Dr Simone Battiston, Senior Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology, will launch “No Country for Revolutionaries” followed by a Q&A with the author Gianfranco Cresciani.
Between 1971 and 1991 the Italian Communist Party endeavoured to mobilise Italian migrants in Australia in order to extend its influence and power, attract their vote and defend their rights. Its establishment of an ‘autonomous’ Federation in Sydney resulted in a troubled relationship with the Communist Party of Australia and in grassroots surveillance of Italian migrants by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. This book tells their story during the Cold War.
Gianfranco Cresciani emigrated to Australia in 1962. Since 1971 he has researched on the history of Italian migration to Australia, and is the author of many books, articles, exhibitions, radio and television programs and web sites in Australia and Italy. He worked for Electric Power Transmission Pty Ltd, the Ethnic Affairs Commission and the Ministry for the Arts of the NSW Government. In 1989 and 1994 Cresciani was a member of the Australian Delegation re-negotiating with the Italian Government the Italo-Australian Cultural Agreement. Master of Arts from the University of Sydney in 1978 and Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2005. In 2004 the Italian Government awarded him the honour of Cavaliere Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito. Member of the Scientific Committee of the journal Altreitalie, published by the Centro Altreitalie, Turin, Italy. In 2015 he was awarded the C.H. Currey Memorial Fellowship by the State Library of New South Wales, to research on Italian communists in Sydney 1971-1991 and was appointed Library Fellow. In 2018 he received the prestigious Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal.
Simone Battiston teaches Italian studies and history at Swinburne University of Technology. He specialises in the history of Italian migration to Australia with a special interest for politics and work. His publications include "Immigrants Turned Activists" (2012) and, with Stefano Luconi, "Autopsia di un diritto politico" (2018).
Image: May Day 1961. ASIO photograph of Italian CPA members marching behind the Italian flag.