CO.AS.IT. Italian Assistance Association Mission Statement

CO.AS.IT. – Italian Assistance Association – has operated in Australia since 1968 as a charitable institution, strongly committed to the general well-being and the enhancement of the quality of life of the Italian–Australian community. We aim to achieve the full potential of our community through the delivery of culturally appropriate services and the promotion of the Italian language, culture and heritage.

CO.AS.IT. engages and empowers the Italian–Australian community by delivering best practice services and programs in the aged care, education, culture and heritage sectors.

CO.AS.IT. actively promoted and supported the integration of Italian migrants in the social fabric of Australia and today it delivers culturally and linguistically appropriate services to Italians living in Victoria.

CO.AS.IT. developed and maintained services for the social integration, inclusion and cohesion of migrants and today we are implementing policies and services designed to improve the life of 'consumers' and their general wellbeing.

CO.AS.IT. supports linguistic and cultural diversity through multiculturalism.

CO.AS.IT. promotes a comprehensive approach, involving all sectors: education, culture, social services, communication and information. We believe that language maintenance has a vital role in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. We are committed to promoting quality education for all, strengthening cooperation and building better communities by preserving our cultural heritage and our history.

– 50 years of experience, serving the Italian–Australian community – 

Brief history
c1980. The signing of the Agreement between CO.AS.IT.-Italian Assistance Association Melbourne and the Ministry of Education for the teaching of the Italian language in State Schools

CO.AS.IT. was established in 1968 to provide a range of social welfare services in response to the needs of the Italian migrant settlers in Australia. The headquarters was in Carlton, the suburb many Italians chose to settle in when they first arrived.

The first trained Social Worker was employed in 1968 along with many volunteers. By 1976, through the Grant-in-Aid Scheme, a Welfare Officer, two full-time and two-part time Social Workers were employed. In the years that followed, the expansion of welfare programs included the employment of an Italian Legal Officer, the establishment of several group work programs for women and the appointment of a Youth Worker.

Our activities and experience as a leading Welfare Agency servicing Italian migrants have always been of great interest to Italian Government Officials visiting Australia and a visit to our offices has always been on their Agenda. Australian Federal Ministers, State and Opposition spokespersons and Members of Parliament have also often visited CO.AS.IT. to discuss Government funded programs and to become more acquainted with our activities.

Since 1976, the Governor of Victoria and spouse have been Patrons-In-Chief of CO.AS.IT.


Organisational profile


  • The Honorable Linda Dessau, AC
  • Mr Tony Howard


  • President: Prof Mauro Sandrin
  • Vice Presidents: Comm Vincent Volpe, AM and Ms Bruna Pasqua
  • Treasurer: Dr Dominic Barbaro, AM
  • Secretary: Dr Paul Arduca
  • Members:
    • Ms Grace Alessandrini
    • Mr Sauro Antonelli, AM
    • Dr Tony Bartone
    • Cav Vito Cassisi
    • Ms Maria Irminger
    • Mr Dario Nelli
    • Mr Don Pasquariello
    • Ms Carmen Randazzo
    • Ms Silvana Sgrò
    • Ms Luisa Valmorbida


  • Marco Fedi

Download our annual reports

Annual report 2022 cover

Download 2022 report

Annual report 2021 cover

Download 2021 report

CO.AS.IT Annual Report 2020

Download 2020 report

CO.AS.IT Annual Report 2019

Download 2019 report

CO.AS.IT Annual Report 2018

Download 2018 report

Educational programs
Offering a special education program for teachers of Italian, English and SOSE – with self-guided or staff-led options – Museo Italiano is the perfect place for your next excursion!
School visits
Further research
The IHS has extensive collections of historic materials documenting the Italian presence in Australia. These are made available to scholars, writers and the community to assist them in family and community research.
Temporary exhibitions and events

Complementing the Museo's permanent collections, Co.As.It. regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
(Photo: ©Emilio Cresciani)

Cultural program