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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Joe Caputo about the immigrants in Brunswick

Joe Caputo.

Local politician Joe Caputo talks about the immigrants in Brunswick and their participation in the community



Date Added:

13 February 2009


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Caputo: We migrated in this country in the ‘60s, with my parents. We’re originally from Italy and my dad had migrated to Brazil in the ‘50s and then we joined him and we stayed in Brazil until the ‘60s. In the ‘60s the situation in Brazil, economically and politically became untenable, and so we had two options: one was to return to Italy and then the second option came up as my father had a brother in Melbourne and he suggested that we come here and we’ve been here ever since.

So I was in my sixteen to seventeen years of age when I arrived in this country and – and went straight into work into the textile industry and a few years later became a union organiser – clothing union organiser – and worked with the trade unions for many years.

I have a lot of good memories being a teenager in Brunswick and in the ‘60s and there were lots of good things. For example in terms of community there was much more closer community than what we have today and we had, in Brunswick, half a dozen cinemas – there were Greek cinemas, Italian cinemas –and there were also Australian cinemas so you had that – the community.

Whereas we lost all of these facilities in the last 20 odd years. There was a lot of work and of course, with the work – there was also the solidarity. All the changes that have taken place at the workplace that has changed quite a lot. So, look I have – I have great memories and memories of struggles as well. I suppose having been an activist and – I hope I’m not too nostalgic about those days. Because In terms of young people of today, I find that young people are more – much more switched on and caring today than we were in those days.

End transcript