Committe Members

Pina Leyland


My heritage is Abruzzese, with Spanish ancestry on my father’s side. My parents were part of the post-WWII wave of migration to Australia and arrived in the 1950s.  I have been interested in family history since I was a little girl sitting at my mothers knee listening to her stories.

I was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, and raised in Whyalla, South Australia. I graduated from the South Australian Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1985. That year I also married Michael Leyland, a civil engineer of English-Irish descent, and together we have raised three children, two born in Adelaide and the third on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We came to live in Sydney in 2007.

In 2011 I graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. In addition to writing stories, I like to dabble in the creative arts including photography, painting and drawing. In 2011-2012 I held a studio space at Oneplus2 studios in Rozelle. My work has been included in a few exhibitions in Sydney. I first started attending Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group meetings in 2012. I currently work as a social worker in Community Services at Co.As.It. Sydney.


Antonio Luciano

Assistant Secretary

Antonio-Luigi Luciano is an international Film and TV Producer, Author and Marketing Executive.After leaving school he worked  with his father Giuseppe the editor and publisher of the national Italian language newspaper Il Corriere d’Australia in an editorial and production role.

An intense period working for Fortune Far East Hong Kong with a range of international clients followed before returning to Australia to join J.Walter Thompson Advertising where after two years I was appointed Director of Public Relations and Marketing Services.

After eight great years with JWT I recognised that the skills and the communication gifts that I had acquired would enable me at last to promote all that was the history culture and tradition of my Italian hesitageu and to fulfill the dream that had begun as a gift from my father.In 1972 unsethes with my wife Anne we pioneered the first multicultural  TV show in the history of Australian television, Tonight Italian Style. It became so popular that it was moved to lunch time on Sunday,renamed Variety Italian Style  and was carried on 22 TV stations here in Australia and also in the USA and Canada each week until 1986.

Our community building sold was recognised by the Italian Government who commissioned us to produce over 20 documentaries including the history and activities of Italian communities in many countries and others on leading figures in history science music and art . These included: Columbus, Marconi, Caruso,  Fermi and many more.

Several TV series of 13 x1 hour documentaries have been produced in co-production with RAI RADIOTELEVISIONE  ITALIANA , Anne’s International kitchen a weekly cookings show with a strong Italian orientation which ran for 8 years on SBS-TV, several series: Flavours of Italy and Wines of Italy commissioned by Discovery Channel and Travel Channel in the USA. Our most recent venture is a 3D production produced for both TV and cinema.

Michael Megna

Committee member

Public Accountant, Local Government Councillor, IFHG Committee member since 2004.

I was born in Sydney in 1956, to Giuseppe Megna and Francesca Delfino.  Giuseppe came to Sydney from Canneto, Lipari at the age of 18 months.
My Megna ancestors had lived in Lipari since the mid 1600s until emigrating to Australia in 1928. Francesca was born in Palmi, Reggio Calabria and moved to Merrylands with her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties in 1930 at the age of 5.
I was struck when I went to Palmi for the first time that there were no Delfino’s living there, nor had anyone heard of them, as the entire family moved en-masse to Sydney in the 1930s.
That’s when my interest in family history was kindled and, hearing of the IFHG, attended a meeting in 2004. I have been a member ever since.
I was born and bred in Five Dock (Little Lipari), and practice as a public accountant in my own business there since 1974. I am also a local government councillor, elected to Drummoyne Council in 1987, then in the merged Council of the City of Canada Bay in 2004. In 1996, as Mayor of Drummoyne, I established a Sister City (Gemellagio) with Lipari in the presence of the then-Mayor of the island, Michele Giacomantonio. The ties that bind our two communities remain strong and the 2nd generation of Liparotti have discovered their Eolian roots.
There are strong associations from both the Isole Eolie and the Palmesi which continue to promote the culture and the history of their paesi.
I am proud to have been a part of both associations and continue to promote our family history as much as possible.
I am married to Mary, whose family originate in Friuli-Veneto.

Francesco Bagnato – Treasurer


Frank (Francesco) was born in Woolloomooloo of Italian heritage and attended St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Sydney.

His mother, Marguerita, Sydney born, was one of 10 children of Giuseppe and Fortunata Ravesi who finally settled in 1906 from the Aeolian island of Salina in Santa Marina.  His  father, Andrea Pasquale Bagnato came to Australia in 1926 from Parghelia ,a town near Tropea, Calabria .

Frank has undertaken a number of extensive Italian language courses and has travelled through Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and the Aeolian Islands . He has a great appreciation for Italian culture.

Working in the financial accounting, payroll and superannuation areas for more than 50 years, he has now retired.

Frank and his wife, Robyn live in Baulkham Hills and they have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

He enjoys genealogical research, tai chi, playing bridge, travel, walking, literature, theatre and movies and he is hoping to make a worthy contribution to the IFHG.

Maria Timpano

Committee Member

Maria Timpano was born in Australia with her Calabrese parents immigrating in the early 1950`s.  Growing up she saw first hand the importance of the garden. Her parents where villagers and grew up on the land. In 1996 she began working in the food industry and has been working in the industry ever since.  Having grown up in an Italian Culture, food was important and an easy progression into the industry.

She currently is the manager and co-owner of  Having a wonderful curiosity for her culture and the lives of her parents, she self published a book in 2014 ` from the mountain of the shepherd an Italian village in Australia ` . This book was a dedication to her parents and others like them who lived off the land and brought their way of life with them to Australia. Maria felt compelled to write her book as she was concerned that these lifestyle skills were slowly disappearing and wanted to document what she could remember as well as interviewing other immigrants.  It left her with the desire to learn more about her culture and heritage and is looking forward to contributing and assisting with the IFHG.