and competitions. The exchange program will start operating next year in three countries (Australia, Italy and Malaysia) and will gradually be extended to many other countries around the world. “GAIA is getting an enthusiastic and ever-growing response by public and private institutions” says Giovanni Butera, who has taken up the exacting task of presiding over the first phase of the project. “We didn’t expect that it would take off so soon but this is a sign that we are on the right track. And to think that it all started with a chat amongst friends…” While eating a pizza… one might add.

Find out more about Gaia! Read the Brochure!


words I. ELENOIRE LAUDIERI DI BIASE (our correspondent in Italy)

The temperamental art historian with a bad memory of Australia


ittorio Sgarbi is a famous Italian art critic and historian. He is a most prolific author and some of his books, though quite expensive, have become best-sellers. Sgarbi is a media personality, and has made a name for himself with his boisterous invectives at people who in his view are incompetent or inept in their role as public figures. At times, he does not hesitate to use foul language, a trait of his temperament in striking contrast with his otherwise refined manners. Perhaps it is a case of destiny in a name. Sgarbi is the plural form of the Italian word “sgarbo” meaning “slight” in English. During the 1990’s, he hosted an Italian television program called “Sgarbi quotidiani” that allowed him to attack publicly whomever had done something he thought was wrong. His knowledge of classical art is so extensive that even those who hate his tendency to cross the threshold of verbal decorum, admire it. He has remarkable skills as a public speaker and can talk ad lib for hours on end about practically any painter from Giotto to Picasso (which is the title of one of his many books). His conferences are usually packed with people and his television appearances always attract a great deal of interest. He is also a great collector of works of art. Recently a selection of paintings from his personal collection were exhibited in Osimo, an


ancient town 15 km south-west of the port city of Ancona on the Adriatic Sea. Titled “The Secret Rooms of Vittorio Sgarbi”, the exhibition included works by 16th to 18th century artists and attracted tens of thousands of visitors. How was he able to acquire so many valuable paintings? “I started buying art when I stopped with books,” he says. “I was earning millions from television and I spent every penny of it. If I had earned as much as Bonolis (a popular Italian TV presenter), I would have bought the Louvre. For an art historian – he adds – collecting is very similar to an enjoyable form of competition, in which you show that you are able to recognise an artwork or artist before everyone else. A true collector will never have a Raffaello at home, but might just kill to get hold of a Bastianino.” Bastianino, by the way, was an Italian late Renaissance - Mannerist painter of the School of Ferrara, the city where Vittorio Sgarbi was born and raised. Vittorio Sgarbi came to Australia some fourteen years ago when he had been appointed by Berlusconi as deputy minister for the arts. He was instrumental in putting together an exhibition of renaissance and baroque paintings called “The Italians: Three Centuries of Italian Art” held at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The exhibition included paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, Canaletto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Veronese, Correggio, Raphael, Tintoretto and Tiepolo, but was scathed by the chief art reviewer

I started buying art when I stopped with books. I was earning millions from television and I spent every penny of it

of The Australian newspaper. Ironically the reviewer was of Italian descent, his name being Benjamin Genocchio but evidently not well disposed towards his ethnic background. In his breezy article, Genocchio wrote that “this is a resoundingly average exhibition of minor pictures by second and third division artists, while even works by the drawcard names of Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo are tiny drawings rather than lush oils.” There was worse to come. “Many of the paintings have been badly restored — that is cleaned and repainted, destroying much of their original colour and brushwork.” While Genocchio may have been onto something when he singled out Caravaggio’s Narcissus as a possible casualty of “heavy-handed restoration,” he could not have caused more of a fuss had he dismissed the works as fakes. Sgarbi went on a rampage and called a press conference. “There is a limit,” he declared, “to ignorance on any subject, and I have to say that this writer is one who has demonstrated greater ignorance on matters than I have come across in my experience. To refer to these people as second-rate is an error. All the artists are not only in the State museums, but they are in the Uffizi, in the main galleries of Rome, and they are also in the principle galleries in the US… to say they have been restored badly is an insult to the… experts in Italy.”

Murdoch press for this matter. Any damages paid would go to a good cause, namely the restoration of art. The sort of figures may be A$50 million to A$100 million–we don’t know.” Audible sniggers crisscrossed the conference room and Sgarbi protested: “This is no laughing matter!” The controversy became even harsher when it came to be known that three paintings owned by Sgarbi were included in the exhibition. The Australian newspaper adding fuel to the fire, quoted the director of paintings at Christie’s Australia, David Cook, who said the exhibition would “absolutely” improve the value of its featured paintings. “If I owned a picture,” he said, “I’d love to have it in a touring exhibition going to the National Gallery of Australia.” The Australian also took great delight in pointing out to its readership the colourful history of Sgarbi, painting him as a vexatious litigant and “the intellectual bovver boy of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.” Enough was enough for Vittorio Sgarbi. He rushed back to Italy and vowed he would never visit Australia again. And he has since stood by such resolution.

