Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group

Quarterly Report

 4th Quarter 2015

The Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group (IFHG) continued to provide the community with the opportunity to research, report, record and celebrate Italian heritage, under the auspices of Co.As.It.

Our monthly production events at Palace Cinemas have continued to go from strength to strength during 2015, where on 28 October, we presented Joe Avaticomedian, actor and producer, who spoke of his family origins via well-delivered stories about his ancestry from Calabria, where Joe kindly delivered some wonderful humour to the event, performing seemingly off-the-cuff humour to spontaneous topics the audience threw to him as subject matter.

Avati’s observational brand of comedy, have earned him comparisons to Jerry Seinfeld, and in promotions he is referred to as “the Italian Seinfeld”.

His observations are drawn from the life around his Italian family, particularly his experiences growing up. The characters and traits that Joe mentions seem to be universal in Italian families, which is why audiences familiar with this culture are able to identify with him.

The event was a sell out of 134 guests – a full capacity for cinema #1.

On 25 November, we were fortunate to have entertainer extraordinaire, Maria Venuti AM – a vivacious personality, dynamic singer, entertainer, actress, television performer and successful author. These traits have made Maria’s career highly successful and now a showbiz icon. Her life long devotion, vitality and passion for her charity work is legendary. She has been honoured and decorated as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Some of her proudest moments was accepting the ‘Heart of Variety Award’ for her outstanding work with Variety – The Children’s Charity, being asked to be an Australia Day Ambassador, and now in her 21st year. Venuti has been bestowed with numerous Entertainment Industry Awards and was surprised and honoured with a Channel 9 one hour special of ‘This is Your Life’ in 2003, where Maria was declared a ‘National Treasure’. She is a dynamic, remarkable and passionate singer, ‘a total entertainer’, and is a dedicated charity worker.


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

The IFHG received a Celebration Grant in the amount of $ 3,000 from Multicultural NSW. We thank them for their support.

Our AGM was held on 3 December in the boardroom of Co.As.It. where a new Committee was elected for 2016.

Art Phillips – Chairman

Anthony Ravesi – Deputy Chairman

Maria Linders _ Treasurer

Giuseppina Leyland – Secretary

Antonio Luciano – Assistant Secretary

…..with Committee Members,

Michael Megna

Josephine Valli

Maria Timpano

Chris Iacono

Our event speaker line-up for 2016, taking place once again at Palace Cinemas, cinema #1, is beginning to shape up, where we have secured the following speakers and event dates:

24 February – Father John Cooper
topic: The life and accomplishments of
Padre Atanasio Gonelli OFM Cap

23 March – Dr. Lucia Barbera
 Abandoned Children: The history of
Foundlings and Child Welfare with a focus on Sicily in the
19th century.

22 June – Danielle Gullaci
………editor of ‘Italianicious Magazine’, will speak about her work as creative journalist and editor for Prime Creative
Pty Ltd’s ‘Italianicious Magazine’, a sought after publication of Italian cuisine, travel, culture, wine, style, people and

24 August – Antonio Luciano
CEO, Panorama International Film Productions Pty Ltd
‘Heritage and Contributions to the Italian Community’

23 November  – meet the IFHG experts
4 member panel discussion with moderator
topic; family research / heritage

our other event dates of 27 April, 25 May, 28 September and 26 October are yet to be filled with a guest speaker.

We gratefully thank our 2015 Committee members for their continued work and support, and I also thank our previous Committee member Diana Manganaro, who continues to be very active helping out at our Palace Cinema events.

I acknowledge the wonderful work of Dylan Prior, Unified Business Solutions, who is producing some wonderful results on our website and facebook site, and for the recent creation of a new logo that we have set in place.

We also thank Jim Davis, our film and editing man, who continues to film most events for the Group, which we archive on our website and in the Co.As.It. library as a reference and educational resource.

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

Wishing all our members, and supporters a wonderful and joyous holiday season.

Art Phillips

Chairman, The Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group