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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Concetta Benn tells her father's story

Concetta Benn.

Concetta Benn tells her father's story



Date Added:

27 March 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.3 MB






He came to Australia just before the First World War and he wasn’t naturalised at the time and of course, what that meant was he was still an Italian and he was – like a lot of other people in the same boat, he was forced to go back to Italy and join the Italian Army. Which he did. And he had some English by then and he acted as an interpreter in a big hospital in Italy. So he was there for some years, then he came back and – back to Australia and he finally married my mother, they were very – she was very young when they got married, at 17 I think.


When he first came to Australia, he went and stayed with his uncle, who had a fruit shop in Moonee Ponds. And he learnt – he learnt how to run a fruit shop because in actual fact he came from quite a middle class family in Italy and he didn’t know anything much about how to earn money, because he’d never had to do it. So he learnt that pretty rapidly. His father was intent on him going to the university in Italy and he decided he didn’t want to do that. So he ran away from home and he landed in Australia and he went and stayed with his uncle and that’s where he learned how to manage a fruit shop.


End transcript