'Vegnimo Da Conco Ma Simo
A Study of the Immigration
and Settlement of the Veneti in Central and West Gippsland
THE BOOK: 'Vegnimo
da Conco ma simo Veneti' (We come from Conco but we're Veneti)
traces the migration to Australia, before and after World War 2, of
Italians from the provinces of Vicenza, Belluno and Treviso and who
settled in Central and West Gippsland, mainly as dairy farmers. It
examines chain migration, the way small groups of kin and paesani
were drawn to the area and how links with their home and past were
maintained. Continuity of traditional cultural practices shared by
the various provincial groups helped cushion the impact of migration.
It also contributed towards fostering a strong identification with the
Veneto region and the emergence of a distinct migrant culture within
THE PUBLISHER: The
Italian Australian Institute (I.A.I.) is a non-profit organisation,
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.
Annamaria Davine was born in Conco (Vicenza) in 1949 and migrated with
her mother in 1951 to join her father, who had arrived six months
earlier. The family purchased land in the Yarragon/Trafalgar
district where her parents operated a dairy farm until the early 1980's.
She began her tertiary education at Melbourne University in 1991, as a
mature age student, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree
in 1997. Supervised by the late Jackie Templeton, she also
completed a Master of Arts (Hons) thesis in 2000, now the subject of
this publication. Anna's main area of interest is Italian migration to
Australia, particularly that of small groups in rural areas. She
recently completed a PhD thesis, also at Melbourne university, titled
"Migration, Work and Community: Italian speakers in Walhalla's
goldmining district 1865-1915". This examined the migration
patterns and settlement in Walhalla of Lombards, mainly from Sondrio
province and the Ticino and Grisons cantons of southern Switzerland.
It is due to be published in the near future. Anna is married to
Derry and they have two children and three grandchildren.