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Grollo Ruzzene Fndtn

Neither Here nor There

Italians and Swiss-Italians on the Walhalla Goldfield
1865 - 1915


Annamaria Davine

THE BOOK:   In the decades following the discovery of gold in Walhalla, Victoria, in 1863, among the thousands who flocked to the district hoping to make their fortune were hundreds of Italians and Swiss-Italians. Many were sojourners, temporary residents, who later moved to other areas in Australia or returned home permanently.
Some settled on the goldfield with their families. Drawing from a wide range of sources, this book offers a reconstructed history of goldfield life from the viewpoint of the Italian speakers who were present from the beginning. Instead of adopting a ‘big picture’ historical approach to Italian settlement in Australia, it examines the finer texture of a small place and seeks to push the boundaries of understanding what nineteenth century Italian-speaking men and women may have made of their lives in a foreign land. Migration patterns, work practices and the evolution of community within settler society are also evaluated. The book also emphasizes the relevance of micro-studies of this nature and their place within the wider national and international study of migration. It also includes a detailed names index of over four hundred individuals found to have lived on the goldfield, which should be of great interest to family researchers.

THE AUTHOR:   Annamaria Davine is an honorary research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical Studies. She was born in Italy and migrated to Australia with her mother in 1951, joining her father who had arrived earlier that year.
In 2006, she completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne and this book is based on her doctoral thesis. Other publications include Vegnimo da Conco ma simo Veneti, a study of the Veneti who settled in Central and West Gippsland 1925-1970; and Building Community, the fifty year history of the Pastorelle Sisters in Australia, an Italian Congregation of Religious Sisters who arrived in 1955.

THE PUBLISHER:   The Italian Australian Institute (I.A.I.) is a non-profit organization, supported by the co-operation between the Grollo Ruzzene Foundation and La Trobe University. Its charter states that its main aim is to research and study every aspect of the Italian presence in Australia.

Copies are available for $30 (plus $10 postage in Australia) from the Italian Australian Institute at Latrobe University, P.O. Box 8280, Northland (Vic) 3072, www.iai.com.au; email: info@iai.com.au; telephone 8480 0400.

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