Language and Legacy: Cathy Procopio and Julia Procopio

Mother – Cathy Procopio

Born in Savigliano (Cuneo province – Piemonte) in 1962 Cathy arrived in Australia in January 1970. Both her parents were Italian born, natives of Calabria but resident in Piemonte. She has one daughter, Julia. In the first years after arrival, Italian was spoken in the home, later English, which Cathy learnt at a school for adults for 6 months as there were no teachers at her primary school that could support those students whose English was their second language. She helped her parents who did not speak the language. It was important for her to pass on the Italian language to her daughter so Julia could maintain contact with her own father who lives in Italy and with her grandparents and extended family. Cathy has remained passionate about Italy and considers herself fortunate to have the pleasure and benefit of both the Italian and Australian cultures.

 

Daughter – Julia Procopio

Born in Milano (province of Lombardi) in 1992 Julia arrived in Australia in June 1992 when she was 6 month old. Both her parents were Italian born, her father in Puglia, resident in Milano, her mother in Savigliano (Cuneo-Piedmonte province). In the first years after arrival, Italian was spoken in the home, later English. Julia was teased for her Italian culture in primary school but in high school her Italian and Milanese origins were admired. She became fluent in Italian after spending three months with her father’s family in Italy. She considers herself bi-lingual and teaches languages in secondary schools. Julia loves Italy and is proud of her Italian linguistic and cultural heritage. She is certain she would pass on to any future children of her own this invaluable legacy.

 

Interviewer – Marylisa Fabian

 

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