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Issue XIII

June/August 2017





Inside speciale .............. CINEMA & Music .............. insight on


G7 2017 Interview with

Jack Silvagni

All the italian news you want. All in one place.

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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.

articulate their views, whether they are multinational enterprises, successful business people or young disoriented talents.

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.

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.

We like to hear their stories, we provide them with a forum to Daniele Curto Founder and Managing Director

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WANT TO MEET LIKEMINDED ITALIAN-AUSTRALIAN PROFESSIONALS? 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.




 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






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Contributors 1.Omar D’Incecco

2.Natalie Di Pasquale

3.I. E. Laudieri Di Biase






4. Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy)

5.Agata Grimaldi

6.Ivano Ercole

7.Archimede Fusillo





8.Elizabeth Wisser & Enrico Massei

9.Jenna Lo Bianco

10.Deirdre MacKenna




11.Gerardo Papalia

12.Johnny Di Francesco ­

13.Bernadette Novembre





14. Santo Buccheri ­15.Laura D’Angelo

16.­Bronte Dee Jackson

17.Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

18.Mariantonietta Rasulo




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Associate Editor Ivano Ercole

Editor in Chief for Italy and China Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase

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Agata Grimaldi Laura D’Angelo Ilaria Gianfagna Archimede Fusillo Marco Maria Cerbo (Consul General of Italy) Ivano Ercole Elizabeth Wisser Enrico Massei Gerardo Papalia Deirdre MacKenna ­Johnny Di Francesco ­ Bronte Dee Jackson Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase Omar D’Incecco Daniele Foti-Cuzzola Josie Gagliano Mariantonietta Rasulo Jenna Lo Bianco Bernadette Novembre Ciriana Santo Buccheri Natalie Di Pasquale 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.

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ife, famously, is full of surprises and often more unlikely than a Hollywood blockbuster script.

In that vein, a few years ago if someone had have predicted that I would give voice and sense of identity to the younger generations of the Italian-Australian community in Australia I would have thought they were nuts. On the contrary, I would expect them to have divine gifts from God. When I started to dedicate attention and care to this magazine I was led and supported 'only' by passion, from clear ideas and driven by a strong sense of wager. Today, however, Segmento boasts dozens of collaborators who are among the most sensitive, keen and passionate journalists, writers, photographers and graphic artists in the cultural landscape of the Italian community in Australia.


We owe it to our feature writers, who in each edition and on every single page stand for their commitment to spread Italian culture, to convey an honest image and ideal of Italy, without intolerable prejudices and generic folklore. They share stories of women and men who helped shape a diverse and young Australian society with their lives, and bring back key news and profiles of public figures of today's Italian political, cultural and social life. A magazine that contains so much life and many lives; old-time scenes, which have resisted without breaks, adventurous and charming lives, lives torn by nostalgia and reinvigorated by hope. Then there are the lives of those who, like me, have learned what it means to be immigrants and try to humbly gather the testimony and example of our overseas grandparents. It shows a portrait of a country that is neither better nor worse than others. However, it is unmistakable that by removing a fistful of dust, so much extraordinary beauty is felt. In this edition, music and cinema are the main protagonists. Daniele Foti-Cuzzola from Perth tells us about the festivities and celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the West Australian Opera Company and converses with the Italian-Australian singer Aldo Di Toro; In Melbourne, our Archimede Fusillo conducts an intriguing interview with the musician and conductor Daniele Ciurleo-Larubina, with the re-release of the "My Father's Songs" musical work; Space also for contemporary melody, with the journey of Bernadette Novembre exploring the music and voice of Giusy Ferreri.


Ivano Ercole brings us into the evocative world of cinema with the history of the Zeccola family, the first to bring Italian films to Australian cinemas; The Italian Film Festival appears in Bronte Dee Jackson's article, while Gerardo Papalia marks the popularity of Italian peplum before the advent of multiculturalism. Space also on other issues, such as sports, with Jenna Lo Bianco's interview with talented Carlton Football Club player, Jack Silvagni. Photography and landscape intertwine in Margareth Bourke-White’s aerial images of Molise during World War II, as told by Deirdre MacKenna. Among the headlines we find a new entry called "Coffee Talk", in which Santo Buccheri enlightens us about the black drink’s secrets in Melbourne – the world’s coffee capital. Then, there are many other lives narrated by Mara Rasulo, Natalie Di Pasquale and Laura D'angelo. Have a good trip!





CONtents 32

Speciale Cinema COVER STORY The rise and rise of a movie theatre empire


Ivano Ercole


Cultural vindication in technicolor Gerardo Papalia

Culture Bites Italian Film Festival rehabilitates an Italian city of ill-repute Bronte Dee Jackson

27 24

Speciale Musica 30

West Australia Opera celebrates 50 years Daniele FotiCuzzola

Regulars Amalsa The labyrinth of the new Australian Immigration system Enrico Massei and Elizabeth Wisser

Connecting the present with the forgotten past The aerial images of Molise by photographer Margaret Bourke-White Deirdre MacKenna

A Future in their Past The man who couldn’t weather the Australian weather Archimede Fusillo

Hands on Fire It’s all about sharing Johnny Di Francesco

Coffee Talk Santo Buccheri

The Granny’s Pearls Chapter two Ciriana

32 40

Archimede Fusillo

33 18

Finding inspiration in the old songs our fathers used to sing The mysterious and gritty voice of Giusy Ferreri Bernadette Novembre


Five Italian artists find their muse in Australia Laura D’Angelo


Features 11 17 12

19 8

Melissa’s healing powers Agata Grimaldi

How to prepare a true gluten-free pizza World Pizza Champion Andrea Cozzolino


Jack Silvagni’s own terms


For ‘Paesani’ the world is truly small

Jenna Lo Bianco

Mara Rasulo


Café Brunetti is the new civic center in Melbourne Natalie Di Pasquale



Daniela Pruiti Ciarello’s debut bilingual book Daniele FotiCuzzola


A summit overshadowed by the beauty of Taormina Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase

Segmento Magazine June/August 2017

words World Pizza Champion Andrea Cozzolino

Neapolitan true GLUTEN FREE PIZZA F

or the gluten-free folks out there craving a delicious and satisfying slice of pizza, look no further! World Pizza Champion Andrea Cozzolino shares his recipe for a truly authentic Neapolitan gluten free pizza.

TO PREPARE A DELICIOUSLY TASTY gluten-free pizza isn’t all that difficult, thanks to the one and only Caputo Flour produced in my hometown Naples, Italy. Caputo has a range of flours to suit all baking styles and needs such as bread, pizza, cakes, pastries and pasta using the Caputo FioreGlut flour. If you are thinking that in the absence of gluten you won’t make a good pizza think again. When it comes to gluten-free pizza dough you must remember 5 simple rules! 1. Buy good quality gluten free flour. I have tested lots and you wont find better than Caputo FioreGlut gluten free flour which is generally characterised by the presence of substances that help leaven and thicken the dough. 2. The right elasticity. Unfortunately sometimes the issue with gluten-free flour is that the dough may not achieve the right texture and elasticity. You won’t need to worry about this with Caputo FioreGlut Flour. 3. The importance of long leavening. Gluten-free mixes tend to have a smaller and slower rise, so the ideal would be to leave the dough to rise overnight. 4. Pay careful attention to salt! Did you know that salt inhibits the action of the yeast? So be careful, you should add it last, when all the other ingredients (including yeast) are combined. 5. The importance of Cooking. The pizza must be cooked at very high temperatures. If cooking the pizza in a wood fire oven, ensure it is at 400°C. If using a conventional oven, preheat to the highest temperature and cook for 15 minutes at 250°C.


ita Pizza

N FREE Margher

E RECIPE: GLUT Ingredients

lut flour 1kg Caputo FioreG 800 ml water


4g fresh yeast olive oil 20mls extra virgin 25g of salt

yeast and sal add water, oil. Add minutes or d an r te cen the r 10 ll in wl and make a we rface and knead fo Sift flour into a bodough. Turn onto a lightly floured su ft so mix to form ntly sha rest overnight. Ge smooth and elastic. with glad wrap and circular motions. Place on ap wr , lls ba 0g 32 in edges o eight ing lightly on the Divide the dough int o a pizza by press each dough ball int w tomatoes, then top lightly oiled tray. Ciao whole peeled re to gently stretch t as ch su , uce sa to su quality toma ve oil. Be Spoon some good basil and drizzle with extra virgin oliwill take about 90 seconds for the It lla, . are en zz ov mo k in a conve the lo in ffa bu t before placing and approximately 15 minutes to coo jus za piz the of e. C ners fired oven at 400° za stone if possibl to cook in a wood using a conventional oven, use a piz If C. oven at 250° oven and enjoy. e pizza from the Once cooked, remov




“To make the best Gluten free pizza I only use Caputo Gluten free flour. Gluten Free Pizza never tasted so good!�

Andrea Cozzolino

WINNER 15th Trofeo Caputo APN Campionato Mondiale del Pizzaiuolo Naples Italy September 2016

lt and until

ape na

with the core pizza ventional

Basile Imports prides itself on importing the best. For more information contact Basile Imports on national toll free no 1800635268 or email

words ELENOIRE LAUDIERI DI BIASE (our correspondent in Italy)

A summit overshadowed by the beauty of Taormina


s the heads of government of the world’s seven most industrialized democracies walked down the streets of Taormina towards the San Domenico Palace Hotel where their meetings were to take place, an old Sicilian man observing the scene was heard saying: “Questo G7 sarà oscurato dalla bellezza di Taormina” (This G7 will be overshadowed by the beauty of Taormina). He was right. Taormina is intoxicating like no other city that has ever hosted a G7 summit. Whoever goes there is bound to fall under its spell. It’s like being transported to another realm of existence. Such was the experience of the English novelist, D. H. Lawrence who, in a letter from Taormina where he spent two years of his life, wrote: "Here the past is so much stronger than the present, that one seems remote like the immortals, looking back at the world from their otherworld." Situated high up on a clifftop overlooking Sicily’s north-eastern coastline, Taormina has a unique combination of attractions: a picturesque medieval design, magnificent ancient ruins, belle époque villas, breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea and, on clear days, the awesome sight of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe (3,295 meters above sea level) and one of the most active in the world. At the G7 opening ceremony held at the stunning Greek theatre, the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that he hoped the summit’s beautiful location would encourage participants to make the world more beautiful. He meant of course a world more committed to peace, cooperation, the well-beings of its inhabitants and a healthy environment even if he knew that the seven leaders would go back home preoccupied by their domestic realities rather than by global concerns. However, the summit, while just succeeding in softening U.S. president Trump’s reactionary stances on free trade and climate change, has decidedly achieved what former Italian Prime Minister was aiming at when he opted for Taormina as the G7 host city, instead of Florence which was the original choice. “We decided to move it - Renzi wrote in his Facebook page on the G7 opening day -when, during an international meeting, some leaders made a few bad jokes about Sicily drawing from the usual prejudices and stereotypes. You know my love for Florence, but then I thought we ought to show the world the cultural and historical richness of Italy’s


South and Sicily. […] Italy today responds to the bad jokes with the splendour of Taormina, with the Greek theatre where La Scala orchestra will perform in a breathtaking scenery, with the majesty of Etna. […] The images that will go around the world will be a spot for tourism but above all a universal message of civilization and culture.” Taormina has long attracted an unending series of famous people in search of inspirations or perhaps just the replenishing strength of the air, the views, and the ineffable aura of the town’s immortal past. Lawrence was not alone in being seduced by its atmosphere. From Cervantes to Goethe, Richard Wagner, Oscar Wilde, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, Taormina has hosted and inspired a multitude of writers, poets, music composers and artists. It is Lawrence whose connection was perhaps the strongest. It is believed that his once scandalous novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was instigated by an erotic affair of his wife with a local mule driver during the years the couple spent in Taormina. For all the fascinating elements of Taormina, one cannot escape the ever-present ominous aura projected by Etna. Wherever one walks by, the great volcano is always looming, a reminder of mortality, of dramatic downfalls and explosive possibilities. Serene contemplation is hard to come by, when the land beneath one’s feet might conceivably be a torrent of molten lava. With this in mind it s unsurprising to discover that it was on the patio of a local hotel that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote portions of “Thus Spake Zarathustra”. For Ernest Hemingway, though, the sight of Etna did not raise any sense of nature’s ultimate supremacy over man’s destiny. In Taormina he was happy just to enjoy the relaxed southern Mediterranean lifestyle and its pleasures. The town provides the setting of his short story “The Mercenaries”, where he extols the gentle pace of life "under the orange trees, jasmine matted on the walls, and the moon making all the shadows blue-black". The protagonist of the story, is an aged soldier of fortune who marvels that everything in this part of Sicily is "all colour", and the countryside "so pretty that it hurts to look at it". The G7 leaders did not have neither the time nor the spirit to fully enjoy the beauty of Taormina but it’s most unlikely that they will ever forget their brief interlude in what Goethe once described as “a patch of paradise”.

ABOVE The G7 opening ceremony with only a selected few journalists and photographers allowed to attend for security reasons. NEXT PAGE An aerial view of Taormina with the ancient Greek theatre dominating the scene. The G7 leaders as they watch the passage of the Italian air force’s Frecce Tricolori acrobatics team streaming the colours of the Italian flag. The U.S. first lady Melania Trump on her arrival in Catania where she was invited to a special function with the other wives of the G7 leaders.

words Johnny Di Francesco



ood is deeply embedded in the history and culture of Italian people. Nutrition is the ultimate way to get people together, make them comfortable and get them experiencing food how it is intended - shared with others. An undeniable trend, it is wonderful to see the rise in shared eating across the Australian food scene. The increased shift to smaller shared plates and shared menus is not only changing the dining habits of most Australians, but creating a completely new breed of diners that are adventurous both in their eating and desire for an entire “foodie” experience. Shared dishes are incredibly accommodating, offering the opportunity to try new cuisines in small portions and amongst friends. Whilst there will always be a place for the traditional three-course dining format, there is no denying that mixed traditions of many customs are infiltrating current dining trends, resulting in shared eating steadily growing in popularity. It’s not uncommon in my restaurants to see large groups indulging in count-

less shared dishes. Other styles of cuisine have also lent themselves to this type of dining – many Asian restaurants are known for this style of eating and the Lazy Susan’s existence is a testament to this! Today, it’s a trend we see being adapted across some of Australia’s most prestigious establishments. It has become commonplace for formal dining and family-style eating to blend. Shared meals, typically the domain of the family kitchen table, are becoming popular even at sophisticated restaurants. Family members, friends and acquaintances passing food down the length of a table and sharing multiple dishes—something that was once only a domestic scene, is now at the forefront of the Australian hospitality industry. For me the shared dining experience is a pleasurable and incredibly social take on the traditional etiquette of eating. Feasting on local produce, getting people together and if you’re lucky enough, overindulging to your heart’s content; is it really a wonder as to why Australia is embracing the movement so willingly?

Send your questions to Johnny at: REGULARS 11

WORDS CIRIANA • PHOTOS Alessandro Baldetti

The Granny’s Pearls Chapter 2

breathtaking views of Rome. Ciriana is mysteriously and unhappily single, the mystery soon explained when she reminisces about an intense romance with a young man named Maurizio, whom she had met in her university years in Florence. After graduating, they both earned a scholarship at New York University and moved to the Big

Apple together. Theirs seemed a match made in heaven until their relationship ended for unexplained reasons and time etched away all traces of Maurizio from Ciriana’s life. The chapter ends with Ciriana receiving an email from Maurizio which she leaves unopened reading only the subject line: “I dream to see you in your granny’s pearls again.”

© Alessandro Baldetti

Chapter 1 - published in Segmento March-May 2017 edition - offers a background of the female protagonist of this story, Ciriana, a managing partner of a Rome subsidiary for a blue chip American consultancy. She is an attractive and highly educated woman in her late thirties from a wealthy Florentine family and lives in a beautiful apartment with


© Alessandro Baldetti

PREVIOUS PAGE Vinnie, a pearl grey office and afternoon dress with accentuated cuffs, collar and belt. Fit and flare cut with narrow long sleeves LEFT Vilone, a cobalt blue cocktail dress with a wrap bodice, V-neck and 3/4 sleeves. Flared skirt and material bow-tie belt. BELOW Vito, a formal navy blue shirt dress with long sleeves finished with cuffs. Body fitting form, ideal for office with a sober dress code. All images shot by Alessandro Baldetti in Rome at Piazza Mincio.

What completely surprised her was that even if she recovered from what happened fifteen years ago, the line from her ex shattered the peace of her mind. She believed she had moved on successfully, building her security on professional and financial successes. Was there anything missing in her life, perhaps children? Without time even for a pet, Ciriana was happy to satisfy her maternal instinct putting her whole heart and soul into Carlo and Conrado, the boys of her sister, Chiara. Thinking about them she got at an idea! She would visit her family and would talk about the email with the only person whose judgement she could fully trust, her mother. A good occasion will be the family gathering to celebrate Carlo’s Cresima, his Christian confirmation. Ciriana’s parents lived in a small, picturesque village near Vinci. A decade ago they gave up their busy Florence jobs in their pursuit of a more peaceful and slower lifestyle. They bought an idyllic house with some land, with grapevine and olive trees. Their olive soon became acclaimed as one of the best in the neighbourhood. Not being so lucky with wine however, they struggled to improve its quality each season. It was the father’s unstoppable ambition even if the mother kept reminding him that he was an excellent chemist and a city guy rather than a farmer. Ciriana’s first impression when meeting her father after nearly three

months was that he changed again. He was a handsome man in his sixties, olive skinned with not much hair remaining and sparkling, intelligent eyes. His skin seemed now even darker and more spotted, damaged by sun and rough weather. Dressed in jeans and a white shirt he looked relaxed and charmingly boyish. “Is this a smart casual style in the business language?” she wondered. Her mother, Cristina had not changed one single bit with how she looked, dressed or behaved. She was an amazing counterpart of her restless husband, an embodiment of balance and a response of reason to her hyperactive other half. She was practical enough not to bother herself with testing and reinventing her style at the passing of time. She used to wear dresses. Not only did Ciriana’s mother wear them, she cherished them, carefully matching an occasion with her outfit. She made dresses on her own, selecting adequate fabrics and studying trends from coloured magazines. After all, sewing was traditionally one of the skills that girls of her generation used to acquire from their mothers. Cristina was far from being conservative or old fashioned in her style. Her looks had always been universal, timeless, slipping away from current designers’ dictatorships. Ciriana learnt at some point that her mother’s receipt for looking good and feeling well with herself at any age, was not to experiment with proportions but sticking to what she had known about her body and applying this knowledge to de-emphasise flaws and expose assets. She mastered the art of optically smoothing, rounding up, lengthening, exposing or covering, doing it tirelessly during her lifetime, even living in a countryside.

© Alessandro Baldetti


he email from Maurizio was still in Ciriana’s inbox, left untouched as though the woman feared it might be contagious, or rather its opening would unleash evils out of Pandora’s box. Yet if unopened, the letter put the whole mechanism of Ciriana’s ambivalent thoughts into motion.

Simple clothing solutions had been her trademark and they proved to be always working. Cristina met her daughter wearing a straight tunic, tied up in the waist with a material belt, with two side pockets giving the outfit a sports touch. “Mum, you look so young and beautiful!” Ciriana could not hold her delight. “Oh, stop it darling! I never wore florals in town. This village is changing me into a backwoods woman!” protested her mother but a subtle smirk dancing on her lips suggested the compliment pleased her. “Look at you!” she shouted. “What happened to my Miss Big Boss? You are so skinny. And why are you alone? I thought that Maurizio would come with you! He called us a few days ago suggesting that you are together again. I invited him for the confirmation...”

to be con tin ued FASHION 13

words Mara Rasulo

Yes, the world is truly small!