Then came this: “The Italian government will seek redress from the SPECIALe ARTe 23

WORDS Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy)


Showcasing and mapping out


contemporary in Italy W

hen thinking about Italian art what comes to mind is almost exclusively art from the past. With fifty UNESCO sites, the largest number of World Heritage Convention protected sites, and more than 3,400 museums and 2,000 archaeological sites, Italy has the largest cultural heritage in the world, boasting great names that have influenced generations of artists. Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raffaello, Caravaggio, and Modigliani are but a few of the numerous geniuses that have left a world-renowned legacy. During the second half of the XX Century, Italy was home to talents like Modigliani, Guttuso, De Chirico, and groups of artists such as those belonging to the school of Arte Povera, Transavantgarde and Metaphysical Art or was inspired by international movements such as Pop Art. Italy’s contemporary artists retain the iconic skill of Italian craftsmanship and innate artistic passion, thanks to an outstanding capacity to channel the lessons of the old masters and interpret present-day realities. Nonetheless, Italian contemporary art tends to be overlooked both in Italy and abroad despite a new breed of contemporary artists, shaping a stylish and meaningful universal language


that transcends the national borders. In order to showcase the latest trends, Art Quadriennale, eight years after its last edition, has returned to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Rome with an exhibition entitled "Altri tempi, altri miti" (Unlike times, unlike myths), running until the 6th of January 2017. The title is an expression the exhibition curators have borrowed from the Italian writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli, as it appeared to perfectly describe the contents of the exhibition. Tondelli used the expression in the summary of a collection of short stories he published in 1990 – a year before he died at the young age of 36. His writings offer a multi-faceted account of Italy, a fragmented assortment of journeys around the peninsula, whose innermost vibes are captured along with its more manifest expressions. Similarly, the 16th Art Quadriennale is conceived as a varied map of artistic and cultural production in contemporary Italy and is divided into ten sections, each exploring a specific theme. The main goals are to make significant contribution to identifying and promoting the most innovative and original expressions of Italian art from 2000 onwards, provide a voice to multiple different

languages, unlock the potential of the new generations and, raise awareness of Italian contemporary art in schools through intensive educational activities. In other words, Art Quadriennale will be mapping out contemporary visual arts in Italy. With a collection of one hundred and fifty works from ninety-nine artists, including sixty new pieces, almost all produced within the last two years; we can be rest assured that the objectives will be accomplished. Additionally, a number of pieces by Italian artists from previous generations will be on display as they deeply influenced the most interesting contemporary expressive trends. In concomitance with the exhibition, a rich programme of fringe events will take place around the city of Rome and its surroundings, encompassing twenty-five museums, foundations and private galleries. Plenty of enjoyment for contemporary art lovers are in store: neophytes will have a lot of food for thought, while experts will be able to indulge in admiring the best of what emerging Italian artists have to offer. If that weren’t enough, after Art Quadriennale will have shut its doors, an international touring exhibition will begin, its first stages being the Berlin Biennale and Art Basel.

1. Beatrice Catanzaro, Bait Al Karama, 2016, Video installation, texts on wall, audio. Courtesy of the artist

Italy’s contemporary artists retain the iconic skill of Italian craftsmanship and innate artistic passion


2. Marcello Maloberti Himalaya, 2012, performance; Photo Ela Bialkowska 3. Michelangelo Consani, The One­Straw Revolution, 2015. Clay sculpture, 40x50x70cm. Courtesy Prometeogallery Ida Pisani and the artist 4. Chiara Fumai Portrait, 2016 5. Giovanni Fredi, Everyone has something to share series, 2015, lambda print, 100x133cm






6. Marinella Senatore, The School of Narrative Dance: Little Chaos #1, 2013. Fine Art Print on paper Hahnemühle, framed, 160 x 300cm. Produced by Musei Civici and town of Cagliari. Courtesy of the artist


7. Lara Favaretto 032-212, 2015, paintings found, wool, two panels of 215x133x4cm, one panel of cm 215x188x4cm; Photo Sebastiano Pellion



8. Invernomuto, Black Ark, 2014, installation view. Photo Giulio Boem 9. Three titles: an ensemble film about Cerignola’s past and present, 2015­/2016. Video installation, HD, 32 minutes. Courtesy of the artist



St George and the Dragon: my introduction to Italian art In my child of migrants’ mind, it told of the throes of migrants defying the maws of economic necessity and seeking their St George in the Promised Land


y introduction to Italian art was in the form of an imperious and shocking painting that my mother cut out from a book of art she had brought to Australia from Italy in a shipping chest. My father framed it in a veined wood veneer all shiny and orange-brown. It was purpose-designed to cover our blackened brick fireplace that my parents had decided was too troublesome and smoky to maintain. The painting, by the Venetian artist Vittore Carpaccio, portrayed St George attacking a horribly familiar dragon: a bat winged creature with the body and head of a dog but with a long serpent-like tail that almost curled beyond a rocky fastness on the left of the painting. This dragon’s open jaws occupied the centre of the painting. Full as they were with serried ranks of long pointed teeth, they had already been violated by a fine, cruel and bloodied lance, whose tip, thrust between them, had already broken through the back of the creature’s skull in a panoply of spurting blood. At the other end of the lance, coming from the right at full gallop on a dark muscular war horse was square jawed St George; clad in tight fitting, smooth and black armour of the latest Milanese style. In a fit of pique, supreme confidence, or even vanity, St George had foregone his helmet, allowing his tightly curled blonde locks to stream behind him in the impetus of the charge. Above and behind him stood demurely and in a pose of confident prayer, the maiden he was well on the way to saving. She was brown haired and draped in a flowing red cloak that covered just enough of her curvy flesh to entice both the dragon and St George. In the background stretched distantly a small walled medieval city atop a hill, its towered pennants fluttering in an imagined breeze. The doleful maiden represented its burgher’s sacrifice to the dragon for the salvation of their body politic. All of this would have been quite enough for my child’s eyes, was it not for one more detail: the dismembered bodies that stretched in varying degrees of decomposition in the field between them. Unlike the rest of the painting, these leftovers of the dragon’s repasts appeared realistic and gruesome. They had clearly been etched from the memory of a painter who had witnessed the battlefield. The theme of St George and the dragon has variously represented the victory of good against evil in all its various sauces: against the forces of nature, against the barbarian, against the Other. Now


