The seminar was organised by the General Council of Italians Abroad (CGIE).
Three delegates were selected from the cities of Brisbane and Melbourne to represent Australia’s Italo-Australian community.
One of these representatives was Giuseppe Cassin, a 26-year-old filmmaker and lawyer who moved from Brazil to Brisbane when he was 11 years old.
In the following interview, La Fiamma speaks with Cassin about his experience of the global seminar, and how he hopes to implement the idea of a global Italian network in his home community.
Why did you wish to attend the conference for Italians in the world?
I believe this conference is a great opportunity for us young Italians abroad to meet other Italians in a similar situation, learn from each other, represent our communities and understand the political and social structures that the Italian government has created for Italians abroad.
What was your response to the selection question: “Why you are passionate about being Italian?”
We have to represent Italy the best we can. It can be seen that many people in different countries appreciate the Italian lifestyle. Many wear Italian clothing, eat Italian food and drive Italian cars. I’m very passionate about my heritage and proud to be Italian because we have a beautiful culture with strong roots and foundations that is appreciated by many other people across the world.
Can you tell me about your Italian heritage and when you moved to Australia?
My great-grandparents come from many different cities in Italy, including Verona, Catania and other places near Napoli and Udine. They moved to Brazil in the late 19th century. My parents moved to Australia when I was young and I’ve lived most of my life in Brisbane.
What kind of work do you do in law, and what themes do you address in your filmmaking? Do you have a desire to explore themes of immigration or subjects specific to Italy in your work?
I worked on many different independent projects in the film industry for the last seven years. In 2013 we made a short film regarding an Egyptian immigrant which was part of the Short Film Corner in the Cannes Film Festival. Since I was admitted as a solicitor I’ve been working on many different projects as an entertainment lawyer and assisting filmmakers with the bureaucratic aspect of filmmaking. I do hope to develop more projects in the future that explore current social issues and themes throughout the world.
You had to choose to attend one of three workshops at the conference. What workshops did you choose?
I chose the Ambasciatori Del Patrimonio Italiano nel Mondo (Ambassadors of Italian Heritage in the World) workshop because I wanted to learn more about how we can represent Italy abroad. I strongly believe we have to preserve our roots, traditions and culture, whilst still innovating [sic] the methodology of administrating the Italian community abroad. I hope to learn and also share some of my experience with my new colleagues.
Have you made new friends?
I have made many friends just in the last few days, from France, Argentina, Brazil etc. Coming together like this is truly special.
What is one memorable moment or something you have learnt?
My most memorable moment was when I got to listen to the more senior politicians talk about Italians abroad, Palermo and the future. It was truly amazing and inspirational.
What will you bring home to tell other Italians living in Australia?
Firstly, when I return to Brisbane I will tell everyone to go visit Palermo because it is a wonderful place. Secondly, I will tell my Italian colleagues about the importance of what we are doing and to make sure that we young Italians abroad get more involved in the administrative sector of the Italian community. It’s important for the younger Italians to learn how things are organised, so we can preserve the existence of this community. Thirdly, I will also explain the importance of working alongside your Comites. So we can have a strong point of reference, for not only the Italians who have already settled in Australia but also for those who have just arrived.
Look out for the upcoming article in the Thursday, May 2 edition of Il Globo and La Fiamma, which will feature an article written by Fabrizio Venturini, one of the participants from Melbourne.