Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group


3 December 2015 / 6.30 pm

Chairman: Art Phillips (Arturo DiFilippo)

2015 has been an action packed year for the Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group (IFHG). I want to thank Co.As.It., in particular Thomas Camporeale, Sara Villella, the Co.As.It. Board, and the Italian Family History Group 2015 Committee for a very successful year.

We recognize our Committee members:

Anthony Ravesi – Vice Deputy Chairman
Maria Linders – Treasurer & Acting Secretary
Antonio Luciano
Josie Valli
Dominic Arrivolo
Fabian Loschiavo
John Re
Michael Megna
Francesca Rullo
Raffaella Lina Rapone
…….and of course….myself as Chairman.

We also thank Diana Manganaro who continues to help us at our events and takes a very keen interest in our Group.

The IFHG continued to provide the community with the opportunity to research, record, and celebrate Italian heritage, where we attract a growing number of attendees at our Palace Cinema events, reaching full capacity in our October event of 134 guests. Our average attendance has been 75 guests generally.

Our guest speaker events in 2015 have provided a wonderful entertaining insight into Italian culture, where we featured:

John Barnes – President of New Italy
Max Bosotti – CEO of The Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of NSW
Lina Raffaella Rapone – I’m Italian…are You?
Paola Bacchia – ‘Italy on my Mind’
Romeo Varagnolo –  President of Associazione Giulian Sydney Inc., and Vice
President of Federazione dei Circoli Giuliano-Dalmati d’Australia.
Gennaro Abignano – CEO of the AbiGroup
Professor Gaetano Rando – cultural and linguistic heritage
Joe Avati – comedian, actor and producer
Maria Venuti AM – entertainer, actress and author

We thank Antonio Zeccola and family of Palace Cinemas for their continued support in 2015.

Italianicious Magazine published a beautiful four page article, entitled ‘Uncovering The Past’, in the March / April 2015 issue about the IFHG’s history, what we do, and the importance of family ancestral research.

The IFHG presented a two-hour information program on 4 June at the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) Sydney, on the topic of ‘Effective ways to create and research your Italian family heritage’. The program was very well received and have been asked to present another in 2016, featuring both Maria Linders and Fabian LoSchiavo.

Our facebook page is doing well with over 500 likes   and has proven to be an effective advertising vehicle for the Group, in addition to our website.

We hosted a bus trip on 11 April to ‘New Italy’ for the CARNEVALE ITALIANO FESTIVAL in Woodburn, NSW. The bus was sold out and the 50 attendees enjoyed the weekend immensely. We thank Maria Linder’s, our treasurer and acting secretary, for organizing and administrating such a successful trip.  We are planning a similar trip in 2016 to an Italian festival in the Hunter Valley at Bunna Bunoo Olive Grove.

In July, we held a ‘Christmas in July luncheon’, where guests enjoyed an afternoon at La Giara Restaurant in Leichhardt, being serenaded by accordionist / vocalist Alfredo Scogna.

Dylan Prior, Unified Business Solutions, is producing some wonderful results on our Website and Facebook site, and recently created a new logo for the Group (the header on this report).

We also thank Jim Davis, our film and editing man, who continues to film most events for the Group, which we archive onto our website and as a library resource.

Thanks to Panorama Productions, Antonio Luciano, for the use of his extensive library of his original films, such as ‘Wine Trails Of Italy – and a selected region’, that we utilize for the guest walk in time at our Palace Cinema events, screened between 6.45 and 7.15.

We recently received a Multicultural NSW “Celebration Grant’ in the amount of
$ 3,000. Previously, in 2014, we had received a $1,000 grant.

We are now needing to apply for new additional grant sourcing, as Leichhardt Council are unable to fund for more than 3 times per event purpose, where we had received $ 2,000 (2013), $ 1,000 (2014) and $ 3,500 (2015).

We have secured our 2016 program event dates with Palace Cinemas which can be viewed on our website. Guest speakers confirmed are:

Farther John Cooper OFM Cap – speaking about ‘The Life and Accomplishments
of Padre Atanasio Gonelli OFM Cap’.
Dr. Lucia Barbera – Abandoned Children: The history of Foundlings and Child
Welfare with a focus on Sicily in the 19th century.
Salvatore Zofrea AM – a creative and successful Italian artist and painter
Danielle Gullac –  editor of Italianicious Magazine

In 2015, we held five (5) committee meetings and nine (9) program events.

Our 2016 elections are now forthcoming this evening for members of the Committee and Executive Committee. We encourage active participation with our Committee in 2016, with each committee member taking on a specific duty during the year.

I thank our 2015 Committee and Executive for a wonderful job, and to everyone for their continued support.

The Italian Family History Group thank all our sponsors: Co.As.It. for their continued support, Leichhardt Council, NSW Community Relations Commission (Multicultural NSW), Palace Cinemas, Strata Choice, SPHIC Health Insurance Consultancy, The Ron Seggi Today Show, Frank Moschella and Bunna Bunno Olive Grove.  

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Yours sincerely


Art Phillips (Arturo DiFilippo)
Chairman –  The Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group