in my child of migrants’ mind, it told of the throes of migrants defying the maws of economic necessity and seeking their St George in the Promised Land. The slaying of the dragon represented the fearsome quest ahead. For some of the migrants, those from Reggio Calabria, St George was their city’s patron saint; he would continue come to their rescue, or at least remind them of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. I wonder how many of these migrants realised that he was also the patron of the English, for whom the darkly mysterious Calabrians arriving on their colony’s shores were all potential dragons. The slaying of the dragon, or success as a migrant, could only happen if one was not someone else’s dragon. This was my introduction to Italian art, a metaphor for life as it really was, both a representation and a veil cast over the lack of confessable realities of migration. This was not only the story of the anonymous migrant; it spoke much more closely to home. We had all been thrown into the maws of the migration dragon. As a proxy bride my mother had been sacrificed to provide a bridge of salvation for her siblings, most of who would never cross it. My father spent most of his life challenging an iron dragon in its fiery lair, without ever quite defeating it, until he too was devoured. And I, destined to be their St George, would never be able to save them. This trinity grew within me, this child of migrants. Every day and every night the dragon roars, the maiden wails and the saviour comes galloping in. As in the Carpaccio painting, the dragon is always on the point of defeat but not quite, nor is the maiden really safe, and St George himself cannot be sure of his ultimate victory. In the painting the story is captured and framed at its very climax and repeats itself, eternally played out in the mind of the child I once was, and of the adult I am now. It is only after writing this that I recall my memory of the painting closing the hearth was mistaken. In reality it framed Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, with Archangel Gabriel, alighting from the right on half-plucked chicken wings, bringing good tidings.

words Omar D’Incecco (our correspondent in Italy)

Italy catches up After twenty-seven years Italy has finally closed the circle of Western countries that recognize civil unions between same sex couples

with most

Western countries

validating de facto and same-sex unions


n May 11th 2016, the Italian Parliament approved a law giving the green light to civil unions in Italy. On that fragrant spring evening, to celebrate this historic accomplishment, people gathered in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Strolling amongst the crowd were Bruno and Orlando, a couple like any other, completely dazzled by the sight of the fountain; but it wasn’t the baroque masterpiece that captivated them as much the colorful rainbow projected onto it, marking the victory of civil rights after decades of religious and political intransigence. Twenty-seven years after Denmark, the first country to pass a law on same-sex unions, Italy has finally closed the circle of Western countries that recognize civil unions between same sex couples, regulating rights and duties. This news is monumental since the history of battles for civil rights in Italy has witnessed many defeats and very few victories. The laws on universal suffrage, divorce and abortion were opposed, and at times even demonized by the most radical of Catholics and political groups, determined to maintain the status quo. Before the law on civil unions, same-sex or unmarried heterosexual couples had no rights, as they were not legally recognised. Prior to the introduction of the law, if a member of a couple fell gravely ill, the other would not be entitled to assist and support them in hospital. Similarly, in case one would pass away, the other would not be entitled to inherit their partner’s property, make burial or funeral arrangements, etc.. The law on civil unions governs de facto couples, both heterosexual and gay, with legal frameworks. Civil unions are entered into in front of a registrar and in the presence of two witnesses. Entering

into a civil union regulates all financial and economic concerns of a couple, such as buying a house, financial contributions in favor of the lower income earner in case of separation, and the maintenance and education of children concerned. Similarly, widow allowance, community property, mandatory cohabitation requirements, but not necessarily fidelity as in marriage. Partners must contribute to the moral and material workings of the relationship. Many marital rights also are extended to gay couples: parental leave, collective labor rights, dependency, permits for assistance to the spouse, childcare support and the ability to take a common surname. Nevertheless, gay couples in Italy remain excluded from adoption, surrogacy and the adoption of stepchildren. However, times are changing, society is changing and men and women of good sense are the new basis of Italian democracy, further and further from the irrelevant vintage mystification of old politics. Bruno and Orlando now smile and stare intently into each others eyes until Orlando, his voice broken with emotion, says: "Bruno will you marry me?" "Of course, my love," answers Orlando, "I have loved you for years. We have lived in the same house together for years, the very house we paid for and built together. For years we have fought against the homophobic and the narrow-minded. You are my family!" As expected, tears tinted in the colours of the rainbow begin to flow. Note: Bruno and Orlando really exist and have always lived in Pineto, Abruzzo, in a house full of flowers and joy. Some say they will soon marry after 51 years of living together.



Those who eat Sardinian food live a hundred years


ince the dawn of time, human beings have been longing to live a long and healthy life, and to crack the mysterious recipe capable of boosting our lifespan and staving off death.

The good news is that science has finally revealed a few secrets. The so-called Mediterrean diet, combined with genetic factors and lifestyle is the elixir of life so much craved for. I am sitting on a stool at Pomodoro Sardo, a Sardinian eatery in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, savouring a special blend of coffee from Sardinia. I cannot help but notice a quote, written in gigantic letters on a wall that optimistically welcomes any client walking in. “Those who eat Sardinian food live a hundred years.” Stefano Rassu, chef and owner of the restaurant, nods proudly as I point with my index to the wall, stating that Sardinia has won the status as first region in Italy for longevity, with its thousands of centenaries recorded over a century. Stefano is native of Aritzo, a little town nestled in the heart of the rugged Barbagia mountain area 80 kilometers north of Cagliari and unsurprisingly even his family was touched by the fortunate Sardinian longevity. As a matter of fact, Michele Pava, Stefano’s grandfather, lived up to 105 years of age and always in perfect shape. “Veggies and fruits from the garden, quality meat, pecorino cheese and plenty of red wine, these were the ingredients at the base of my nonno’s diet,” Stefano recalls. The benefits of the Mediterrean diet today are well known, but Michele’s longevity, and that of many other centenaries of the island, is ascribed to good habits, such as living in harmony with nature. “Nonno knew the names of all plant and trees and was an avid stroller. 28 FOOD&WINE

Every morning he used to walk at least 4 km and that was definitely his gym!” The ability to build such a good balance led nonno Michele to have a relaxed and quiet temperament, another important ingredient for immortality. “I’d never seen him angry, nor stressed despite being very busy with the family business.” Michele was in fact the founder and manager of a famous hotel in Aritzo, the place where Stefano trained and gained since a young age, the skills to become a chef. For 10 years now Stefano has been living in Melbourne, spreading the knowledge of the Sardinian cuisine to newcomers and regular patrons. “As Nonno taught me, simplicity is a virtue and that’s why no space is given to alterations. What I offer are authentic Sardinian dishes characterised by quality and traditional ingredients.” Nonno Michele also taught his grandson to buy locally and build relationships with the suppliers, trying to avoid large-scale products. As a consequence at Pomodoro Sardo, the best and freshest ingredients come straight from the market, where Stefano goes every morning equipped with a large shopping cart. Others are provided by friends with gardens. “In Melbourne the Sardinian community is very big and all its members contribute to keep alive the culinary tradition. Some bring me nettle, some other myrtle, there’s always a good reason to gather and celebrate our sardinianness hopefully for the next 100 years!”

ABOVE Mask of Mamuthone worn during the Sardinian Carnival. The origin of the masquerade is still mysterious, however it is believed to recall rites of propitiation are still mysterious. It is believed to recall rites of propitiation of the harvest, and of the fertility of the Earth BELOW Stefano Rassu, Chef and Owner of the restaurant

ABOVE AND BELOW Pomodoro Sardo Restaurant

As Nonno taught me, simplicity is a virtue and that’s why no space is given to alterations



The torchbearers of a transformed

Italian culture Long gone are the days when being Italian in Australia meant belonging to a kind of an alien culture and the children of Italian immigrants had to conform to Anglo norms to develop a successful business or professional career


LTO is the name of a business and social network created by a group of second-generation Italian-Australians who take pride in their Italian identity and bring it into play in their business dealings and social relations. They are the torchbearers of a transformed Italian culture in Australia that has come a long way from the experience of their parents. These young businessmen and professionals were born, grew up and educated in Melbourne and are active members of the Australian society. They aim high and could not find a more appropriate name for their network, “alto” of course meaning “high” in English. They are genuine, high performing entrepreneurs in their 30’s and early 40’s, who run startups or work in the legal, accounting and finance, property, engineering and high tech sectors, and operate comfortably in a multicultural environment. Long gone are the days when being Italian in Australia meant belonging to a kind of an alien culture and the children of Italian immigrants had to conform to Anglo norms to develop a successful business or professional career. Today being Italian-Australian is a plus in whatever one attempts to do and judging from their profiles, the ALTO committee members are quite successful people. The president John Persico, is an international leader in strategy for analytical and technical workforces and co-founder of the Professional Services Champions League; which runs conferences, training courses and customisable international and local corporate events for professional services industries. The other committee members include his


in Australia

brother Matthew Persico, working for the same company as Operations Manager; Bill Di Blasio—founder and managing director of 360South, a multimedia agency based in Southbank; Amanda Farinotti—an executive paraplanner and the second in charge of the Victorian paraplanning team in BT Financial Group; Frank Chila—a lawyer specialised in Family Law; Sam Adigrati—a wealth management specialist; Sarah Donato—a market strategist for Jetstar; and Steven Perri—a corporate finance partner for PKF Melbourne. There is no doubt that they all owe it to their parents that the Italian culture penetrated many areas of Australian life, but it is also the transformation of Italy into a highly developed society that makes them proud of their ethnic background. Following its economic boom of the 1960’s and 70’s, and rise to prominence as a major world economy, Italy has become a more prestigious country projecting the image of a modern and advanced nation. Holidaying in Italy, and Italian products and style, have become popular amongst middle-class Australians who lead an increasingly sophisticated lifestyle. In the major cities, the growing Italian influence is evident in the numerous cafés with outdoor tables, which in many places have replaced the pubs, in the paved courtyards and in the shop signs showing an Italian name. These trends did not necessarily generate an increased demand to learn Italian. They act however, as an incentive for language learning, encouraging direct contacts with Italy. The ALTO initiative springs from this new reality, and it promises a bright future for the Italian culture in Australia.

