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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Early History »

Laura Mecca on Italians who came to Australia in 1920s

Laura Mecca and Mara Moustafine.

Historian Laura Mecca tells of the Italians who came to Australia in the 1920s after the USA blocked immigration



Date Added:

26 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

3.2 MB




So thereís always been a combination of hardship in their own country, whether it was political or economical. They can come to Australia and Australia offered them the opportunity to settle themselves here because they didnít have the same problems as over there. It was never a choice made by the Italians to come to Australia. Even after the First World War,  it was dictated by United States closing the doors in 1924, no more Italians.
Because until then there the Americas were the major destination, Brazil was settled very early by Italians in the 1850s. And Argentina later on and United States, very early migration. So Australia was sort of forced upon them and then of course the chain migration you know: the family, the friends come, Ďthere is work, come!í. Then only they started to realise it was becoming a permanent migration. Because the hope is always to go home. But the further the distance, the more they knew it was harder to go back.
End transcript