Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group

Quarterly Report

2nd Quarter 2014

The IFHG continued to provide the community with the opportunity to research, record, and celebrate Italian heritage, under the auspices of Co.As.It., where we attract an audience with an extensive program of featured guest speakers, which included:

May 7, 2014 (Wednesday) Chris Iacono and Bunna Bunoo Olive Grove
Bunna Bunoo is the premier Olive Grove in the Hunter Valley, NSW region with a range of unique estate produced products.

May 29, 2014 (Thursday) Dr Anne Rogerson
is the Charles Tesoriero Lecturer in Latin at the University of Sydney, University of Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Science Department of Classics and Ancient History,
The focus of Dr Rogerson’s presentation was on
ancient history of Italy and in particular, it’s greatest disaster, Pompeii
and Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, with attention to the people’s struggles
and their intimate stories.
We had an audience base of 53 attendees at our 7 May event, where Chris Iacono spoke of his family heritage and his passion with olive production in the Hunter Valley region of NSW. The interview took place centre stage on the lovely Victorian lounge at the Italian Forum Cultural Centre. During the event, Chris confirmed his new sponsorship to the IFHG, by providing Bunna Bunoo products for our raffles and lucky door prizes.
At our 29 May event, Dr Anne Rogerson spoke of Italy’s greatest disaster in 79AD at Pompeii, and detailed many personal documented stories from witnesses to the eruption.
Both seminars were opened with a brief introduction by our Chairman, Art Phillips, followed by a short family history information segment by our immediate past Chairman, Dominic Arrivolo at our 7 May event. Pina Leyland, an employee of Co.As.It., presented ‘The Memory Box project at our 29 May event. The ‘Memory Box’ is a resource for carers and aged care service providers that can be used as an aid for Reminiscence Therapy, which can be helpful for people with dementia. The ‘memory box’ contains items that can help trigger memories and stir emotions.
During the events, the audience was serenaded by guitarist and Chairman, Art Phillips, playing a traditional (instrumental) Italian composition on acoustic guitar, which provided a touch of Italian culture to our programs.

The IFHG are just about to sign off on a new ‘policy governance document’ between the IFHG and Co.As.It., which can be viewed by members upon request in the upcoming few weeks on our website. We will begin an official membership status starting 1 July at a cost of $ 5.00 per person. This will provide AGM voting rights to paid-up members along with various benefits from time to time.

We were able to successfully secure additional speakers for 2014:

23 July 2014 (Wednesday) Antonio Zeccola / Palace Cinemas

27 August 2014 (Wednesday) Gabriella Della Vedova Conti –
Sulle Ali dell’Arcobaleno (On the Wings
of the Rainbow)
24 September 2014 (Wednesday) Frank Caruso – Caruso’s Natural Health
Founder & Managing Director

22 October 2014 (Wednesday) Joe Avati – comedian, actor, producer

19 November 2014 (Wednesday) Cristoforo Garigliano – Italian migrants from Sicily in the 1950s and 60s – discussing Italian heritage through
migrants’ – music, family stories and rare
documentary films.

We have also formed new contacts and relationships with various Italian and community organizations during the quarter. We have secured our February 2015 guest speaker, John Barnes, President of New Italy,, and also secured our June 2015 guest speaker, Danielle Gullaci, editor of Italianicious Magazine.

Italianicious Magazine will also publish a special feature article in their March 2015 edition about our organization, presenting history about The Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group, and the importance of family ancestral research, along with a few key websites and suggestions for interested parties to begin their research work.

We have also created a new program for 2014, with small group session workshops from time to time for members and interested parties wanting to have a hands-on trial of ‘how to research effectively’, which are run by our Secretary/Treasurer, Maria Linders. Maria conducts these sessions at the Italian Forum, at a designated venue for each occasion, on Saturday afternoons, approximately 6 times per year.

The IFHG were invited and have presented a 1 hour seminar at ‘Italian Week Festival’ of Brisbane, on Saturday 31 May from 12 noon ~ 1.00 pm.

Italian Week Festival Brisbane featured the IFHG as an important part of their program, where archiving expert and past IFHG Vice Chairman, Fabian Lo Schiavo presented information on ‘how to search your family history effectively and create a family tree’. Fabian Lo Schiavo is of Aeolian descent and spent 31 years as a reference archivist in the public reading room of State Records NSW at The Rocks in Sydney.

At the festival, our Chairman, Art Phillips, spoke about the IFHG’s 14 year history, and discussed our ‘aims, objectives and mission’. Art also performed four traditional Italian song selections on acoustic guitar to entertain the audience. He also spoke of his Italian heritage and the tribute to his father and grandfather, in the release of the CD entitled Chitarre Acustiche D’Italia.

Italian Week Festival Brisbane also featured the IFHG’s featured guest speaker from 29 May, Dr Anne Rogerson, to present the topic ‘Pompeii in 79 AD and Italy’s greatest disaster’. There was an audience base of approximately 210 attendees during the festival. The festival took place at the Treasury Casino (Brisbane) ballrooms.

Our Committee member, Diana Manganaro, stepped down after serving many years to the organization. We thank Diana for her unswerving commitment, time and passion to the IFHG.

The IFHG welcomes two new Committee members, Fabian Los Schiavo and Antonio Luciano, effective as from 1st June. We look forward to working with both Fabian and Antonio during the year.

The IFHG Committee held an internal Committee meeting on 24 May, which was interspersed with a few electronic email meetings during the course of this quarter.

The IFHG has applied for a grant with the NSW Community Relations Commission, and also with Leichhardt Council, as we require additional funding to move forward in addition to our private sponsorships.

The Co.As.It. library temporarily closed in May 2014. The IFHG’s resources were packed up securely and are now in storage until a new location is found. Co.As.It has advised that this will occur within the next quarter.

The Executive and Committee look forward to working together with Co.As.It. in 2014 and beyond, to move the group forward with innovative ideas and to embrace Italian culture in our communities.

We thank Thomas Camporeale, Sara Villella and the Co.As.It Board for their support.

The Italian Family History Group also thank our sponsors: Leichhardt Council, Frank Moschella aged care facilities and his wines, Web Video, IFHN, Strata Choice, and our new sponsor Bunna Bunno Olive Grove.