WORDS Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Melbourne Filmmaker Narrows

‘The Space Between’ Italian and Australian Cinema


onsidering how vibrant and passionate the Italian community in Australia is, it’s both concerning and disheartening how few Italo-Australian stories have made their way onto the big screen. Sure, we all laughed with Vince Colosimo’s Frank in “The Wog Boy” series and went on a journey of self-discovery in “Looking For Alibrandi”, but since then Italo-Australian cinematic stories have been few and far between - until now. Melbourne-based director Ruth Borgobello’s debut feature, “The Space Between” is the first of its kind, bridging the space between the two countries as the first ever Australian-Italian co-production. The film centres on Marco (Flavio Parenti), an ex-chef who is mourning and has turned down a job at a restaurant in Melbourne. By chance, he meets Olivia (Maeve Dermody), a young Italo-Australian from Melbourne who has gone to Udine on a family mission. Together the two navigate through the crossroads in their lives amongst the backdrop of beautiful Udine. Borgobello showcases the beauty of Udine throughout the film in a similar way that De Sica celebrated his beloved Naples and Fellini showcased Rome. It is hard to imagine that Borgobello initially did not intend to film the movie in Italy, let alone Udine. “I initially wrote the whole screenplay to be based in Australia. I didn’t even contemplate doing the first film in Italy…When I was writing it, I was also spending a bit of time in Italy and I just felt like the story was calling to be set there,” she said. “I also wanted to bring a part of Italy that isn’t often seen. Even all the Romans who worked on the film fell in love with Friuli and never knew about it.” The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region has a special place in the director’s heart. It is where her father Maurizio was born, and where she met her husband Davide Giusto. In fact, the film is loosely based on Borgobello’s own experience meeting Giusto on the day someone close to him had died. During production, Giusto came on board as a co-producer as well. “The film is so important to him personally as well, so he really protected it … it was actually our Italian co-producer who told him he should produce it because he was naturally doing it,” she said. While some would be hesitant to mix their personal and professional lives

with their spouse, Borgobello insists it was a wonderful experience. “It was great … though sometimes it was stressful because all we talked about was the film.” One of the most stressful tasks was casting the two lead characters in two different countries. For the role of Marco, Borgobello selected Italian-French heartthrob Flavio Parenti, who has worked with high profile directors Woody Allen and Luca Guadagnino. “I just had a great feeling as soon as I saw him. He had this great sensitivity and depth, yet this real sparkle about him that I wanted to bring out in the character of Marco.” Due to casting having been done in both Italy and Australia, the two lead actors only met each other for the first time a week before filming. “I hoped they could connect and not knowing till they met for the first time, a week before shooting was very nerve wracking but they just really clicked, and they put a lot of effort into building the dynamics and the chemistry.”

ABOVE “The space between” film frames. Photos by Marco Corvi BELOW Italian-Australian Filmaker Ruth Borgobello

Borgobello hoped the character of Olivia would resonate with Italo-Australians. “I feel so strongly Italian but when I go to Italy they see me as being very much Australian … I wanted her to represent that sort of sense of freedom and adventure that Australians have, to be a bit more open-minded and spirited.” Borgobello insists the Italo-Australian connection is “still strong” and believes there is a renewed interest in Italian cinema thanks to The Lavazza Italian Film Festival, however acknowledges certain parts of the culture are fading away. “I hope the younger generations can tune in culturally to food and wine and music as a way to reconnect and when it’s in your blood it’s very strong, but the language is getting lost.” Despite the difficulties producing a film in two countries, Borgobello who lists Sorrentino and Fellini as her inspirations, says she is looking at directing more Italo-Australian films for the big screen and hopes other directors will follow suit. “That’s definitely my passion, being half-Italian half-Australian is who I am. It’s all about finding the right story and there are so many great Italo-Australian actors … and contemporary Italian cinema is really strong at the moment. It’s a very tough time in Italy, so I think it’s so important that Italian cinema has that voice with what’s going on at the moment.” CINEMA 31

WORDS Bernadette Novembre

EXPLODE YOUR MIND, INSPIRE YOUR SOUL The music of Negramaro and its huge success

Usami, straziami, strappami l'anima… (Use me, torture me, tear my soul…) mentre tutto scorre” (while everything flows away). It’s lyrics such as these partnered with a powerful underground rock sound infused with angst, power and love that has made Negramaro the success they are today.

thinks of throwing himself into the river until an angel appears and makes him change his mind (Look around and see the beautiful things that have been bestowed on you. You say you have nothing but what about the sea, the sun, love? Do they seem nothing to you?)

Consisting of six members, namely: Giuliano Sangiorgi (voice, piano and guitar), Emanuele Spedicato (guitar), Ermanno Carla’ (base), Danilo Tasco (drums), Andrea Mariano (piano, synthesizers, programming and editing) and Andrea de Rocco (sampler), the group from Lecce formed in 1999. They took their first musical steps performing in Italy’s alternative music scene. Their name was inspired by the wine produced in the Salento region Negroamaro, which is dark, full bodied and smooth and these qualities are reflected in their music. Their debut album was released in 2003 self-titled Negramaro and was the beginning of their rise to fame. However, their third album “Mentre tutto scorre” affirmed their place as one of the best rock bands in Italian history. The album attracted many awards one of which was the Critics Award for Radio & TV at the 55th Festival of Sanremo and went six times Platinum – their most successful album to date.

