Italian Migration

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This collection contains works focusing on Italian migration and particularly the settlement of Italians in South Australia.


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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2008-11) O'Connor, Desmond John
    Overview of a special issue devoted to aspects of Italian settlement in Australia stemming from an international conference held at Flinders University in September 2007 entitled "Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities".
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    Review of 'Australians in Italy: Contemporary Lives and Impressions' ed. Bill Kent, Ros Pesman and Cynthia Troup.
    (2010-04-29T12:29:27Z) O'Connor, Desmond John
    Review of 'Australians in Italy: Contemporary Lives and Impressions' ed. Bill Kent, Ros Pesman and Cynthia Troup.
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    Adopting and adapting: Italian settlement in South Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. [abstract].
    (2006) O'Connor, Desmond John
    The biggest influx of Italians to Australia, including South Australia, occurred during the 1950s and 1960s as a result of the Australian government’s post-war immigration programme, which attempted to meet the perceived need to populate Australia and to supply labour for the nation’s expanding industries. In the two decades 1950-1970 over a quarter of a million Italians migrated to Australia, 30,000 of whom (12%) settled in South Australia. This paper considers some social and cultural implications of the settlement of Italians in South Australia during these two decades. Extensive use is made of the life experiences of a number of SA Italians who have been interviewed during the last ten years.
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    Viva il Duce: The Influence of Fascism on Italians in South Australia in the 1920s and 1930s
    (Historical Society of South Australia, 1993) O'Connor, Desmond John
    The first big increase of the size of the Italian community in Australia occurred after World War I, due mainly to the tightening up by the USA of its immigration laws, including the application of a quota system, and also to the introduction by the Italian shipping line Lloyd Sabaudo of a direct link between Italy and Australia. As a result, the number of Italians in Australia more than tripled in the 1920s and 1930s, growing from 8000 in 1921 to 30000 in the period before the Second World War. In South Australia the increase was six-fold: from an official census figure of just 344 in 1921 to about 2000 by 1940. With the rise to power of Mussolini in 1922 the Fascist government started organising Fascist Party branches abroad with the aim of 'fascistising' throughout the world Italian migrants and their activities.
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    "Helping People Has Been My Happiness": The Contribution of Elena Rubeo to the Italian Community in South Australia
    (Lythrum Press, 2004) O'Connor, Desmond John
    Elena Rubeo, who was born in Rome in 1896, was the first woman in Australia to be appointed to an Italian consular post. This chapter will look at her life, her involvement in the Italian community, and the determination with which she defended Southern Italians.
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    A Home Away From Home: Alfred Mantegani in Australia
    (The Italian Discipline, Flinders University, 1992) O'Connor, Desmond John
    The name of Alfred Mantegani was first brought to the attention of historians of Italians in Australia in 1963 when the Italian-language newspaper 'La Fiamma' dedicated a Supplement to the Italian community in Adelaide, in which Mantegani was presented as the earliest Italian to settle in South Australia. Since then, historians of Australia's Italians have drawn on this newspaper article to add Mantegani's name to the list of Australia's early Italian merchants and professionals or to categorise him officially as "the first Italian [in South Australia] whose presence merited mention in early records" (Dennis 1974, Randazzo-Cigler 1987). Neither of these descriptions of Mantegani is accurate.
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    Italians in South Australia: The First Hundred Years
    (The Italian Discipline, Flinders University of South Australia, 1993) O'Connor, Desmond John
    During the period under consideration, 1839-1939, the number of Italians residing in South Australia was quite small, especially before 1925, but their impact, as we shall see, was quite marked. In 1881, when for the first time specific nationalities were identified in the SA census, just 141 Italians were recorded as living in this State. By 1921 the number had grown to just 344, but following the large increase in Southern European migration to Australia in the 1920s and 1930s, by the time of World War II the number had become about 2,000. Despite these comparatively small numbers, the Italians of this period made important, but not often recognised, contributions to South Australian life in a wide range of areas, which for the purpose of this paper O'Connor has categorised under the headings of: Music; Primary and Secondary Industries, and retailing; Religion; Public Office; Italian Language Teaching.
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    Building blocks of settlement: Italians in the Riverland, South Australia
    (2003-07) King, Sara; O'Connor, Desmond John
    The Riverland region is situated approximately 200 km. north-east of Adelaide and consists of a strip of land on either side of the River Murray from the South Australian-Victorian border westwards to the town of Morgan. Covering more than 20,000 sq. km., it encompasses the seven local government areas of Barmera, Berri, Loxton, Morgan, Paringa, Renmark and Waikerie. The region was first identified as an area of primary production in 1887 when two Canadian brothers, George and William Chaffey, were granted a licence to occupy 101,700 hectares of land at Renmark in order to establish an irrigated horticultural scheme. After World War 1, the SA Government made available new irrigation blocks at Renmark and other localities in the Riverland area to assist the resettlement of more than a thousand returned soldiers. A similar scheme operated in New South Wales, where returned servicemen were offered blocks in Leeton and Griffith, in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. The period after World War 2 saw further settlement of returned soldiers on fruit blocks in the Riverland and new irrigation areas were developed to cater for this growth. In the 1950s and 1960s large numbers of migrants, especially Greeks and Italians, settled in the area, often buying the blocks of retiring first world war soldier-settlers. Today the Riverland is among South Australia’s strongest regional economies.
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    From Tobruk to Clare: the experiences of the Italian prisoner of war Luigi Bortolotti 1941-1946
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2003-12) O'Connor, Desmond John
    The paper explores the personal account of an Italian prisoner of war, Luigi Bortolotti (1916-1980), who has left a 300-page diary manuscript that relates his experiences from the time of his capture in Tobruk in 1941 until he was repatriated to Italy in 1946. After being placed in camps in Ismailia and Suez, Bortolotti was shipped to Australia where he spent nearly three years in the POW camp at Hay (New South Wales). Early in 1944 he was sent to work on a farm in Clare, South Australia, a country town to which he would return to settle as a migrant in 1948. The paper follows Bortolotti’s daily, often mundane account of his life as a POW in the context of the events of the time and highlights the mental and physical stress and sense of hopelessness that he and many other Italian POWs felt in the Hay camp during their years of confinement. It re-evaluates what has too easily been labeled the “fair treatment” of Italian POWs in Australia and a wartime experience that has been called “not a bad thing”.