How two “paesani” from a little town in Basilicata happened to meet unexpectedly for the first time in a Queensland holiday suburb


ow many times in life have you said “com’è piccolo il mondo!” (what a small world!). It is a common refrain that I recently found myself saying out loud yet again. A couple of weeks ago I was on the Gold Coast, at Broadbeach to be exact, exploring its beauty. I woke up at 5am to watch the sunrise from the balcony of my apartment and posted a picture on Facebook. After a few minutes, I received a private online message from a friend of my parents, Linda. It said, “Ciao Mara, I have seen that you are on the Gold Coast, why are you not going to visit my cousin, Giuseppe in Robina where he has a restaurant? He would be very happy to see a “paesana!” I couldn’t believe that a “Lucano” like me, from Basilicata, a region at the bottom of the “boot”, had ended up running a restaurant in a Queensland holiday suburb! Without hesitation, I did my online research and found Spaghetti & Jazz, the restaurant of Linda’s cousin and booked a table for dinner. With great anticipation, I arrived on time and sought out my paesano. “Ciao Giuseppe, io sono Mara, I’m from Stigliano,” I said to him. When I mentioned our “paesello” (little town) I saw a mix of astonishment and disbelief on his face: “Really? Are you from Stigliano?! Non ci credo, non ci posso credere!!” (I don’t believe it, I can’t believe it) he said. “I’ve been in Australia for twenty-four years,” he told me excitedly while seated at my table with of a cold glass of white wine. “I arrived here in 1993 for a holiday and I never went back. I made fountains in Florence and then after a hard “gavetta” (working one’s way up from humble beginnings), I opened my own business and I brought the idea of



designing fountains in Australia”, he recounted with pride. “My wife Natalie is a jazz singer so we had the idea of opening this restaurant, Spaghetti & Jazz. It started as a joke, every night a different jazz bands and a “piatto di spaghetti”, but then the customers asked for more and here we are,” he went on saying with a typical Italian flair.

Nat & Joe

Do you miss Stigliano? I asked him. “Of course! I miss my people,” he answered with shining eyes. “I feel that I belong to Stigliano and what I really miss here is the feeling of belonging to something, but this is the land of opportunity and I have to tell you that I’m very lucky because I’m doing the job that I love.” I read in his eyes a trace of nostalgia when he told me about his family in Italy, about his friends and all the places we both have travelled through, remembering some icons of our paesello that no longer exist because of the terrible landslide of three years ago.


It’s unbelievable how much Giuseppe and I have in common: our roots are the same, having been born in that pretty little town in Italy and our heart is in Florence, the city where he grew up and where I spent ten beautiful years of my life. Yes, just as I did, Giuseppe’s family left Stigliano for a better life in Florence and every summer they returned to the village of their birth to see the rest of the family and friends. The world is small. Yes, it truly is. “L’è piccino” as the Florentines say. Two Lucani who lived in Florence met and reminisced together in a Queensland suburb, so far away from their little birthplace. The beauty and the oddity of life!

Private Room




@400gradi @gradigroup

99 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, VIC, 3057 03 980 2320



WORDS Santo Buccheri


hen I think how my Buccheri grandparents toughed it out in country Victoria after migrating to Australia in the Fifties, I wonder if we Buccheresi love struggling. Because although the family returned to Sicily, here I am back in Australia, doing it all over again! I compare my grandparents’ experience with my own and feel thankful that Australia is a more welcoming place today and working conditions aren’t so harsh. Eleven years ago, I left Sicily for Melbourne to journey back to my Australian family roots. I knew I wanted to be a market leader in slow roasted coffee but I learned pretty quickly that you can’t be an overnight entrepreneur.

I believe the famous migrant entrepreneur spirit that Australia celebrates shines as strongly as ever. The challenges are just as tough, especially if you’re starting out from the bottom. You don’t hear much about the migrants that went back to their home country. Today, just like in my grandparents’ time, people succeed or fail, for reasons they can and can’t control. That’s why I want to pass on to my kids not only the legacy of my success, but the strong work ethic and resilience.

As I embark on a new coffee label venture and expand my coffee roasting business into coffee roasting intelligence leadership, this milestone marks eleven years of slow hard grind, and I don’t just mean the coffee. In this time, I’ve developed resilience and learnt that no one is entitled to success, you have to earn it: the rest is luck and good timing. I arrived at the right time, when Australia’s distinct coffee culture had matured to the point of being ready to embrace traditional slow roasting. I spent my first years in a small roasting plant in Melbourne’s outer west, manually unloading heavy coffee sacks and hauling them to measure out the green beans into the traditional roaster and then hand-packaging the roasted beans. On weekends, I would haul an espresso machine around supermarkets and coffee retailers, giving customers free tastings of my slow-roasted coffee. It taught me salesmanship and it was an amazing way to get into the head space of Australians and their habits. Just being there, talking to customers and sharing my coffee, was the best way to understand the Australian marketplace culture and develop a business capable of expanding for diverse consumers. If I felt embarrassed about my English skills, I had to get over it pretty quickly. I couldn’t afford to let that hold me back. I had a unique product that people loved and a great story to go with it, and that’s what customers cared about. Being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly lonely experience and even more the case when you are a migrant as well. I have had to get over major setbacks and confront self-doubt. It’s taken time to find my place here. I’ve learnt just how much relationships matter. Whether it’s family and friends, community connections or other businesses, these relationships have helped me in my business when I found it tough going. Now my business is starting the next chapter: our new coffee roaster in our multi-million-dollar Brunswick roasting plant is the first to use infrared technology and the best of its kind in Australia for speciality coffee. I love living in Melbourne with my beautiful family around me, supporting the business and keeping us close to our community roots. Whether you’re starting from scratch as a working holiday visa holder or a skilled migrant with a young family seeking a better career and life, I think the essentials are really no different in 2017 from the 1950’s.

Italians hold a special place for Australians because of our Italian heritage, cuisine, lifestyle and our coffee tradition. If you’re an Italian and you aim to live and work in Australia, this special affection is definitely a psychological leg-up. Make no mistake– there is no special treatment and no guaranteed dream run. I have found, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and endurance, Australia is a place where you have a good chance at making your own future. REGULARS 17

words Deirdre Mackenna (Director of “Cultural Documents”)

CONNECTING THE PRESENT with the forgotten past

The aerial photography of MargareT Bourke-White on the Volturno valley “Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.” Charles Lindbergh


ultural Documents are researching the images of Margaret Bourke-White as part of a programme. It uses historic and contemporary art and documentary photography as a means of rendering the tangible story of the source and territory surrounding the Volturno River in Molise, Italy.

© Time Inc

The research has currently led me to state archives in Australia, France, Italy, the UK and the USA, where I discovered an overlooked file of images by the trail-blazing photographer Margaret Bourke-White (USA 1904-71). She pioneered aerial photography in her work as war correspondent, author and photojournalist. Her iconic photographic images are acknowledged worldwide as representing the spirit of many key historical events of the twentieth century. Among her many achievements, she

was the first American female war correspondent, the first foreigner permitted to photograph Soviet industry, her photography used for the first edition front cover of Life magazine. She authored more than ten books and received numerous awards over her career, including honorary doctorates from Rutgers University and the University of Michigan, USA. In 1943 and 1944 the US Army posted BourkeWhite to the upper Volturno Valley in Molise. She documented the war effort, and chronicled the daily experiences of the Allied troops working to replace the bombed-out bridges and roadways, which provided medical, food and munitions supplies to the soldiers on the front-line. Flying back and forth around the Volturno, BourkeWhite created a unique and visually stunning archive of images, which record the minute detail of everyday civilian life attempting to thrive in the midst of sustained, intense military conflict. Working closely with Syracuse University and Time Inc. in the USA and the continued sponsorship and expertise of Teresa and Antonio Buono in Molise, I am undertaking the first deep research into the Bourke-White archive. The first public exhibition of the archive will open in Italy in 2018 and Deirdre will present a series of new images ‘dall alto’ in order to re-trace the routes


© Time Inc

Since 2006, as Director of Cultural Documents (and a descendent of the territory myself) I been working with architectural restoration experts Teresa and Antonio Buono, based in the village of Filignano and nearby Roman town Venafro. Our aim is to find historical evidence, to validate the rich story of the people of the area, and to mediate careful consideration of how to manage future productivity, conservation and ownership in this green and abundant natural landscape.

© Cultural Documents

Since 1850, this area has been deeply affected by four factors: labour-motivated migration which has cost many communities depopulation of over 70% in the last 100 years; occupation and sustained conflict of WWII during 1943 and 1944 which decimated terrain, architecture and community spirit; the formation of the new, autonomous region of Molise in 1963, and the earthquake of May 1984 which stifled development of the area in a complex and prolonged bureaucratic process.

ABOVE Mastrogiovanni e Lagoni by Fabrizio Verrecchia LEFT Isernia in Molise 1943/44 by Margaret BourkeWhite RIGHT Venafro, Molise by Margaret Bourke-White 1943/44

Bourke-White took. Photo-historian and artist Lachlan Young has been working with Cultural Documents to identify the cameras, lenses and film formats which BourkeWhite used to capture the stunning images, and comments: “Margaret Bourke-White’s equipment choices were essentially those of a mid-20th Century news photographer/photojournalist - they weren’t radical or new in the way that Robert Capa’s use of 35mm was. The use of larger formats was dictated by a need for a high quality negative, which could be radically cropped if necessary. One image in the archive shows a Graflex Series B SLR with a long telephoto (looks a lot like a Dallmeyer), a Linhof Technika II with a long lens (on the tallest tripod) and a Graflex Speed Graphic. Other images suggest that she also used 120 roll film in a Rolleiflex.” Located less than two hours from Rome and Naples, Molise is home to a diaspora of people spread throughout the world yet it retains traditional values: a strong sense of community and connectedness with the land. The ‘chilometro zero’ philosophy is a new name for an ancient way of life to cherish the natural goodness of clean air and soil and the abundance they produce. Today, deep inside the forests, a revolution is going on; working alongside the commercial forestry operators and under the watchful eye of the Corpo Forestale, groups of voluntary conservation workers are reclaiming hundreds of kilometres of ancient drystone roadways and pathways to open up the hidden gems of a landscape protected by the last seventy years...