Spedicato’s guitar solo delves into the depths of true emotion capturing the essence of Modugno’s lyrics. The video clip is dark and moody totally in black and white and the camera work captures the inner turmoil of the protagonist.

Italian songs are often fraught with emotions – whether it be love, pain or sadness. Italians are a passionate people and this shines through in their artistic pursuits. This passion exudes from Sangiorgi’s delivery of the songs, none more than the group’s rendition of Domenico Modugno’s “Meraviglioso”. A song about a desperate man who has lost the will to live and, as he is walking over a bridge,


“La Rivoluzione sta arrivando” (The Revolution is Coming) is the group’s most recent album and does not disappoint. The album’s title song is also one of the greatest songs in Negramaro’s history. An ode to the tumultuous world we live in today and the need for a radical change of the way people live and think of life. The album has spawned a national tour, which has been an unprecedented success. Before the tour had reached its end, the group was already planning their next Album. Sangiorgi said in a recent interview with Radio 105 Network ( that the group’s “…flow of energy is continuous, even when we go on holiday we are never really on holiday. The hard part is to make others understand this.” Any creative pursuit, but especially music, takes hold of your mind and soul and Sangiorgi is a fine example of this. He said that the next album will “make your mind explode but above all your heart and blood…”. Negramaro’s music speak to the very core of our mind and soul.

WORDS ENRICO MASSEI & Elizabeth Wisser


International Student Visa Holders

BY THE SUBCLASS 485 TEMPORARY GRADUATE VISA From the Director's desk – Enrico Massei The Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa can offer opportunities to international student visa holders, who wish to gain practical work experience to accompany their Australian qualifications.

The visa allows for employers interested in hiring recent international graduates, who may be currently employed in their business, an opportunity to work full time hours.

This visa grants the applicant and their family the right to live, work and study in Australia for the duration of the visa, and the freedom to travel in and out of Australia.

From our Migration Practioner’s Desk – Elizabeth Wisser Let’s see who may be eligible for this visa

LL.B, GDLP, Registered Migration Agent MARN: 0959122

Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 Visa is a work visa for international students who have completed two years of study in Australia. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years depending on your situation. It is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa. Eligibility Streams There are two eligibility streams for the Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa: • Post Study Work Stream: Commonly referred to as the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV). This eligibility stream was introduced in March 2013 for students applying for their first student visa after 5 November 2011. • The Graduate Work Stream: An occupation on the current Skilled Occupation List is required as well as a skill assessment.

You can include the following types of family members in your application: • Spouses, de-facto partners and same-sex partners • Dependent children If you already hold a 485 Visa, you can apply for family members to join you in Australia on 485 Visas. Duration and Conditions Duration of the 485 Visa will depend on your circumstances. Graduate Work stream visas are valid for 18 months from the date of grant of the application.

Common Criteria

Duration of the PSWV depends on which qualification has been completed in Australia as follows:

There are a number of criteria that are common to both the PSWV (Post Study Work) stream and the Graduate Work Stream:

• 2 years: Completion of Bachelor Degree, Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework or Masters (Extended)

• Age: The main applicant must be under 50 at the date of lodgement.

• 3 years: Masters by Research

• English: The main applicant must demonstrate their English language ability, either through holding certain types of passport or by undertaking an English test.

Whilst on a 485 Visa, you have unrestricted work rights in Australia. Furthermore, it is a pathway to permanent residency (General Skilled Migration) by allowing the visa holder to gain relevant work experience, which may be necessary to meet the points test.

Evidence of threshold English must be provided at date of lodgement • Study in Australia: You must meet the 2-year study requirement and have completed qualifications within six months of applying for the visa. • Points Test: The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 Visa is not points-tested 34 REGULARS

The primary applicant must be in Australia when they make their application for a 485 Visa, and must have held an eligible student visa within the 6-month period prior to lodgement.

• 4 years: Doctorate

We will discuss General Skilled Migration Subclass 189 and Subclass 190 in subsequent editions.

WORDS Mariantonietta Rasulo


The 88 days at farms, Dreams, hopes and delusions of the young Italians


8 days, few less than three months, are required to apply for a farm job to get the renewal of the second Working Holiday visa.

There are a lot of young people who choose to ask for a student visa, but most of them, the bravest, prefer to do the famous “88 days.”

Three months is necessary to have the opportunity to stay in the country for another year and to “live the dream”.

It is a classic farm job, changing in accordance to the rural zone and seasons: to pick up, to grow and to package the fruits, to prune, to fish and to hunt the pearls.

These are days of hard work, struggle, loneliness, sometimes of disquiet but also days that give, a great self-confidence and a good time to discover yourself. A lot of young Italian people therefore, decide to choose working at the farm in one of the rural and remote areas of Australia, before the expiry of the first Working Holiday visa. Italy is the third European country that uses the second Working holiday Visa, with 26.2% of young people. This is what was in the report “88 giorni nelle farm australiane. Viaggio tra sogni, speranze e pensieri dei giovani italiani in Australia”, fulfill by Fondazione Migrantes, CEI’s Pastoral entity. The report is the result of ten months of research and is the testimony of life experience for some young Italians, that shows and suggests, the reason why young people choose to work at a farm, but also what they think and expect from the future and from Australia. The Italian economic crisis contributed to the increase of the presence of young Italian people with a temporary visa from 18 to 30 years old, that they see in Australia. If the “Bel Paese”, is synonymous for lack of work, lack of meritocracy and dissatisfaction, Australia has become, rightly or wrongly, a place for opportunities, possibilities, happiness and hope. For this reason the 24 months of a Working Holiday Visa is often the start of a journey with no return.

