It with mixed emotions that I write to you all this last time as President of Com.It.Es South Australia. As many of you are aware our current mandate will shortly finish after nearly 7-years of active service to the Italian community of South Australia with the current elections underway for the new Com.It.Es South Australia.
Whilst it is a somewhat of a sad feeling that myself and the entire committee are finishing our mandate, we are excited what the future holds for a new group to continue our strong work over the years to bring new energies and ideas to an important body under Italian law.
Whilst we have now completed all our projects, we continued to work right to the very end, mainly with the initiation and leading of the petition to ‘Save Italian Teaching at Flinders University’, which we worked tirelessly to get signatures from the local community, as well as lobbying our local and federal MPs and the media to raise the awareness of this decision by Flinders University. All our efforts combined led to the reversal of the decision by the University to maintain the teaching of Italian. Com.It.Es South Australia wishes to thank the entire Italian community for your amazing support to rally behind us and help protect an important piece of our culture and identity in South Australia.
As you also may have seen last week, we just launched in partnership with ARIA a guide for Italian Researchers coming to Adelaide. This is the first guide to date to cover such an important area, given the attractive nature Adelaide is for Italian academics and researchers to call South Australia home and we are stoked to have finished this project within our mandate.
I also want to make note of other important projects or initiatives we have completed over the years that many of you may or may not recall, but they were very important to the Italian community;
- Establishment of central offices at the Italian Centre in the city
- Establishment of website and ongoing social media presence
- Publication of Community Engagement Report
- Meetings with major Italian associations, patronati and welfare bodies, including regional visit to Mt Gambier Italian community.
- Publication of Prima Fermata Informazioni per I nuovi arrivati
- Publication the AIRE guide collaboration with the Consulate of Italy
- Publication of Researchers in SA guide with ARIA
- Publication and research of our Youth Language Report
- Hosting with the Consulate of an Italian teacher’s forum
- Creation of Italian language awards for the best Italian students at UniSA and for SACE Yr12
- Sponsoring of new Adelaide Italian Festival
- Annual hosting of New Arrival Seminars
- Regular hosting of Italian Ambassador and Consul welcome events
- Creation of Italian language courses for Italian Aged Care Sector partnership with Dante Alighieri Society and Bene Aged Care.
- Successful lobbying to Federal government for Italian carers to come to Australia to cover the skills shortage in the aged care sector and lack of Italian speaking carers.
- In partnership with SAIA, funding the official visit of Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli to Adelaide which also included an open community gala dinner at the Italian Centre.
- Hosting of the Italian Vice President of the Camera dei Deputati the Hon Ettore Rosato
- Annual hosting of the Festa della Liberazione Prayer Service in conjunction with the Consulate of Italy
These projects, initiatives and events listed above played a very important role in the Italian community and had important benefits to the desired scope of the project.
It has been a pleasure to serve the community and I wish to thank Mark Quaglia for his leadership at the beginning of our term as the inaugural President of our Com.It.Es between 2015-2017 and for his leadership in transitioning this Com.It.Es into a new direction. I also want to specifically thank Ass.Prof Angela Scarino for her leadership of our Language and Research Sub-Committee and for her expertise and work in developing projects around Italian language and culture, which have been nothing less than amazing. I further want to acknowledge and thank the members of Com.It.Es South Australia, Vice President and Secretary Martina Matta, Exec Member Gianna Vorrasi, Alessandro Ragazzo, Antonio Rosato, Andrea Ramon, Michael Donato and the Hon Tony Piccolo MP. Thank you to all of you for being an amazing vibrant committee over the years, and always conducting yourselves with the highest level of professionalism to serve and assist the Italian community.
I also want to take this time to thank Marylisa Fabian who has been an integral support of our body, who has an immense wealth of experience in Com.It.Es admin and financials over the years and who has assisted us greatly to meet our administrative demands.
Furthermore, I personally want to extend a thank you the Consul Adriano Stendardo for his support and unwavering willingness to collaborate on ideas and projects to benefit the Italian community. We are lucky to have such a Consul here in South Australia who is open to the entire Italian community, and we wish you well for the remainder of your term here in South Australia. Furthermore, I wish to extend a huge thank you to Sara Potenza of the Consulate of Italy, who is without a doubt “The Rock” of the Consulate over the years. As Consul’s come and go, Sara remains, and her wealth of knowledge, passion and experience it is well noticed to all of those who work with her, and we were lucky to work with Sara many times over the years on various projects and events.
I also must acknowledge the strong relationship and work Com.It.Es South Australia has achieved over the years with a deep gratitude to the South Australian Italian Association Inc for their support and many partnerships over the years. We are thankful to be in such a central location and are thankful for the many times SAIA has supported many of our events to assist us and the Italian community. I also want to acknowledge and thank the work over the years with the following bodies; the Dante Alighieri Society of SA, CO.AS.IT SA, Adelaide Italian Festival, ARIA, the Italian Armed Forces, Radio Italiana 531am, Radio Italia Uno, Il Globo, Bene Aged Care, St Hilarion Aged Care and the South Australian Government.
Com.It.Es South Australia has been left in a strong position since taking up our role in 2015, with a established presence within the Italian and Australian communities and a greater active online presence. We hope that the new elected committee will continue to remain impartial and represent all Italians fairly and equally. The future is bring for the local Italian community and no doubt we will continue to see Com.It.Es within the community fulfilling its duties and mandates and I personally want to wish the new committee all the very best and I look forward to personally working with the new group to ensure a smooth transition over the Christmas and New Year period.
It has been an honour to serve the Italian community and albeit sad to be leaving this role that I started 7-years ago putting together such an amazing group of individuals, but I am so grateful of the amazing experiences and the things we achieved over the years.
Thank you to the committee again for your amazing work, support, and vision, and thank you to the members of this beautiful Italian community for allowing us to work with you over the years.
I wish you all the very best in your future and no doubt you will see many of us around.
Grazie di cuore,
Dr Christian Verdicchio
President Com.It.Es South Australia
Antonio Rosato, Michael Donato, Ass.Prof Angela Scarino, Dr Christian Verdicchio, HE Francesca Tardioli (Ambassador of Italy), Adriano Stendardo (Consul of Italy), Gianna Vorrasi, Marylisa Fabian, Martina Matta, Mark Quaglia and Alessandro Ragazzo.