words agata grimaldi

Melissa’s healing powers


f you spent your childhood somewhere in Italy you may remember your Nonna giving you a cup of “Melissa” tea to calm your upset stomach. I never understood if it was a placebo effect, but I remember tea bringing a smile to my face and making me feel better. This garden herb, commonly called lemon balm and whose botanical (or scientific) name is Melissa Officinalis, has been used for more than 2000 years for all sorts of ailments from flatulence to mood disorders and fever. The name has a Greek etymology and means honeybee. In fact, the Romans knew that if you rub the plant on the bee hives, the bees, attracted to its scent, return home to the hive rather than swarm away. Pliny the Elder in Ancient Rome would recommend it for “cor et aninum ad gaudium inclinare” (inclining mind and heart to cheer). Arab Doctors in the XI century would suggest Melissa for nervous syndrome and anxiety. Later, Carlo Magno ordered that the plant of Melissa should be cultivated in all official vegetable gardens of his kingdom because of its sedating effect. It is widely used to ease stress, mood disorders and sleep disturbances, often in synergy with other herbs such as valerian and chamomile. The latest research justifies its reputation in folklore as a calming agent but also indicates neurocognitive properties. This enhancing cognition element was unexpected. Andrew Scholey from the

Swinburne University of Melbourne has been leading a vast number of studies on the human bio-behavioural effect of natural products and food including Melissa, and on the mechanics of the cognitive processes. He conducted several tests on Melissa, discovering a consistent boost in the mood of the participants at doses of 600 mg of dried herb after ingestion. Interestingly enough, at half of that dose, the alertness of the participant increased and as a result they performed better at their tests. At doses higher than 600 mg, they felt much calmer and almost sedated but their alertness dropped significantly. Through brain imaging tests, the brain of the participants exposed to higher doses of dried leaves of Melissa showed an increase in GABA activity, the messenger responsible for calmness. Unexpectedly, they also showed an increase in acetylcholine, the neuro messenger in charge of the ability to learn, store and retrieve information. In another test, twenty healthy young adults were administered with single doses of 600, 1000 and 1600 mg of encapsulated dried leafs or a placebo at seven day intervals. Memory and mood were tested one, three and six hours before and after ingesting the capsules. The best memory performance and calmness was reported with the highest dose. Melissa appears to be a natural way to optimise healthy brains, however, there are not enough tests yet to confirm if it could assist with neurological disorders. Perhaps this will be a focus area for the future. HEALTHY 19




alace Cinemas is an Australian film distribution company and Australia’s largest independent cinema chain. It operates over 20 cinema centres nationally with 85 screening halls and employs some 500 staff. Later this year it will open a new 14-screen complex in Sydney’s Broadway precinct with another 10-screen one in Sydney’s harbour side suburb of Double Bay in 2018. It has also announced plans for a 15-screen complex to be built in the heart of Pentridge, Melbourne’s former prison that has entered a new phase of redevelopment. Antonio Zeccola founded this thriving organisation forty-five years ago and intriguingly enough, the way it came about could inspire a film genre Palace Cinemas specialises in. It is a story that has been likened to Giuseppe Tornatore’s celebrated film “Cinema Paradiso”, with its beginning presenting quite a few similarities. If it were to be made into a film, the story could start this way. It is a sunny late September afternoon in the port of Naples. A woman and her six children—five boys and one girl—are boarding a ship directed to Australia. Her pensive facial expression brings about a flashback. The colourful image of a town lying over a mountain fades in and the camera slowly zooms toward one of the old houses clustered along the mountain slope. The scene gradually shifts to the house interior where the woman in question is engaged in a crucial talk with her husband:

“Australia could be like Brazil,” she says anxiously. “You told me it was a land of opportunities but you found there a harsher reality than here and were forced to come back with nothing. I don’t know if I could bear another disappointment apart from the toil of minding six children alone.” 20 SPECIALE CINEMA

The passion for cinema inherited from his father remained in him showing films to people who couldn’t otherwise enjoy them


“This time it is different,” he argues. “Australia is not like Brazil. My brother says that I would easily find work and earn good money.” “Your brother was a prisoner of war there and didn’t have to provide for six children!” “Yes but if he was happy as a prisoner, can you imagine how good life can be for free people! You’ve got to let me go. What future can our children have if we stay in Muro Lucano? I heard this year Melbourne will host the Olympic games. It must be a booming city.” The film crosses back to the family group staring at gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius as the ship is slowly drifting away in the twilight of a warm early Autumn day. The children watch the scene with excitement except the second oldest of them, a fourteen-year-old young man. He looks absorbed in his thoughts as he gazes at the horizon. Another flashback shows him following his father who is carrying under his arms two big film reels. The man enters a building next to a church while the boy stops at the door and looks around until he sees a girl sidling along the street wall as if she is trying not to be noticed. “Quick… come!” urges the boy trying to contain the volume of his voice. The girl abandons any hesitation and runs towards him, taking her by her hand and whispers with confidence: “Come with me.” They disappear inside the building and reappear as they enter a hall with rows of wooden benches and hung over a small stage is a large white screen. “Soon it will be full of people. My father told me it’s a funny movie with Alberto Sordi. It’s titled ‘Hail to the dollars!’ It’s about a poor man who migrates to South Africa and becomes rich working in a diamond mine. My father will soon leave for 22 SPECIALE CINEMA

Australia and will come back with a lot of money...” The girl looks at him with sadness. “I hope it will be like when he left for Brazil?” “Why?” the boy asks. “I fear that you’ll end up leaving as well… Australia is so far way…” People start flocking into the hall and the scene shifts to a booth where the boy’s father is busy securing a film reel to a projector. He then looks into the hall through the booth’s little window and sees his son sitting next to a girl in the front row. He smiles and pushes a button switching off the light in the hall. The flashback ends as the film begins: trails of smoke rise through the light beam in the darkened hall. This film adaptation is not a precise re-production of the real story but the essential elements are factual. Antonio’s father Giovanni ran films in the local parish hall. His brother was a prisoner of war in Australia and encouraged him to try his luck in this country. Giovanni left for Australia the year of Melbourne’s Olympic games after a failed attempt to settle in Brazil. His wife Geraldina with their six children reached him travelling on a ship they boarded in Naples in late September 1957. The fourteen-year old boy Antonio truthfully left his sweet heart in Muro Lucano and was never to see her again. Once in Melbourne his initial experiences were similar to those of many Italian young men who migrated to Australia in the post-war years. Hard work but his father was right: Australia was not like Brazil. He worked in a bakery from 8 pm to 8 am making bread with his own hands in a time when there were no electric kneading machines. He slept very little: during the day he

LEFT Antonio with his wife Karen and their four children. Top right Anthony, Business Development Manager; Top left Benjamin, Chief Executive; Bottom left Stephanie, Marketing Manager; Bottom right Elysia, Director of Palace’s Film Festivals RIGHT Elysia Zeccola, Director of the Italian Film Festival BELOW Top Palace Cinema Head Office in operation; Bottom 2016 Italian Film Festival in action

worked as an errand boy for a grocery store and a shop assistant in a shoe shop. The passion for cinema inherited from his father remained in him and eventually convinced him to do in Noble Park - Melbourne’s south-eastern suburb where he was living - what his father did in Muro Lucano: showing films to people who couldn’t otherwise enjoy them. Most Italian immigrants didn’t understand English and were cut off from cinema entertainment. He started providing it to them by projecting movies imported from Italy in town halls and other venues. From there to opening his first cinema the step was short. First came the Pix Cinema in 1963, followed by the Metropolitan Theatre in Brunswick. Next came Palace Cinema on central Bourke Street, which he acquired when it was soon to close down, revamping it with art-house films not shown in mainstream cinemas. Palace is due to become the name of a large network of cinemas that are still expanding today. It is the home to a series of international film festivals, including the Italian one, which attract large audiences each year in all major Australian state capitals. Antonio Zeccola has been strongly supported throughout his career by his wife Karen and their four children who now work as key executives in the organisation. Antony, the eldest, is the business development manager; Benjamin was recently appointed as the new chief executive; Elysia directs and oversees Palace’s film festivals, and Stephanie is the national marketing manager. If a film were ever to be made out of Antonio Zeccola’s story, the last scene could show him alone in one of Palace Cinemas screening halls, intent on watching “Hail to the dollars!” SPECIALE CINEMA 23

words Bronte Dee Jackson


In these films it feels Italy is telling a story, portraying herself as the troubled teenager that went off to find her fortune in the big city

An Italian city of ill-repute rehabilitated by three films


ach year when I attend the Italian Film Festival in Melbourne I feel I get a glimpse into the heart and soul of Italy through the films that have been made, and most loved, by Italians that year. Last year I was struck by the number of films set in or around Taranto, where my husband is from, which during the seventeen years I lived in Rome, no one ever seemed to have visited or wanted to. I had been visiting Taranto regularly over the years, spending long periods during Christmas, Easter and summer months. It always seemed strange to me that a place that was so much cheaper than the rest of Italy, with some of its best beaches and spectacular food, was not overrun with Italians and other tourists. To me it was a place of unique beauty, full of love and laughter from my in-laws, and people that stared at me unabashedly as though I was an alien but who were never the less incredibly welcoming and friendly.

I got engaged in 2002 and I was living in Rome at the time. When I excitedly shared the news with my local Roman shopkeepers, café and bar owners that I was to be married, there was a look I didn’t recognise that came over all of their faces, and a distancing. Their congratulations were formal and stilted, quite different from the jokey comradery we had built up over the years. The change seemed to come because I said my fiancée was from Taranto, not because I said I was to be married. I recounted reactions I was getting to the news I was marrying a man from Taranto to my fiancée. To my surprise, he wasn’t surprised: “Taranto doesn’t have a great reputation in the rest of Italy.” I felt like my parents had told me I was adopted, that the view I had of the world was wrong, and that everyone was in on the conspiracy. I listened to the descriptions given by 24 SPECIALE CINEMA

my fiancée as examples of what others in Italy thought of Taranto—lazy Southerners, violent knife wielding thieves, impoverished communist strongholds, aggressive and illiterate fisher-folk, Mafia corruption, and backward saint worshipping enclaves. So it was with much pride and some amazement that I watched ‘Daddy’s Girl’, ‘Ever been to the moon?’ and ‘Pomodoro’, three films all set in or near Taranto in the 2016 Film Festival. Each of these films juxtaposed the North of Italy with the South. Only this time the stories had changed. Taranto is portrayed as a bastion of humanitarian principles in a world gone mad with excess and ego; a stronghold of human kindness in a world obsessed with image and power, a place that has not lost its core human values of connection with the land and the life sustaining food it produces, and as having deep wisdom about the true needs of the human soul. In these films it feels Italy is telling a story, portraying herself as the troubled teenager that went off to find her fortune in the big city and got sick from too much of a good time, returning to her roots to find what she has been searching for, what truly sustains her, was always there. The common theme in these films is that modernity, luxury, wealth and fame are not always the pots of gold they are made out to be. There are disadvantages to them just as there are to primitiveness, poverty, sobriety and ignorance. It seemed that through these films, Italians were expressing their lessons learnt, and revaluing things about themselves that perhaps previously only outsiders could see. I am looking forward to the 2017 round of films and this years’ stories that Italians tell about themselves.