There is also the possibility to work in the mines and construction fields. All the specific information are on the Australian Government website It is a great “fatica” and a test of courage. At times in these farms, there are not all the comforts, which most Italians are use to and often the hygienic conditions are below expectations. A lot of people finish the 88 days surprised and happy, because, despite all the hard work, they reached the objective and they are able to keep on living the ‘dream’. Some of them, leave because they are not ready to do the hard country life. The life on the farm is an essential step and a great challenge that helps today’s youth to prove and rediscover themselves and their ability to adapt, but also to learn a job that no one would ever expect to do. For the first time, the Italian youth, not long ago called “bamboccioni”, (“big babies”) are called to rely solely on themselves, to face the difficulties and be strong enough, so far from the family’s protection. Australia is also: sweat, toil and effort in exchange for a new visa and a new opportunity. It is on us how to handle the game.


WORDS and Photo Archimede Fusillo


In Their Past When migrating to Australia led to a life of gloom and solitude


orn in Viggiano, Basilicata, Delia Estelle Giliberti, is an elegant lady with a soft voice and eyes that hold your attention as she speaks. We meet on a rain soaked afternoon in her native town, where she is visiting for the Festa Della Madonna from Liguria where she now lives. The very first thing she does is telling me how grateful she is to be asked to share her story. She does not divulge her exact age, and I do not press the point, however she is anything but the stereotype many may have of the elderly in Italian villages of the South.

Dressed in a short sleeved white blouse, hair immaculately done, and wearing fashionable spectacles, Signora Delia has a youthful demeanour that I soon realise must have stood her in good stead throughout her life. Like so many before her, she followed her husband to Australia across the many long miles of ocean. Unlike many of them however, her husband had not sailed to Australia ahead of her in search of work or opportunities. Mike Giliberti was born in Australia, his parents themselves children when each had made the journey with their respective parents out of Italy. They were truly migrant pioneers from the early part of the last century. “Mia suocera aveva appena due anni quando i genitori la portarono in Australia,” (My mother-in-law was just two when her parents took her to Australia) she tells me. “Mio suocero ne aveva quindici. Si sono incontrati e sposati li. Veramente australiani in un senso. Mio marito è nato e cresciuto in Australia, allora per me la storia dell’arrivo in Australia è un po diversa.” (My father-inlaw was fifteen-when he arrived in Australia. They met and married in Australia; true Australians in a sense. My husband was born and raised in Australia, so my story of going to Australia is rather different). Hers was not a voyage in search of a better life, she was quite content with the life she led she tells me. It was a journey to go to the only home her husband had ever known, the place where he had made a life, before deciding to travel to Italy and the town of Viggiano in particular, to see his parents’ birthplace. “Mio suocero aveva un negozio di vini a Melbourne, in Spencer Street, proprio in centro città,” (My father-in-law had a wine shop in Melbourne, in Spencer Street, right in the heart of the city) she informs me. “Stavano abbastanza bene. Ma Mike era curioso di vedere il paese nativo dei genitori e nel 1961 è venuto con alcuni amici come turista più che altro. Nel giro di quattro mesi ci siamo conosciuti, fidanzati e sposati. Un fulmine d’amore.” (They were rather well off. But Mike was curious about the village his parents hailed from, and in 1961 he set off with some friends as a tourist to see it. In the space of some four months he and I met, were engaged and married. It was a lightning bolt romance).

