Three reflections on migration

This blog offers three different perspectives of migration.

 Remembering Mary Tonellato nee Zoanetti

Albert Tonellato, Mary Zoanetti, Engagement, 1946

We remember Mary Tonellato nee Zoanetti who died on 16th September 2020, the day before her 96th birthday. Mary had arrived in Adelaide with her mother, Metilde, in 1931. They were reunited with her father, Giosue Zoanetti who had migrated from Zuclo in the province of Trentino in 1927. After Giosue’s death in 1943, Metilde and Mary worked glasshouses together. Mary married Albert Tonellato in 1947 and they worked together for many years in their market garden, starting first on Frogmore Road and then on Findon Road. Mary and Albert had four children, Linda, Raymond, Janet and Diana.

When Mary was interviewed in 2008, she reflected on her life in the market gardens:
I used to enjoy the family and just being together. Work never worried me at all, never had the thought “Oh, gee, how much I’ve got to do and whatever.” Just used to carry on … I really enjoyed life, to be with the family …

You can read the interviews with Mary and Albert Tonellato on the Tonellato page:click here.

Interview with Nevea Antonello
Nevea Antonello’s transcript has been added to the website this week. I interviewed Nevea when I was in Castelfranco Veneto in 2018. Here is a brief overview of her parent’s story based on Nevea’s interview.

Antonello family – Mariano, Sandrina holding Deana, Nevea and Phyllis. Goodwood, 1965

Nevea’s parents migrated from San Martino di Lupari, in the province of Padova in the Veneto region after the Second World War. In the early 1950s Italy was recovering from the war and there was not much work.  Nevea’s father, Mariano Antonello knew some family friends who had emigrated to Australia and one of them sponsored him in 1952. Mariano was 20 years old and he left with the hope of a better future. Nevea’s father kept in touch with his future wife, Sandrina Bertoncello. Sandrina joined Mariano in 1954 and they married in Adelaide. In the first years they both worked and bought a house in Goodwood and had three daughters, Nevea, Phyllis and Deana. They made many Italian friends in Adelaide.

In 1971 the family returned to live in Italy and began a new life in Castelfranco Veneto.

You can listen to the interview with Nevea or read the transcript of the interview. Click here for the transcript.

Another story of migration from the province of Treviso – video
In this short video Angelina and Angelo De Rossi, tell the story of arriving in Griffith, New South Wales in the early 1950s. Angelina speaks about the challenges of migration especially in the first years and she remembers the achievement of owning their own first house.

Agricultural scene in the province of Treviso, 2018

The video is part of the ABC series about Australian History that was produced for Year 10 students in 2010. It is 2 minutes 40 seconds. Click here

Madeleine Regan
18 October 2020


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected, please contact site owner for access