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Cultural vindication in technicolour before the rise of multiculturalism


here is an experience many of us who grew up in Australia as male children of migrant parents in the 1960’s and 1970’s will recognise: the sense of expectation that surrounded our Sunday lunch. This feeling was not just about the food our mothers had spent most of the morning preparing. An essential condiment to our lunch of lasagne or tagliatelle crowned by unsteady meatballs would be our television fare. From twelve to one o’clock, the family would enjoy the multicultural antipasto offered by World Championship Wrestling on Channel 9. Never was the signifier ‘world’ more appropriate. Even though the broadcast was from Melbourne’s very own Festival Hall, the protagonists came from all over the globe. Depending on our ethnic allegiance, our heroes would be Mario Milano, with his dark complexion and movie star looks, the equally handsome Spiros Arion (the Golden Greek), or the fair Larry O’Dea who played the flexible mercurial Irishman. Their foils were as bad as our heroes were good: Killer Kowalski, as his epithet itself suggests, was the eternal villain. By never pitting Mario against Spiros and by keeping the fighting (mostly) within the ring, the managers of World Championship Wrestling performed a great service to our nascent multiculturalism and kept peace on the city’s streets. This was only the first half of the meal. After a long commercial break, our minds would begin once more to salivate in expectation. On the screen would appear the words in colonnaded lettering: ‘Epic Theatre’. This title said it all: it was a slot dedicated to films set in the Ancient Rome or inspired by Greek mythology. Cinema buffs use the condescending term ‘sword-and-sandal’ or ‘peplum’ (plural: ‘pepla’) to describe these works of cinematographic prowess. Today they are considered masterpieces of camp cinema. The majority of these films were shot in Italy at the famous Cinecittà studios of Rome, or in the surrounding countryside populated with ruins,

grass huts and Mediterranean pines. Impassioned viewers of the genre as we were, we ignored the fact the settings or the scenery seemed to reappear in film after film. For many of us these fields and pines represented ideal representations of our ancestral homeland, not the poor and deprived villages depicted in our parent’s accounts. These settings only further fed the mystique of these films, as did their stereotypical characters and story-lines. Set in a ‘mythological’ time or the heroic ancient era, their larger than life protagonists crowded the polar extremes of behaviour and aesthetics: they were either virtuous and beautiful or ugly and evil. Not surprisingly for a film industry seeking broad appeal, these films starred handsome (often American) body-builders in the lead roles. After being spoken in Italian the films were imperfectly dubbed into English for international audiences. While this brings hilarity today, at the time we hardly noticed. We were not listening to the words so much as instinctively decoding and absorbing the body language of the Italian casts that was so familiar to us. The same could be said for the dominant masculine body types, which the short tunics amply highlighted: bronzed bodies with muscular legs and arms. The film plots began with an injustice committed and ended in a righting of wrongs – a righteous revenge - played out on the grandest scale and painted abundantly in red blood. Almost invariably a reluctant male hero would be drawn into a political intrigue by his attraction for the virtuous and beautiful daughter of a king or an emperor who had been deprived of their rank by some evil usurper. The hero would seek to put right to wrong and overcome the terrible snares laid out to entrap him. Simultaneously he would usually have to resist the whiles of the evil usurper’s adulterous consort. Ultimately the hero would succeed, often legitimated by the last minute intervention of the oppressed masses who stormed the usurper’s palace. Their arrival always sealed the destinies of the protagonists. They would restore the throne to its rightful occupant if still alive, or hand it over to the hero himself, now the beloved of the virtuous woman mentioned above, whose rule would usher in an

era of peace and sunny prosperity. While it may be easy to laugh today at such naiveties, in the eyes of young Italian-Australian spectators, these films represented cultural vindication in technicolour. We were brought up on the staple fare of Hollywood films that invariably cast thin lanky white Anglo-Saxon men as heroes who always won out against the ‘Other’, whether they were Native-American, soldiers from non-English speaking countries, or spies with strange accents. We found it difficult to suspend our selfhoods to the point where we could identify with these ‘heroes’, so similar to the very same people who called us ‘wog’ or ‘dago’ in the streets. Instinctively, we identified with Native-Americans, the soldiers from non-English speaking countries, and the spies with accents, who to us were only ‘strange’ when they were inauthentic. When the masses arrived on the final scene, to us they did not appear to be extras in recycled peasant garments carrying pitchforks: their faces reflected back to us our own sense of who we were and where we had come from, they gave us hope. The sword-and-sandal genre presented on ‘Epic Theatre’ was the first to posit Italians, Greeks, and Mediterranean people more generally, as heroes and protagonists of their own destinies. They spoke to us Italian-Australian boys of a world whose symbolic order was entirely and proudly our own. These films portrayed heroic deeds, larger than life events, ennobling myths, infinitely greater and more captivating than the insipid procession of British monarchs whose starchy complexions stared at us from our schoolbooks. Their stories belonged to us, were part of our cultural patrimony and proved our greatness. With all of their bad dubbing, ‘campness’ and repetition, these films blended into a single reverie lasting our entire childhood and made us feel that we too could be heroes. Back in Italy it was the Western genre that wove the fabric of children’s desires, in Australia it was these pepla that became the stuff of our Italian-Australian boyhood dreams.


Photo Daniele Curto

THIS PAGE Left: Nanni Calandro Right: Alessandro Stellano. Founders of MUSA

Music is the main c of the project, who services are design to develop a mor distinctive knowled of the contempora Italian language an culture

words Laura D’Angelo

Five young Italian artists find their “muse” in Australia 28 SPECIALE MUSICA

core ose ned re dge ary nd


f the thousands of young Italians that every year ends up in Australia, most of them are destined to be let down. Personal dreams and expectations need to face a sad reality, getting trapped in the vicious circle of humble and casual jobs and no prospects. Hence, a huge army of waiters, dishwashers, farmers and so on, often with a degree. Even if their desire of redemption is always in store, such jobs can be extremely draining that after a while no more energy is left for their spare time. In such conditions, only the stubborn can survive and hope to build the bright future in Australia. It is not just a matter of being obstinate and refusing to admit defeat. Having things clear, analysing one’s skills, perhaps scheduling a plan or two and doing it realistically, may open a way to succeed. After all, quoting Lao Tzu, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If like-minded people share the same plans and ideas and they work together with a common goal, chances are dramatically improved. Step by step, towards the right direction. This is exactly what happened to the five members of MUSA International, a fruitful cooperative effort that led in July 2016, to the birth of the above project: an agency of cultural promotion and entertainment operating actively in Melbourne and surroundings.

music is the main core of the project, whose services are designed to develop a more distinctive knowledge of the contemporary Italian language and culture. The multidisciplinary workshops suitable for all ages have so far been set in a variety of cultural and educational centers including schools, Italian clubs and City Councils. They generally involve a variety of topics within music, narrative, multimedia and games. There is no shortage of chants, folktales and anecdotes from ancient times to modernity. Elements of surprise are quite common, like the appearance of a steaming bean soup at the end of a spaghetti western night. In some cases, the events may result in happy congas and full-throated songs. Other workshops and projects are more active. “Natural tuning”, with a more holistic approach, consists in several styles of meditation and music therapy, while international projects involving Sicilia, under the name “Sicilia Fusion”, are taking off successfully. MUSA International has the aim to promote the Italian culture and Made in Italy, deconstructing common stereotypes to offer a real insight of the country. They want to fill the gap between the Italian and Italian Australian culture, to build a generational link between the compatriots of the two communities.

Let us first identify the artistic souls behind the project.

Through all of the events and activities, the Italian people have been experiencing a mutual exchange, not merely “service for money” but a social and cultural enrichment.

Giovanni Calandro (Nanni) from Aprilia, in Lazio and Alessandro Stellano, from Melito, near Napoli, both professional musicians and musical educators; Paolo Lolicata, from Palazzo Acreide, in Sicilia, actor and fashion designer and his sister Elisa, Management and International Event Coordinator of MUSA International, and from the same town in Sicilia, Maria Samudra Manzone, therapist and performer.

The success of these five Italian guys lies in their capacity

The group was attracted to the rich cultural scene of Melbourne, Victoria with a great desire to integrate. Never forgetting their own origins but putting them into use, when the quintet met spontaneously in September 2015, the creation of MUSA International was just a few months away. The name “Musa” is the Italian equivalent of muse in English and derives from an ancient Greek word indicating any of the mythological nine young and beautiful ladies, each of who presided over a different art or science. It is the source of the word music; moreover muso is the Australian slang for “musician”. It is no coincidence that

In Australia, the quintet has discovered the most sold Italian song of all time is still “Ti amo”, by Umberto Tozzi, one that nobody sings in Italy anymore. They unveiled to the large Australian public interesting details, including how the iconic US filmaker Tarantino is fond of Italian music and composers: a quick autopsy of his soundtracks will prove it.

