I was born in Massa Carrara (Italy) and went to school in Carrara, Valle d’Aosta and Genoa where I did a course in shorthand at the Institute “Serra”. When I finished school, I began my working life as a shop assistant and later as a secretary for an advertising firm.
In 1951 I met Mario Corti, at the time a soccer player for Sampdoria. He was also captain of the Catania Soccer Club and played for the Junior National Team and other tournaments. His sporting career was very successful and gave him a lot of satisfaction. We married in 1954 and in ’55 Patrizia was born, then Maurizio in ’58 and Paolo in ’65.
We lived in Genoa, Monza and Catania where we opened and managed a restaurant in 1962. In 1964 Mr Corsaro who ran a tailor’s studio in Adelaide and was also a member of the Juventus Soccer Club Committee, came to visit us in Catania. He asked Mario if he was interested in moving to Australia for a couple of years as a soccer player and a coach and talked about Australia as the “Promised Land”. In 1965 Mario came to Australia and I joined him in January 1966 with our three children.
Due to our separation in 1974, I was forced to go back to work so that I could give my children a better future and a good education. From then onwards I had many different jobs such as cook, cleaner, housekeeper, bus driver for the residents of a nursing home.
In 1982 I met Sergio Bertozzi whom I married in 1985. That’s when I started working for Radio Italiana (now R.T.I.) as a secretary and later as an announcer of various radio programs on a voluntary basis.
Currently I am involved with many community organizations: among other things I help with the Italian Meals on Wheels Service and have been a member of the Toscana Club since it was founded. I have always worked hard, with the help of the committee, to promote the Italian culture and tradition especially to children, whom I adore (I have 6 grandchildren).
All my jobs as a volunteer give me a lot of satisfaction, but the thing that gave me a lot of joy was having the honour of representing the Italian Migrant Woman in 1994 for the Celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary.