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Grollo Ruzzene Fndtn

'Vegnimo Da Conco Ma Simo Veneti'
A Study of the Immigration and Settlement of the Veneti in Central and West Gippsland

Annamaria Davine

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 local society.

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.

THE AUTHOR:  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.

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