Italian Community Volunteer Awards 2019

The 15th Annual Co.As.It. (SA) Italian Community Volunteer Awards were held on Friday 10th May 2019 at the Carrington Function Centre. Around 300 attendees enjoyed a long lunch, vibrant music by the band “Friends”, exciting raffle prizes, and the company of our community volunteers. This year, guest speakers and special attendees included: the Honourable Vincent Tarzia MP, representing Premier of South Australia, Mr Steven Marshall MP, Speaker of the House Assembly and Member for Hartley; the Honourable Katrine Hildyard MP, representing Mr Peter Malinauskas MP, Leader of the opposition, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs; Mrs Antonietta Cocchiaro OAM, Deputy Chair of SAMEAC; and Mr Steve Georganas MP, Member for Hindmarsh - just to name a few. Along with these special guests, the event involved other important members of the multicultural and volunteering community, which demonstrated the value placed on the hard work done by all volunteers over the last year.

This year, 24 volunteers were nominated for awards, across three new award categories! The winners of each award category are listed below:

Community Service Award – Antonia Zotti Antonia is a volunteer console operator for Radio Italiana 531. Antonia conducts six programs per week and is the foundation of many popular programs that provide information and entertainment to thousands of Italians each week. She has also developed her own Italian language skills over her time as a volunteer and trains new console operators from start to finish.

Aged Care Service Award – Matilde Gallina Matilde is a volunteer with The Society of St Hilarion. Being a hairdresser by trade, she volunteers her time to do the residents’ hair. She is also a member of the Executive Committee and volunteers her time for the Feast Day of St Hilarion, the Italian Carnevale and other functions. She frequently visits the residents and takes them on outings. The Italian people benefit from having Matilde spend time with someone who speaks their language and understands their customs and traditions.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Teresa Dall’Acqua Leonardi Teresa has been a volunteer within many Italian organisations for over 20 years. Teresa’s association with many Italian Clubs, Associations and welfare organisations has enabled her to be at the forefront of issues the Italian Community have and are facing in an Australian society. Teresa has touched the heart of many people across the community and gives relentlessly of her time and expertise to everyone who needs support. Teresa has always put the interests of others before her own, assisting those in the community who are less able to speak for themselves especially migrant women.

On behalf of Co.As.It. (SA) we would like to give a huge thank you to all of our raffle prize sponsors on the day, Radio Italiana 531 FM and Radio Italia Uno Adelaide 87.6 FM for broadcasting live, our special guests and the Carrington Function Centre. A special mention to the Co.As.It. (SA) staff, in particular Ada Giglio who was instrumental in helping to organise her 6th Volunteer Event, together with a wonderful team of staff and Co.As.It. (SA) volunteers. We look forward to celebrating again next year, as Co.As.It. (SA) will continue to express its gratitude for the service given by all volunteers, as they are the heartbeat of our community