I commend the Bundoora Italian Senior Citizens group on their recent 30 year anniversary.
It was an honour to join the senior citizens along with my colleagues the member for Scullin
and the Victorian state member for Mill Park, Lily D’Ambrosio and Banyule Councillor
Rick Garotti to celebrate this wonderful milestone.
It is 30 years of voluntary, unpaid service to Italian seniors and pensioners across
Every Thursday this wonderful group put on nothing short of a wedding sized event for their
members: three courses of food, great coffee and animated music performances and dancing.
They organise an active social calendar to ensure members are kept busy. It’s so important that
elderly Italians are able to maintain a connection to their culture, to their language and to each
They also make sure that their local elected representatives visit them very frequently, and I was
very pleased to join them.
I say ‘mille grazie’ to the committee and to two wonderful women in particular, Maria Biondo and
Antonietta Filippi, who’ve been wonderful supporters of mine and of the Member for Scullin. Both
Maria and Antonietta have been recipients of Australia Day awards in the past for their service.
This community group do a wonderful job, supporting and continuing their Italian culture locally.
Maintaining this culture is vital, and it makes us a stronger community as a whole.
There is an extraordinary and positive contribution made by migrants to both our economy and
our society. They make our communities stronger, and it is our responsibility, as the drivers of
policy, to ensure the capacity of migrants is fully realised.
That’s why celebrating people like Maria and Antonietta, who bring our communities together,
is so vital. We must be reminded of the strengths of different cultures and how they are
positively shaping and changing our communities.