I was born in Istria Pola on the 6thJuly 1939.
I fled Pola in 1944 with my parents at the age 5 to live in Italy as a refugee in various camps, Aversa, Bagnoli, San Antonio, Cinecitta’ and Mantova until we migrated to Australia. We arrived at Bonegilla on 12thMay 1950, then went to camps in Mildura and Woodside until we found our own first home.
In Australia, I commenced schooling. At 14, I became ill and left school. I joined the workforce at 15. I married at 20 and have three children: 2 boys and a girl, all of whom are married and each has 2 children. I am a proud grandmother of 5 grand-daughters and one grandson.
I worked for G J Coles for 6 years had a family and went back to Coles until I started working for the then Department for Community Welfare, later to become Family and Community Services, for 21 years.
I was Project Officer for 18 months and started the Migrant Liaison Workers Project, a Government initiative, working with Italian families who had an intellectually disabled member. I was co-ordinator of ANFE – Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Emigrate (Italian Welfare Association of Migrant Families).
I retired from the workforce at age of 55.
I have been involved in many committees during my working days and still involved in the following:
ANFE (Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Emigrate – Italian Welfare Association for Migrant Families). I served as a voluntary member on committee for over 5 years and I was employed as coordinator for one year.
CIRCAS. Italian Australian Welfare Workers Association of South Australia as President for over 20 years.
E.B.I. (Ethnic Broadcasting Inc.) Radio Italiana representative for almost 30 years and still representing.
Famiglia Istriana. Member ever since its inception in 1976, on committee on and off during those years, short term Secretary and long term Volunteer, still assisting.
LA Mensa Thebarton. A weekly get together of elderly people for meals and information sessions, an initiative of Family & Community Services a Government Department. I was the official Radio and Media person on this committee.
5 RTI (Radio Televisione Italiana) For over 30 years on committee Volunteer for 40 and still serving. In November 2003 I was honoured with life membership.
Council for Ethnic Disabled. I chaired for 2 years.
Veneto Club Soccer. I was Secretary for one year, then became a President the next year, and ran the Veneto Club Junior Soccer team for 5 years.
I have been married for 60 years and have three children, all married and six beautiful grandchildren. I love to cook, and have all my family over for dinner on regular basis.
Courses & Seminars
I took part in many courses and seminars relevant to my work. I attended and completed a 4 years part time studies for Interpreting and Translating and have a level 3 Diploma. I am registered as an Interpreter.
I have participated at many seminars for Bocce. I am a Level one Coach. I have taken part at many Sport Specific Referee courses, most recent one in Melbourne organised by Bocce Australia Inc. who brought qualified referees from France. Funding applications seminars, and Development Officers training sessions and meetings.
Other Awards received
1994 Nomination Award, Lions Italian, Adelaide.
2003 Sport Medal Award, by Prime Minister John Howard.
2006 Australia Day Order of Australia Medal for Community Work & Sport of Bocce
2014 Life Membership from Bocce Australia
2018 South Australia Bocce Federation Inc. Hon Life Membership
2019 Life Membership Famiglia Istriana
Mirella Mancini OAM
Revised February 2019