Welcome!

Australian Donna is an open-space for women of Italian origin in Australia.

We aim to favour the exchange of information, knowledge and topics related to the world of women.

Our space will grow and be enriched through the contribution of different realities and individual experiences of all participants.

Vogliamo anche le rose – “We Want Roses Too”

Thursday, December 06, 2018
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Italian Institute of Culture – Melbourne
233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

Entrance free but RSVP essential.
E:  iicmelbourne@esteri.it; T: (03) 9866 5931

This film portrays the deep change brought on by the sexual revolution and the feminist movement in Italy during the 1960s and 1970s. It looks again at recent events from a female point of view, through the first-hand accounts provided by the diaries of three women. Anita, Teresa and Valentina come from different Italian regions and different social backgrounds, but share the same feelings: they no longer feel part of a society based on the patriarchal family, on the power of “husbands” and on the supremacy of males, which requires them to be efficient mothers, obedient wives and virtuous daughters.

The film will be preceded by a brief introduction by Dr Mirna Cicioni, Honorary Research Fellow, Monash University and Dr Alex Martinis Roe, Head of Sculpture, ANU School of Art & Design.

Alina Marazzi (born in 1964), lives and works in Milano, Italy. A documentary film director. Has worked as assistant director for feature films and video art projects. Her critically acclaimed “Un’ora sola ti vorrei” won best Italian documentary at the 2002 Torino Film Festival, and received special mentions by the jury at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival and at and at the international It’s All True Festival in São Paulo in 2003.

Mirna Cicioni worked for 27 years as a professor of Italian Studies at the Universities of La Trobe and the University of Melbourne.  Mirna worked for 12 years as a community interpreter in the Melbourne area and has published articles on women’s movements in Italy, an introductory monograph on Primo Levi, and various articles on post-WWII Italian Jewish writers. At the moment Mirna is working on an article on Italian westerns.

The Leopard: Sicily, Italy and the Supranational Cultural Imaginary

Free Public Lecture by Simonetta Agnello-Hornby

Monday, 12 November, 2018
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Forum Theatre
Arts West, Parkville Campus
University of Melbourne

In this lecture, Simonetta Agnello-Hornby gives her perspective on The Leopard, its author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and the role the novel has played in representing Sicily and its culture in Europe and beyond. She addresses three key questions: Have Italians, or some of them, or other Europeans changed their view and approach towards Sicily and Sicilians? Has the success of Visconti’s 1963 film had a greater effect on the image of Sicily abroad and in Sicily itself, than the book? Has the impact of gattopardismo benefitted Sicily economically and socially?

Multi-award winning author, Simonetta Agnello-Hornby was born in Palermo and has spent most of her adult life in London. Her debut novel La Mennulara/The Almond Picker was published in Italy in 2002 by Feltrinelli. Translated into more than ten languages, it shortly became an international bestseller. Following the success of La Mennulara, she has published several novels such as, La zia Marchesa/The Marchesa, 2005; Boccamurata, 2007; Vento Scomposto, 2009; La Monaca/The Nun, 2010; 8Il veleno dell’Oleandro, 2013; *Caffè amaro, 2016 and various memoirs, short stories, and non-fiction works. In 2016 she was awarded the Order of the Star of Italy in the rank of Grand Officer by the President of the Italian Republic. In November 2018, the publisher Feltrinelli will launch the graphic novel version of La Mennulara, created in collaboration with comic book artist and illustrator Massimo Fenati.

Presented in conjunction with and the support of The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University and The School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University.

Click here to book.

For further details, contact markdn[at]uniumelb[dot]edu[dot]au

Of bonfires, births and the solstice

An evening of traditional folk songs starting with the 16th January – when the Fòcara (the Bonfire) is set alight, leading through to the traditional beginning of the winter solstice – 11th November, then the Christmas/New Year celebrations,and ending with Epiphany – 6th January (the Twelfth Night).

Throughout these festivities, a group of singers would visit the houses and homesteads scattered in the countryside and ask for food and drink in exchange for the performance of the songs. Let’s travel to some little town in Italy; sharing our world with friends – eating, drinking and singing … and be ready to dance to unforgettable folk tunes!

Presented by the Italian Folk Ensemble.

 

Fullarton Park Community Centre

411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton

6:30pm for a 7:00pm start                                                  

Saturday, 10th November 2018

 

$25 per person – includes Italian coffee & libretto with the original texts also translated into Italian and English.

BYO food to share with friends and others.

For tickets contact Dino on  8271 1929.

 

The Italian Folk Ensemble has been researching and performing traditional and popular songs of the Italian people, fully respecting their individual musical style and their cultural context. These songs cover a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences of the people of Italy through the ages; as such they are a unique medium to learn Italian culture and history. The Ensemble acknowledges the legacy that Antonio Comin has left within its rank. His passion for research and presentation of Italian culture is reflected in tonight performance.

