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

Melbourne’s north.

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.


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