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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Immigration »

Carlo Carli about his parents and growing up in Brunswick

Carlo Carli; Andrew Jakubowicz and Mara Moustafine.

Carlo Carli, now Brunswick state MP, talks about his parents and growing up in Brunswick/Coburg.



Date Added:

06 April 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

9 MB




My parents came from Vicenza, the province of Vicenza which is in north-east Italy, it’s about an hour out from Venice. My father’s side of the family came from the high plains of that area called –Asiago Why that’s significant was because it hasa very old migration to Melbourne, and to Australia, but particularly to Melbourne, going back to the late ‘20s.
My own parents came out in ’51, so they came out immediately after the war, they were the generation that really spent their youth during the Second World War. They were difficult years, they weren’t strongly political but they were sort of political enough in the sense that they saw themselves as part of that push for the republic and certainly for the the popular alliance after the war and they came here to work hard What was interesting about then was that of course is that they had a lot of family that had been here before the Second World War They were very interesting, because their –they were part of a very small Italian community that felt very isolated and my parents came in as part of a huge migration . I mean, growing up in Coburg at that time, probably you know, 30, 40% of the people were of Italian origin, so it was really interestingthat first and second wave that quite different relationships to their environment.
They both worked in factories, my father worked at General Motors for – and my mother did various jobs but then ended up working as a machinist for the Ericsson company so they were both factory workers and the thing of all migrants of that time, they tried to work double shifts if they could and get as much money together and security for their family.
It was a Catholic household but not particularly religious . I went to a Catholic primary school but then to a government high school and I sort of gave the church away fairly early on.
It was a period of you know, peak migration so my school, a large proportion were migrant kids. And the relationships were really good, like you know, in the Catholic schools the school was predominantly Italian, when I went to high school, the largest groups were the Greeks and then Australian – the Anglo kids as such. I don’t think there was any real tensions between the kids. I mean people were very clear about you know, they belonged to a particular groups. I remember playing soccer and being on the Aussie team against the – against the GreeksSo, you know, there wasn’t – these things weren’t particularly nasty,  I thought the relationships were very solid and very strong.
End transcript