to foresee the needs of Melbourne: a vibrant city focused on enriching through culture, its vast and diverse multicultural community. The idea of offering what Melbourne is best at, and having initiative that requires a constant creative endeavour. Hopefully, this experience can be a source of inspiration for those who want to do more and participate in the process of integration and personal growth in Australia. MUSA International has broken new ground showing that where there is a will with creativity and cooperation there is a way to make dreams come true. SPECIALE MUSICA 29

words Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Tosca and Lucia Di Lammermoor open the celebrations of


n todays ever-changing digital landscape consumers are constantly looking at faster ways to access entertainment. The increasing popularity of social media and streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix have seen traditional mediums of entertainment including film, television and radio struggle in recent years. It is remarkable that one of the oldest forms of entertainment, opera, has managed to continuously engage with audiences for hundreds of years. The works of many great Italian composers such as Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi are still performed today all throughout the world, hundreds of years after they first debuted on the stage. Opera has the ability to continue to resonate with audiences today, reinforcing that there is something incredibly unique about the opera as a form of art and entertainment. While the works of Donizetti, Puccini and Verdi have been performed throughout Europe for centuries, the history of Opera in Australia is relatively new whilst still making a huge impact on our cultural landscape. This year one of Australia’s oldest opera companies, the West Australian Opera Company celebrates their 50th anniversary. Founded in 1967, the company made their debut with Carmen in 1968, headlined by Opera Legend Dame Joan Sullivan who was the company’s first patron. Since then, the West Australian Opera Company has brought many adored Italian Operas from Aida to Tosca and Madama Butterfly to the stage at the iconic His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth. Artistic Director Brad Cohen of the West Australian Opera Company says Italian Opera is: “At the heart of West Australian Opera’s repertoire. I think not a year has gone by, in the

fifty years of our company’s history, when an Italian opera has not been performed in Perth… I would love to introduce some of the great Italian operas not yet performed by the Company.” For this year’s special 50th anniversary season, Cohen selected two beloved Italian Operas, Puccini’s gut-wrenching Tosca and Donizetti’s equally tragic Lucia Di Lammermoor, starring Italo-Australian Opera singer Aldo Di Toro in the role of the doomed lover, Edgardo. “It’s a devastating role and opera and it’s one of my favourites,” Di Toro proclaims. Despite Lucia being written in the 1800s, Di Toro credits Donizetti’s writing style for why the tragic opera has stood the test of time and continues to resonate with audiences today. “Donizetti’s vocal writing goes straight to the heart,” he says. “There are no barriers, no filters, no wasted bars of music. The struggles of the characters are the same challenges of today: politics, unrequited love, conflict within families, impossible love stories and miscommunication.” Di Toro who was born and raised in Perth, credits his Italo-Australian heritage for influencing him to pursue a career in the arts. “My Italo-Australian upbringing definitely influenced my career choice. There was always singing and dancing at weddings and parties. The Uncles would sing Neapolitan songs at the top of their voices at the end of the parties. And my love for the music of the Australian singer-songwriters and the carefree sunny Australia of the 1980s, all naturally led to the musical, nomadic life that us opera singers live.” While Di Toro had an interest in the arts, his first foray into opera happened by chance. “I got involved in opera by

The struggles of the characters are the same challenges of today: politics, unrequited love, conflict within families, impossible love stories

ABOVE Aldo Di Toro BELOW Brad Cohen Photographer James Rogers NEXT PAGE Figaro. Photographer Jessica Wyld 30 SPECIALE MUSICA

the 50th West Australian Opera Company Anniversary mistake. To escape the footy oval in high school, I decided to audition for the school musical in the warmth of the school gym. The musical was an operetta which I loved and which led to later studying opera.” It was a decision that clearly paid off. Di Toro now regularly performs in both Italy and Australia and has taken the opera world by storm having performed around the world in London, Tokyo, and Cape Town. Despite his international success, Di Toro always looks forward to returning to Perth: “West Australian Opera is a great company. I started in the chorus there and His Majesty’s is a stunning theatre where I’m still ‘paying my dues’.”

interest from new attendees and wide-ranging support in our community. In a relatively isolated, but important, city like Perth, a local opera company holds a unique place in people’s hearts.”

While Opera might not have as rich a history in Australia as Italy, Di Toro believes Opera is appreciated on a similar level in both countries: “I would say opera is appreciated in Italy about on the same level as in Australia. Italy has suffered direct cuts to opera for the past fifteen years, whereas Australia perhaps, is only feeling the financial pinch in recent years. Of course, the Arts are the first thing to go when things tough in the economy, but both societies have their fair share of aficionados who keep the opera world going.”

Cohen acknowledges that it is difficult to reach out to new audiences in such an oversaturated market where people, especially younger generations, tend to turn to other forms of entertainment that are familiar or easier to access. “Entertainment is always changing. Think of the music hall, or the drive-in, or any form of culture, which was once popular and now is in decline, our challenge is to present and constantly renew an art form which is timeless, but which for some people is intimidating or foreign,” he says. “Like the best olive oil, the best opera is a product made with care and demanding standards but to a simple recipe. Interesting younger audiences in an art form, which can be unfamiliar, is our biggest challenge, and that is why education… is so important to us. We want children and young people throughout Western Australia (WA) to think of opera as exciting, captivating and a pleasure – not as a ‘high art’ duty.”

Brad Cohen who has served as Artistic Director at the West Australian Opera Company since 2015 agrees, claiming appreciation for opera is ‘ truly international’. “Opera knows few boundaries. Where the singing voice meets stories and emotion, opera will always be appreciated,” he says. Cohen credits the West Australian Opera Companies’ passion for enduring and prospering in an age where most entertainment industries are struggling. “Our passion – and our mission – is to tell stories through the singing voice. This simple proposition has ensured loyalty from our audiences,

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the West Australian Opera Company are taking their beloved art form across the state. With their Opera in the Regions season, they are giving opera lovers a rare opportunity to enjoy the opera against the backdrop of some of WA’s most picturesque outback locations including the Pinnacles and the Valley of the Giants. Innovative ideas combined with the grandeur of their traditional productions like Tosca and Lucia; ensure that the future of Opera and Italian story telling in Western Australia will continue to soar.





aniele Ciurleo-Larubina’s essence of his mastery lies in the seemingly effortless ability to transition from musician to composer, from arranger to conductor.

Born in Australia the late 1960’s to Italian migrants, Daniele grew up surrounded by the music his father Michael found inspiration in: the classic Neapolitan and Italian popular songs of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. “Given different circumstances, I believe my father would have been a talented and very capable musician,” Daniele says in his quiet manner. “He could carry a tune quite well and knew just about every Italian song ever released.” Part of that enormous repertoire was of course the songs made popular by stalwart events including the famed Sanremo Song festival. These songs, born in a land on the other side of the world, stirred a desire in the young Daniele to understand the method and sentiments behind the music, to get at the heart of the melodies. By the time he was thirteen, Daniele was studying classical guitar to connect with how he felt deep inside. Little wonder that after taking up the double bass in his final years at Melbourne High School, Daniele would go on to study Performance in Guitar at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne under the guidance of esteemed Associate Professor John Griffiths. “It’s rather funny that it was while studying at the Conservatorium of Music that I really came to realise the cultural significance and the musical mastery of the orchestrators and arrangers whose work I had been listening to with my father,” Daniele explains. “But it was my first trip to Italy that set that musical heritage in stone for me. I decided that I would one day very much like to arrange and orchestrate a programme of that repertoire that was such a huge part of my musical psyche.” Not surprisingly because of his intrinsic talent, Daniele was in high demand to join various musical ensembles and groups, often switching between playing the contemporary music and his love for more fully orchestrated recital and performance work. It was the influence of his early formative years at the feet of his father that kept calling to him. This eventually led Daniele to shift his emphasis from simply playing music to a more technical demand of arrangement, orchestration and conducting. In 2012 Daniele formed the ‘Fusion Pops Orchestra and


Choir’, playing - as the name suggests - arrangements of popular songs given an orchestral bent. So successful was this initial foray into this genre. What started out as an ensemble of modest size, grew into a 50 plus member, full symphonic orchestra with rhythm section and a 25-voice choir. This popular music with a classical slant would go on to perform a string of sell-out shows repeatedly over the years, and include works by David Bowie, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Beatles and even Led Zeppelin. Nevertheless, even this success didn’t dent Daniele’s desire to bring the music of his Italian ancestry and heritage to an audience who yearned for the music of their youth, or that audience who had never really listened to the music of their forefathers. And so, ‘Canzoni Di Mio Padre’ was born (Songs My father Taught Me): a programme of Neapolitan and Italian popular music that Daniele has orchestrated and breathed new life into while still respecting the integrity of the original versions. “I feel an emotional, spiritual and musical affinity with the melodies. It’s that simple,” Daniele says. “And I know that many others Italians around the world feel likewise.” From this, some twenty songs from the so-called ‘Golden Age of the Italian Song’ have been completely rethought and reorchestrated to take the audience on a journey, both nostalgic yet fresh and vibrant. Featured are the songs of such greats: Claudio Villa, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti; songs that sweep the eras of Belle Époque, the First and Second World Wars and the Sanremo Festival years. There are also the masterful and immediately recognisable Neapolitan songs including: Tango Del Mare, Funiculí Funiculá, Non Ti Scordar Di Me, and of course the perennial favourites Volare and Luna Rossa.

Following both critical and audience acclaim in Adelaide and Melbourne in recent years, this showcase returns to Melbourne in late October and early November, at the beginning of an Australia-wide tour before heading off overseas in 2018, including performances in China and Japan.


n a recent interview with the Corriere della sera, Giusy Ferreri spoke about her participation in this year’s ‘Festival di Sanremo’ - saying she has always seen music as the undercurrent or soundtrack to her life. To her, from this perspective, the song competition loses its reason of being.

WORDS Bernadette Novembre

The mysterious and gritty voice of

Born in Palermo, Sicily on 17 April 1979, Giuseppina Gaetana Ferreri earned her start during the first Italian edition of X Factor in 2008 where she came second. Her voice is deep, mysterious, and gritty; awakening a myriad of emotions similar to her hometown of Palermo.

have the courage to break free from routine and put themselves first. This sentiment can resonate with women on a deeper level, propelling the success of this single in an age where women are making their voice heard. About the song, Giusy says: “I refer to the escape of a woman who longs for freedom and does not identify with the chores of her daily life. A strong woman who is not afraid to pause from her duties so to speak, to take time for herself, to recapture the dreams of her youth, to feel joy within herself, to break away from the roles she is expected to play. Which is what all women want deep down.” The video clip for the song shows Ferreri in a rain-drenched city, perhaps a metaphor for the storm of emotions that we all have within ourselves. Although it is raining, Ferreri sings and dances, brightly dressed, as if she were breaking through the inner darkness and turmoil. Ferreri’s songs are often a response to the frenetic nature of today’s society, which is why she believes her previous single, Roma-Bangkok with Baby K was such a success. The song achieved eight Platinum discs, the video reached over 178 million clicks on You Tube: that made it the most watched Italian video clip of all time. She says about the song:

G iu s y Ferreri

Music has the immense power of changing your mood and making you forget the problems in your life. Each note, each lyric pulling you away from the negative into a dimension of positivity, possibility and ecstasy

In June 2008, Sony BMG released her first single Non ti scordar mai di me, written by Tiziano Ferro. The album Gaetana went four times Platinum with over 314,000 copies sold. In October 2008, she released the song Novembre, which debuted at number one in Italy. The reason to such success - whilst being a pop singer, Ferreri goes beneath the surface to bring depth to what these days has become an otherwise superficial musical genre. Life has not always been easy for Ferreri. To support her music career, she worked as a cashier in a supermarket for ten years. Before her appearance on X Factor, she recalls going through a very tumultuous time in her life but a time when she met her now partner of nine years, Andrea Bonomo. At thirty-seven years of age, she is now pregnant and says she definitely felt the symptoms of her pregnancy whilst performing her new single Fa talmente male at Sanremo. During the performance, she was short of breath, suffered heart palpitations and nausea. As a true professional, Ferreri’s performance was inspirational and without fault. The new single Fa talmente male is off her new Album Girotondo. The song is an ode to strong women that

“… it seems to me that we are all taken by a frenetic rhythm of life. Even children are so overburdened by their school activities that are left with little time to dedicate to their passions. I think that this is the problem of today’s life and the reason for the success of Roma-Bangkok: it transmits a feeling of lightness which is almost totally missing in our times.” Music has the immense power of changing your mood and making you forget the problems in your life. Each note, each lyric is a hand reaching out, pulling you away from the negative into a dimension of positivity, possibility and ecstasy. Ferreri’s voice and delivery of her songs are a true testament to this.

