FULL marks to Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel regarding our city’s multiculturalism, which I endorse 100 per cent.
I do recall in the 1990s writing a letter “Multiculturalism, friend or foe?”
It’s hard to believe that even today there are people who are against multiculturalism. It means people of different nations coming together to create a society assimilating and working together for the betterment of our country.
Italians, in general, have assimilated well and have embraced the Australian way of life. Many have left an indelible mark.
People like Sir James Gobbo, the Grollos in building, the Dimattinas in restaurants and coffee, great sportsmen like the Silvagnis, just to name a few.
In Mildura, we can boast extraordinary talent – motel owners, restaurants, developers, engineers, people who with hard work and vision have taken on business in every genre.
Mildura knew nothing about alfresco dining until the Carazzas started the trend at the Grand Hotel and Mildura really became well known after Stefano’s Gondola on the Murray.
These things don’t just happen. It takes will, vision and pure stamina.
I too was called not a “wog”, but a “black dago” because I had black hair and olive skin.
I felt unwanted and different. I hated everything Italian, in particular my name.
Today, I love my Italian heritage and I love my name, but most of all I like who I am.
Multiculturalism is like a minestrone – the more different ingredients you add, the better the flavour.