At a time when Mandarin has overtaken Italian as the second most spoken language in Australian homes, a delegation from Italy has visited Australia to boost parliamentary ties and reaffirm community links.
During their visit to Hobart, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, the parliamentary delegation met with a range of Italian community representatives, including Italian-Australian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Italian Australian Pensioners Association of Tasmania. They also visited the Italian Institute of Culture in Sydney and Melbourne.
Parliamentary meetings were held with Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles, Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop, federal parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.
The delegation was led by Marco Fedi, one of 18 Italian members of parliament who represent ‘Italians Living Abroad’.
At the 2006 Italian parliamentary elections, Italians living abroad (about 2.7 million people) were eligible to vote for the first time. They elected 12 members of the Chamber of Deputies and six senators representing four overseas divisions: Europe; South America; North and Central America; and Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Antarctic.