Girotondo, Giusy Ferreri’s new album is available on iTunes. All quotes from: Giusy Ferreri al suo terzo Sanremo: «Amo le donne forti» da Raffaella Oliva, Corriere della sera – Io Donna (, 3 Febbraio 2017.


Footy is slowly going past Nonno, he’s still stuck in the old days of contested footy. Dad’s still on top of it all, so I ask questions WORDS Jenna Lo Bianco

In his blood, but on his own terms Following in his nonno’s and father’s footsteps, the nineteen year old Jack Silvagni promises to add luster to the name of a legendary family of Italian-Australian footballers


hough he wears the famous number ‘1’ on his back, Jack Silvagni focuses on what is in front of him. A young man, confident in himself and in his abilities, Jack has set himself up for a successful career, on his own terms. Growing up with legendary football role models (his father Stephen and grandfather Sergio), it would be easy to let any perceived pressure of the Silvagni legacy get the better of him. Jack isn’t buying into it. “Number 1 has been part of the family since nonno played.” He adds, “I don’t think there’s any added pressure. It’s more about the monogram on the front of the jumper. That’s what you’re playing for. You can’t rear your head and look at the back of the jumper while you’re playing.” Despite his high-profile family, Jack has managed to remain grounded and clear minded about his own adventure in the world of professional football. He acknowledges the significant impact his father and grandfather’s careers have had not only on the Carlton Football Club, but also on the game in general. Jack’s attitude toward his family’s legacy is a healthy one. Though he respects and is grateful for the path made before him, he is excited to see how his journey will appear, keen to make his own mark on the game. “I try to steer clear [of advice] to be honest, just stick to what the coaches tell me. Do my own thing. Play instinctively. Dad’s my first port of call. Footy is slowly going past Nonno, he’s still stuck in the old days of contested footy. Dad’s still on top of it all, so I ask questions.” Chatting with Jack you forget that he’s only nineteen years old. He speaks from the heart, has realistic expectations of what the future holds and is highly articulate in his ability to discuss his challenges and expectations. Like any other young adult, Jack is studying alongside his football career. Finding a balance between work and play can indeed be


difficult: Jack is learning to work through his double degree in Commerce and Property at Deakin University. Despite this, he remains the eternal optimist, driven and focused on what he wants to achieve. Speaking of his school days, Jack assured me, “I was a good student. I was organised. I hated being disorganised.” Jack also studied Italian at school. “I pick up on little things. I am a very poor speaker of Italian. I used to be good, but I stopped it in year 11. I just lost it… When Nonna starts speaking Italian I switch off because they speak too quickly.” Jack put his remaining linguistic skills to good use on a recent trip to Italy in search of his Italian heritage. The Silvagni family has a very interesting lineage, originating from the northern Veneto town of Asiago. The family’s first connection with Australian soil came by way of Giacomo Silvagni’s immigration in 1924. Supported by Virgin Australia, a Platinum sponsor of the Carlton Football club, Jack embarked on a journey that would change the way he viewed his family forever. This intimate experience was documented in the touching film ‘Bloodlines: Giacomo to Jack,’ which unpacks why Giacomo moved to Australia and the significant impact the early Silvagnis had on Asiago. Italian-Australians will connect with Jack’s journey: hidden treasures reveal themselves, secrets are shared, and whispers of information that would otherwise remain hidden for eternity are revealed. Throughout the film, Jack references the “unknown” of Giacomo’s experience moving to Australia. He migrated alone, entering a world completely unknown, unsure of what the future would hold. I asked Jack if he noted any similarities between his great-grandfather’s journey and his own transition into the ‘unknown’ world of professional football. “I had been around the club since I was little. I had dad and Nonno to lean on for advice and questions. I think in that sense it wasn’t so ‘unknown.’ Fitness-wise and mentally,


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routine – that I didn’t know.” Jack paused, reflecting on his own experience to date. “Speaking with Nonno, Dad never spoke about moving out [to Australia]. It wasn’t a topic for conversation at all. We weren’t to talk about it. He didn’t really give a reason for coming over. I think that the fact that he came over not knowing anything, for the story to be passed through generations still with no knowledge of why… that’s the biggest difference.”

Playing with the glow of two football generations in his stride, Jack will ensure that the third instalment of the Silvagni legacy is one built on integrity, passion and commitment to a club that has enriched their lives in innumerable ways. I for one will be watching closely with bated breath.

Though a loaded question, I was keen to find out if Jack identifies as an Italian-Australian. “Yeah, I do. If I was asked ‘Where’s your family from?’ I’d say ‘Italy’. If someone asked ‘Where are you from?’ I’d say ‘Australia’.” Jack made an interesting observation, quashing the cultural stereotype that Italian-Australian kids play soccer and Australian background kids play football. “I guess it depends how you are brought up. I was brought up In the previous PAGE Jack Silvagni in Rome, Colosseum IN THE current page FROM THE TOP Jack Silvagni in Asiago, Italy; Jack Silvagni training in Marostica; Jack Silvagni with Venice FC Coach Filippo Inzaghi; Jack Silvagni - Trevi Fountain, Rome

in a footy family.” I couldn’t help but ask what would have happened if he brought home a soccer ball. He laughs, “It never really interested me to be honest.” Jack is hoping for a long prosperous football career, and is counting on celebrating many premiership success stories in the future. “Aspirations for all footballers - they want to be premiership players and win a flag for their team. I don’t think it’s any different for me. I’d love to be a dual, triple, quadruple premiership player, if I could be. I’d love to win a flag every year if I could. I want to be remembered as someone who was passionate and played for the jumper, courageous and loved the club. I think that’s the culture we’re breeding here.” I asked Jack about his competitive spirit, to which he responded, “My drive’s internal. Obviously there are external factors impacting on that at times: the coaches, Mum, Dad, brothers, family, mates. It could be any of that. I want to do well because I want the team to do well, myself to play well, my mates to play well, and that has to be naturally internally driven and can’t be relied upon by external factors. I’m competitive because I hate to lose. That’s the main reason I’m competitive. But now, playing in such a team with such a proud history, there’s more to it.” SPORT 37


A Melbourne place where Caesar or Cicero would hang about to pursue their public career “Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life… Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German writer 1749-1832)


he Roman forum was a public space: the key political, ritual and civic center. If I were to compare it to a modern day equivalent in Melbourne, then Cafè Brunetti in Carlton meets the criteria. It is my third year working at Brunetti and it has been more than a part time job while attending university. Like the Roman forum itself, one is able to hear discussions of all sorts standing at the bar–espresso with or without cornetto in hand. The bar is central with public debates and discussions taking place. Topics stem from politics to the Serie A championships. Lazio and Roma fans welcome… The bar is a place to hear and to be heard. We will try not to judge if you order a soy decaf latte, but it

where I suppose private, lengthier and meaningful conversations occur. Early morning tradesmen gather before the big day ahead, business meetings happen at a relaxed pace, mothers introduce traditional dolce and babycini to their bambini, and romantically involved couples are always around. Even though I cannot hear them, their facial expressions display humanity and genuine emotion. Feeling lonely? Someone is always willing to strike up a conversation. I once met an old man who recounted his life growing up in Italy in a Tuscan villa and seeing at close range Mussolini giving a speech in front of a crowd. Hearing the insights of people’s life is a priceless learning experience one cannot get from university.

Everyday life at Brunetti cafe may provoke a slight bias. Despite different backgrounds, we all gather here and share one thing in common: a thirst for life and the need to emulate the Italian culture. A local of African descent loves to practice his Italian with the bar staff. A young university student scribbles in his notebook, finding inspiration from the surroundings. A jobless lecturer seeks purpose in the next chapter of his career. I smile at the businessman who brings his teenage son in every morning, setting an influential example of networking and professionalism. Habits are lived by daily. A local man aged in his fifties orders a granita al limone every day with a smile on his face and reads his novel. One day he didn’t order it. I asked, “No granita today?” He replied, “The doctor told me I should cut down sugar.” A few weeks later he ordered it again saying, “How can one live without the simple joys in life?” Brunetti brings such joy to people: inspiring and encouraging growth. One can really learn something new everyday here. I certainly have. As a twenty-year-old I can converse with people from all different cultures and ages. To the left and right of the bar, tables fill the long room 38 FOOD&WINE

In the back rooms, another world comes to life full of wit and spontaneity. Pastry makers, chefs, cleaners and the infamous runners animate the Brunetti forum night and day. Here, similar topics are discussed in an informal manner and I am free to drop formalities letting another level of discussion open up my mind. Upon entering Brunetti, one may somehow feel as the great German poet and writer Goethe felt when he arrived in Rome during his famous tour of Italy over two hundred years ago. The marble floors and benches, the high ceilings and wide pillars, have set a precedent to the design of Italian cafès in Melbourne. On big public holidays and great events, Brunetti adds to its look and modifies its interior to fit a larger number of customers and provide the atmosphere of familiarity and security. Brunetti can be a treat, but it is much more than that. It is an icon of Italian lifestyle and a center of social life where people meet, discuss, socialise, and have romance and commercial affairs. A Melbourne place where Caesar or Cicero would hang about to pursue their public career.


