Cari Amici,

As President of Com.It.Es South Australia it gives me great pleasure to summarise our work for 2019. It has been a busy year for us behind the scenes, we have updated our ‘Prima Fermata’ new-arrivals information guide which can be found online or at various locations across the state including the Consulate and Adelaide City Council information centre.

In January in conjunction with the South Australian Italian Association we supported the travel of Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli to Adelaide so he can be a part of the UniSA and International Space University’s Space Program. We also hosted an evening with Paolo at the Italian Centre with over 200 guests in attendance in an event to promote Italy’s role in the space sector and the opportunities for Italian companies such as SITAEL coming to Australia to invest in the new space industry.

In March the federal government announced a new visa for non-English speaking aged-carers to be granted special visa’s to assist with the growing demand of elderly people requiring aged-carers who can speak their mother tongue. In conjunction with Bene and St Hilarion, Com.It.Es South Australia wrote submissions in 2018 to the federal government supporting the need to grant such a visa as the Italian elderly community require Italian speaking aged-carers here in South Australia, and we are glad that the federal government has granted such a visa to allow our aged care sector the ability to sponsor Italian speaking aged-carers.

As a part of our strategy to promote and preserve the teaching of Italian language and culture abroad, Com.It.Es announced that we will sponsor Awards at both the University of South Australia and Flinders University across a four-year period to recognise those Italian students who excel in their studies. Last week we were proud to announce that the first award was awarded at the University of South Australia to Darcie Jade Gallant. We congratulate Darcie on her amazing efforts in 2019!

Again Com.It.Es was a part of the Settimana della Cucina Italiana and was proud to host in conjunction with L’italy an aperitivo to promote an important Italian culinary experience. We thank the great team from L’italy for their assistance and look forward to 2020.

Finally, after 3-years of meetings with various stakeholders of the Italian community our Community Engagement Report is finally complete and will be presented in early 2020. Since 2016 we have met with clubs, associations and key stakeholders in Italian community to identify the current themes and issues that are affecting our in the community. We wish to thank Prof Angela Scarino for chairing this important project and Dr Matteo Farina for collating and analysing the data and results. We must also thank the the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for funding this project.

Furthermore, it is with sadness that we lose our Consul Dott.ssa Roberta Ronzitti whom after 4-years in Adelaide is returning back to Italy. We wish to thank Roberta for her amazing work over the years and for being an amazing ambassador of Italy here in South Australia. We wish her all the very best in her future postings!

To conclude, it has been a positive year for us with some other important projects due to come out in early 2020. So stay tuned. I wish to take this time to thank the amazing committee members of Com.It.Es South Australia who are energetic to represent and spend much time to identify the important issues for Italians abroad. To the committee; Martina, Mark, Michael, Angela, Alessandro, Antonio, Andrea, Tony, Gianna and Marylisa – thank you for your amazing work and efforts over the year!

On behalf of Com.It.Es South Australia vi auguriamo un buon natale e felice anno nuovo!

Un caro saluto,

Dr Christian Verdicchio – President Com.It.Es South Australia