As the only daughter, Signora Delia realised that her parents would be heartbroken by her decision to marry a man who had no intention of settling in a small Italian village. Yet she felt compelled to follow her heart, and made the commitment to undertake the month long voyage to a country she admits she knew little if anything about. “Peró mi mancavano i miei,” (I missed my family) she admits. “I miei suoceri mi trattavano bene, molto bene. Non mi mancava niente in un certo senso. Ma non riuscivo a lasciare la solitudine, la malinconia. Non riuscivo a fare amicizia, neanche con i vicini di casa. La lingua Inglese non mi veniva facile. Ho imparato abbastanza per fare le cose utili, la spesa, prendere i” (My inlaws treated me very well. In many ways I lacked for nothing. But I couldn’t shake off the solitude and melancholy. I couldn’t make friends, not even with our neighbours. I couldn’t grasp the English language. I knew enough to get by for shopping, transport, and yet...). She pauses and looks past me into the distance as though recollecting something still pressing on her thoughts. “E non c’era quel senso di vita del paese. A Melbourne tutti partivano presto per lavoro, tornavano a casa tardi e stanchi... Ero sola più che altro. Sola e senza la lingua, allora non c’era niente con cui riempire le giornate.” (There wasn’t the lifestyle of village life. In Melbourne everyone left early for work, and came home late and exhausted...I was alone more than anything else. Alone and without the language so there was little to fill my days with). Signora Delia tells of a Melbourne that was largely closed after business hours, with cinemas and restaurants more or less limited in both their scope of offerings and their availability, especially to a young woman with time on her hands. “In Italia il sabato e domenica si passavano tra amici,” (Weekends in Italy were spent with friends) she goes on. “Anche se si faceva soltanto una passeggiata era già qualcosa, ma in Australia non si usava la passeggiata. C’era bisogno di mettersi in auto e fare chilometri e chilometri per andare nel “bush” come dicevano gli australiani. Non era per me. Ma soprattutto era la lingua. Quella mancanza di lingua conta tanto sai.” (Even if it was a simple stroll it was enough, but in Australia this wasn’t the norm. One had to get in a car and drive long distances to go to what the Australians referred to as ‘the bush”. It wasn’t for me. But above all it was the language. That lack of a language counts for so much you know). By 1967, Signora Delia had a son and decided he should see his grandparents. She took him to Viggiano while her husband-by then working for Ansett Airlines, stayed behind. It was then that she realised she did not want to live in Australia any longer. Unable to get work there, work is found in South Africa. That is where the small family transferred, living in both Zambia and Tanzania for a further six years and adding a daughter to their number. “Ed ecco che la compagnia per cui mio marito lavorava in Africa lo ha trasferito a Milano e dopo dodici anni ci siamo trovati di nuovo in Italia!” (And so it was that the firm my husband worked for transferred him to Milano, and after twelve years we found ourselves back in Italy eventually.) However Milano was not to Signora Delia’s liking as a place to raise children at that time and so she took herself and them to Liguria, where she had family while her husband commuted every two weeks or so to be with them. “Mi sentivo più sicura in Italia, e in Liguria in particolare,” (I felt safer in Italy, and in Liguria in particular) Signora Delia explains. “I figli sono andati a scuola, sono cittadini Italiani, hanno la vita Italiana. Hanno la lingua.” (Our children went to school, became Italian citizens, and live an Italian lifestyle. They have the language). When I ask her if she thinks her life would have been different had she returned with her young family to her home town rather than Liguria to live, Signora Delia sighs and raises an eyebrow contemplatively. “Chi lo sa? Erano altri tempi. Erano tempi diversi rispetto ad ora.” (Who knows? They were other times, different from the present). And then, just as we draw the interview to a close she adds, “Alcune volte io e Mike ci rendiamo conto che forse abbiamo sbagliato a lasciare l’Australia. Mio marito, adesso in pensione, dice, “Che paese è l’Italia? Ma il passato non si può cambiare.” (Sometimes Mike and I wonder whether we erred in returning to Italy. My husband, now a pensioner, sometimes utters: what sort of country is Italy? But one can’t change the past). But of course Signora Delia smiles warmly and her eyes hold me long enough to suggest that whatever the case, they did what they thought best at the time, and that somehow was all that really matters in the here and now.

words Bronte Dee Jackson

CULTURE BITES A “human first” approach to life


ately I have seen a number of pieces of journalism about kindness, its power, and whether we as Australians have enough of it. An article in The Age was about the kindness of some Roman policemen that seemed to touch the hearts of many. An elderly couple both in their late 80’s had been heard crying in their apartment in Rome. Neighbours had called the police and when asked what was wrong, the couple had told them that they were lonely, and a bit frightened by events they saw on their nightly news. The policemen’s response? They made the elderly couple a bowl of pasta each with burro e parmigiano, and sat talking with them awhile. I got to thinking about kindness and whether it was a cultural value or a human value. Were some societies kinder than others, or did they value it higher? The actions of the police did not surprise me at all. It illustrated what I have always felt about Italians and experienced living in Italy. They have what I call a “human first” approach to life. That is, above everything I am first a human in their eyes. I may also be a customer, a tax payer, a recipient of a service, a citizen with rights and obligations, a patient, a competitor, a tourist, a student, a stranger, a passenger, a worker, a bank account holder, a voter. Before all of these things however, I am a daughter, a

son, a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a wife, a husband, and a human. I am viewed as one of these categories before any of the others. I remember one time when I had been living in Rome less than a year and the gas rings on my stove top didn’t work anymore. My Irish flatmate and I did not speak much Italian but we were sure that the phone number on our gas bill was where you reported any problems with your gas supply. We were surprised when we were told that someone would be out to check within half an hour. Services did not usually respond that quickly. We were even more surprised when twenty minutes later we opened the door to four men wearing gas masks attached to oxygen tanks, protective clothing, and carrying machinery and pipes. Instead of being angry that we had called the National Emergency Services because we couldn’t cook our pasta, they kindly took off their protective gear and fixed our gas faucets for free. Last month when I returned to Rome for a visit, rather than take a taxi to my apartment from the train station with my luggage, I wanted to walk and savour my return. As I dragged my huge suitcase over cobble stones, cracked pavements and between parked cars, picking my way slowly

to my old apartment I was both sweating and crying at the same time, overcome with joy at being back. Are you OK Signora? I got asked every 10 metres. Are you lost? Do you need help? No, no thanks, I kept replying, I’m at home, I’m OK, thank you. I remember being exasperated with frustration at the time. I demanded to know from our local Roman bus driver why the bus was always twenty minutes late, and why two of the same number bus always arrived together every forty minutes instead of one every twenty minutes. He told me that they didn’t want to leave the other one alone at the bus depot. I remember the conversations I had with some Australians about how 20,000 refugees a year arriving in Australia seem to be too many for them. While Italy receives 100,000 a year in a country not much larger than Victoria and with three times our population, without locking them in prison or deporting them. It is the human first principle at work again to one country’s demise we might surmise, given Italy’s economic crisis. To the overall improvement of global kindness as a cultural value we hope.

A global kindness as a cultural value


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Segmento Issue XI  

December/February 2016

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