 

Language and Legacy project launch

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The project Exploring the legacy of the Italian language across generations of women of Italian origin was presented on Sunday 11 February 2018 in the beautiful setting of the Migration Museum in Adelaide, South Australia, a museum that collects important documents and testimonies of emigration in South Australia.

        

During the event there were speeches from Mandy Paul, Director of the Migration Museum; Daniela Costa, President and Editor of Australia Donna; Dr. Roberta Ronzitti, Consul of Italy in South Australia, and the Honorable Grace Portolesi, President of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission who officially launched the project.

Ian Gibbins was in charge of all technical aspects of the presentation.

Australia Donna and the distinguished guests from the community and the field of education greeted and congratulated the women who took part to the project.

 

Australia Donna Fundraiser: Castagne e Vin Brule’

Sunday, 29th April, 2018
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Sinclair’s Gully Winery
288 Colonial Drive, Norton Summit, SA 5136

Chestnuts and Mulled Wine plus the beautiful voice of Nicolina Barcello from sell-out performances at this year’s Fringe Event to entertain us with some favourite Italian classics.

Dress warmly as the weather could be cold. Don’t worry about rain, we have cover.

This is Australia Donna’s annual event and everyone who comes always has a fabulous time.

BOOK EARLY AS NUMBERS ARE LIMITED.

$28.00 / $25.00 concession per ticket

For Tickets call Vera on 0412 413416 or email Australia Donna at vera.ubaldi@optusnet.com.au.

Proudly sponsored by Norwood FoodlandTony and Mark’s, Newton and La Casa Del Formaggio.

 

Language and Legacy

Exploring the legacy of Italian language across generations of women of Italian origin

The history of migration is rich in testimonies and documentations on the cultural mediation role that women of Italian origin play in their migration journey and in putting down roots in a new land.

In this series of conversations, six first generation women, together with their daughters and granddaughters, take us on an exploration of their experiences and of the meaning inherent in sharing their deep linguistic and cultural baggage.

Australia Donna pays homage to these women and all women of Italian origin for their outstanding capacity, strength and determination to keep alive this legacy for new generations.

Click here to see more about the project.

Caruso by Aislinn Rossi

Tonight my Grandmother is dancing to the Italian station
on her radio. Tonight,
I am letting the words of il caruso sink into my throat
although I do not understand them.
I know, only distantly,
that the song is about the sea.

You see, tonight- we’ve set the TV to mute, so we don’t have to hear
the way a politician speaks on the news, about a new wave of migrants
trying to make their homes here- these days

Nonna is so thin that she’s almost translucent,
but tonight, that just means I can see the steel beneath her skin
when she smiles, gentle,
and says I hope they are well.
lasciarli essere ben.

And tonight, the way her voice trips over her vowels,
trimming her consonants down like rose bushes
is reminding me that she still has a whole other language inside of her,

the way I have longing inside of me.
The way all these new migrants have hope inside of them.

So I have her teach me lines of poetry that slip sideways
from my clumsy English speaking mouth
and I dance with her to il caruso on a tinny old radio
and let her language fill my longing.

She says that in italy, they say that to each bird his nest is beautiful, which here,
means ‘there’s no place like home.’

So tonight,
I thank God that she had the strength to cross the sea
at only seventeen-
and grow a garden in this country,
knowing that here,
home
is a malleable concept.

© Aislinn Rossi 2017.

Aislinn’s performance of this poem won the 2017 Summer Slam poetry competition, hosted by SpokenWord SA.

Positive Ageing Project

Everyone has their story. So too Italian women who came to Australia in the 1950’s and 1960’s. These women’s stories are very similar, and yet each one is unique.

They all made the long sea journey from Italy to Australia. They all left behind parents, siblings, friends, not knowing when or if they would ever see them again. Some came with family, some with husbands. Many came alone to a husband they had not seen in years or to a fiancé they hardly knew. Once here they all confronted a new country, a new culture and language and the imperative to adapt, survive. They all worked hard, raised families, contributed to their communities and prospered. Each woman did this in her own unique way.

In collaboration with the Office for the Ageing through the Positive Ageing Project, Australia Donna volunteers have recorded and transcribed the stories of some of these women. As part of this project the volunteers have introduced the women to computers and assisted them in learning how to access the internet, the Australia Donna website and eventually their own stories on line. In turn the women have taken to the opportunity of developing their computer skills with enthusiasm.

Now well into their eighties, these women look back on their life and the courageous journey they embarked on over fifty years ago with a positive, benign perspective. Their remarkable strength and courage shines through their narratives and the spirit of their youth lives on in their words.

Australia Donna wishes to thank the Office for the Ageing of SA Health for their financial support with this project. We also wish to thank the Coordinating Italian Committee for their continued support, Anna Sheridan, professional translator, for her valuable work, and finally, the project coordinator, Francesca Sasanelli, and volunteers from Australia Donna for their very generous contributions of time, effort and ideas to this project.

Giuliana Otmarich
Australia Donna Committee, November 2014

Click on the names below to read these women’s stories:

RosaMariaCaterinaInesNicolinaFilomenaNancyRitaItalia.