Natalie Oliveri is a second generation Italian. Her father was born in Calabria, and her mother in Adelaide to recently migrated Abruzzi-Italians. She has always been fascinated by her recent family history, knowing things could have been very different for her if her grandparents had not chosen Australia as their home.
Beginning her studies at the University of Adelaide in 2005, she studied Italian as her Bachelor of Arts major and a Bachelor of Media. In 2006-2007, she made a pilgrimage to visit her mother’s family in Agnone, Abruzzi-Molise. There she learnt about her maternal grandparents’ rich heritage.
When Natalie returned to Australia, she learnt more about her father’s family and the conditions under which they migrated to Australia. Her culture and family-life filtered into her writing and interests when she was the co-editor of the University of Adelaide’s student newspaper, On Dit, in 2008. Completing her studies at the end of that year, and unsure about her future career prospects, she chose to study an Honours in Media, bringing in her commitment and desire to learn more about her family’s heritage. This time, she chose to focus on her father’s migratory journey to Australia at four years old, and her grandparent’s separation during their transition to Australian life. The result is her radio documentary The Lost Ones: communication and culture across distance. The project, in five parts, explores the ways in which Italian migrants communicated 50 years ago and maintained their culture. She also looks at how subsequent generations of Italians continue to carry on culture and tradition and the communication methods available today. She received a ‘first class’ for the project, graduating in 2011, and hopes to embark on future freelance radio documentaries.
In mid 2009, Natalie took on a Rural Reporter position, working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for local Riverland radio. She aspires, to return to Italy and further embrace the rich culture and language there.