WORDS Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Italian Teacher Returns to Childhood Roots

for Debut Bilingual Book

(03) 9846 4456


rom a young age, Daniela Pruiti Ciarello would often get lost in the magical worlds of the fairy tales and fables she was told. “I’ve always been a dreamer,” she proclaims. “Faries, goblins, dragons and magic mirrors populated my childhood, and I often nestle into this world to escape from reality.” Her need to escape during a difficult time in her life is what inspired her to pluck up the courage and put pencil to paper and complete her debut bi-lingual children’s book, Il Macinino Magico (The Magic Peppermill). Born and raised in Sicily, Daniela who is a professional graphic designer left her beloved home behind to embark on a new life with her husband, Maurizio in Australia. “When we arrived in Perth it was a great start. Australia seemed like a paradise. We found new work, new friends, we were learning a new language and lots of interesting things happened.” Their newfound happiness however, was rocked by the 2008 recession. “My husband lost his job and I had to work three jobs to make ends meet.” “All my dreams had vanished,” she explains. “Every morning I looked in the mirror and asked: ‘Daniela what are you doing here? You made a big mistake; you had a beautiful life in Italy.’ It was during these difficult months, that homesickness knocked on my door and I began looking for comfort in my childhood memories and I began to draw again.” As she started to draw again, her life started to fall back into place, finally getting a job as an Italian teacher at Beehive Montessori School. Her primary school students there inspired her to pursue her passion project and start working on her first picture book. “By working with children, I am constantly surrounded by their enthusiasm and their stories. I draw inspiration from children’s light-heartedness. They made me realise how rewarding it is

to free the imagination and to create,” she says. Several years later Daniela has finally released her debut bilingual children’s book, Il Macinino Magico (The Magic Peppermill). A retelling of the popular Italian fable, the folktale is about a poor orphan boy who finds a magic peppermill that grants him unlimited wishes. It is a story that is close to the author’s heart: “It was one of the stories my Nonna used to tell me when I was young.” As an author and illustrator, Daniela is excited to share the beloved tale with a new generation of children, in particular, her students. As an Italian teacher herself, Daniela became frustrated with the lack of resources available to teach Italian in Australia and hopes her book Il Macinino Magico, written in both English and Italian, will be the first of many bilingual books. “The benefits of learning a second language extend far beyond being able to order a cup of coffee in Florence or asking for directions to the Colosseum. As psycholinguist Frank Smith says, ‘one language sets you in a corridor for life, but two languages open every door along the way.”

The Magic Peppermill (Il Macinino Magico) is available to purchase online at For your chance to win a FREE copy of the book tell us in 50 words or less of your favourite Italian fable. Please submit your fable by the 31st August 2017 at:


WORDS ENRICO MASSEI & Elizabeth Wisser (Amalsa Migration Agents, Melbourne)



From the Director's desk – Enrico Massei


SM (General Skilled Migration) as a pathway to PR (Permanent Residency) can be very daunting at the best of times. The complexity of understanding Skill Select, Expression of Interest, Points Test and English language requirements require a

proper analysis to not encounter in potential pitfalls. In this issue and the following issue of Segmento, we will provide an overview of the GSM program, providing the top 10 tips we believe will assist in obtaining PR in 2017.

From our Migration Practioner’s Desk – Elizabeth Wisser LL.B, GDLP, Registered Migration Agent MARN: 0959122



Study Your Passion

Many students are persuaded to study courses because they are “good for PR”, rather than what they are interested in. These days, there are no courses, which guarantee you PR on completion, so it is important you study in an area you are passionate about. There are now limits to the number

State Nomination - Think Regional

State nomination opens up a range of opportunities - for instance: • Occupational Ceilings do not apply for state nominated visas - so if you are in a pro rata occupation, this may be your best option • State nomination gives you priority in SkillSelect - as soon as the nomination is completed, you receive an invitation immediately • State nomination gives you 5-10 additional points • There is a wider list of occupations available for state nomination Each state and territory has its own list with its own criteria - so being familiar with these will give you the best possible chance. People who are prepared to relocate outside the main capital cities enjoy advantages. For instance, they can be eligible for the following regional visa options: • Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 Visa: this is a 4-year temporary visa which requires either state nomination or family sponsorship. To get PR, you must live and work in a regional area for 2 years • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 Visa: this is a permanent employer sponsored visa. This requires a regional job offer, but the other criteria can be easier to meet than other employer sponsored visas

of people who can get PR in each occupation; therefore you are much better to study in an area that is less competitive. Many students are looking at employer sponsorship on completion of their studies, and you have a much better chance of getting a job offer with an employer if you study in a field you love.


Further Studies

You may be able to improve your chances of migration by doing further studies in Australia after completion of your first qualification. Examples include: • Study in a Regional Area: greatly improves your chances of state nomination and gives you 5 points if you complete a qualification taking 2 academic years • Bachelor Level or Higher: many SOL occupations require you to have a bachelor-level qualification for skills assessment. You also get extra points for a bachelor degree, and you may be eligible for the Post Study Work stream of the 485 visa • PhD and Masters by Research: extra points are available for PhD studies and Masters by Research in STEM specialisations. Many state governments look favourably on PhD graduates for state nomination



Make the Most of your Graduate Temporary Visa

Many students will not have enough time to apply for permanent residence in the available time between completing their course and expiry of their student visa. Graduate temporary visas are a great way to extend your stay in Australia, but if used correctly are a great way to improve your chances of getting Permanent Residence. You can only apply for a Graduate Temporary Visa once, so make the most of it: • Professional Year: a Professional Year may assist with skills assessment, points for skilled migration, as well as lead to a skilled job offer • Skilled Work: Your graduate temporary visa has full work rights, so seek employment as this may lead to points or employer sponsored options • Move Interstate: many states and territories require you to have lived, worked or studied locally before they sponsor you • English Language Ability: you have the opportunity to improve your English whilst living and working in Australia

Get Your Bridging Visa Right

Bridging visas can be complex - getting it wrong can be costly as you may become unlawful, subject to detention or removal from Australia. It can also affect your eligibility for PR and for Australian Citizenship. Some common issues include: • Lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) does not give you a bridging visa. You need to be invited and lodge your application for General Skilled Migration to get a bridging visa, and this may take some months. • You need to lodge for a further visa prior to expiry of your student visa if you intend to stay in Australia. If you are not ready to apply for PR, this could mean lodging a graduate temporary or visitor visa 40 REGULARS

• You would generally receive a Bridging A visa when you lodge an onshore visa application - this ceases if you depart Australia. You may need to apply for a Bridging B visa if you wish to travel during processing



32 View Road, Epping 3076 Vic | 03 9408 0499 |

WORDS and Photo Archimede Fusillo


as a much younger man.

In Their Past He couldn’t weather the Australian weather

“I had already been in Switzerland to find work. In a sense, I already knew what it was like to leave one’s home and go amongst strangers. It was 1967 and I had an uncle in Australia who sponsored me. He told me there were ample opportunities for work and advancement in

myself and wouldn’t allow anyone to push me around easily. However, differently from Switzerland, Australia was so hot, and this didn’t bode well with me. I just couldn’t cope with the heat and the fact that I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t get any rest. Imagine, all that hard work and no rest.” “Era sfinito,” cuts in la

Rocco Antonio Aieta and his wife Francesca


t is raining and cloud cover is low the afternoon I arrive at the home of Rocco Antonio Aieta and his wife Francesca in the picturesque Basilicata village of Montemurro. Overlooking the sprawling valley below, Montemurro is one of many century-old villages along with Spinoso, Viggiano, Marsicovetere and others scattered across the region. I have driven here through lush farmland that lately nestles conspicuously against land left barren by the now decade-long drilling for oil that has brought both much-needed income and yet dire ecological strain to the area. As I wait for my knock on the door to be answered I’m


struck yet again by the incongruity of seeing locals transported on, mules and donkeys, Vespas or shoe-horned into Fiat Punto’s sharing the winding roads with foreign owned tanker trucks and rolling infrastructure for the many drilling platforms now dotting the landscape. “Avanti. Entrate,” (Come in) a jovial but hardened voice calls from the shadows beyond the front door that opens directly onto a main street. In broken English, Rocco is effusive in his greeting, telling me that he and his wife had been expecting me, and how pleased he was to see someone from Australia. “Qualche parola ancora in Inglese ancora

me la ricordo,” (I still remember a few words-of English) he tells me, shaking my hand and simultaneously ushering me to a seat at a small kitchen table. He introduces his wife whose pleasant smile and genuine warmth make me feel immediately comfortable. The bitter-sweet aroma of coffee is already heavy in the air and I have a cup and saucer in my hand before I get my first question out. This is all it takes to have Signor Aieta open up about his time and experiences in Australia back in early 1967. It is as though he had been waiting for eternity to share what he was about to recount as a very difficult and yet very affirming experience for him

Australia. Fortunately for me I passed my medical examination in Naples and not long after I left for Australia. What I didn’t expect was how far Australia was from Italy when compared to Switzerland.” As we share coffee and biscotti, Rocco’s wife hovers nearby, ensuring that this newcomer to their home is made to feel welcome. She nods approvingly as her husband remembers his now remote past in Melbourne in what was then a very foreign land. “I had every intention of remaining in Australia” Rocco continues. “Working with concrete was a heavy job, but the pay was good. Australians didn’t give me any grief. But then I was a bit of a hot-head

signora. “Non poteva andare avanti cosi, vero?” (He was exhausted. He couldn’t go on like that, could he?) After a few moments of contemplation Signor Aieta shrugs his shoulders, and he and his wife exchange a knowing glance. By the time I take my leave of them, husband and wife have ingratiated themselves in my memory as the very people I have travelled to the other side of the world to meet. People whose personal stories are welded into the psyche of two countries that in so many respects are worlds apart yet so intimately interwoven.



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Segmento Magazine Issue XIII  

Segmento embraces the Italian culture in its entirety, whether it is wine, gastronomy, design, fashion, philosophy, cars, art, diplomacy, et...

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