Fellow's Book Launch

Italian Communists in Sydney

Between 1971 and 1991 the Italian Communist Party (PCI), in line with its policy of creating Party branches abroad and various front organisations, strove to mobilise Italian migrants in Australia. This was done in order to extend its influence and power over the Italian migrant, attract their vote and to also defend their rights. The PCI established an “autonomous” Federation, as well as the Federation of Italian Migrants and Families (FILEF), resulting in a troubled relationship with the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and in grassroots surveillance of Italian migrants by ASIO. Many Italians were discouraged to join the Party in fear of dismissal from their occupation or deportation.

The extraordinary, but little-known, history of the FILEF is documented in a new full-length work by Gianfranco Cresciani, the Library’s 2015 CH Currey Memorial Fellow.

This work – ASIO and Italian ‘Persons of Interest’: a history of Sydney’s Federation of Italian Migrants and their families – will be launched, at the Library, on Wednesday, 3 May 2017 at 6 pm.

If you would like to attend the book launch, and to learn more about this fascinating chapter of Italian and Australian history, please rsvp to: gfcresciani@hotmail.com

Biographical Note: 

Gianfranco Cresciani was awarded in 1978 a Master of Arts with first Class Honours by the University of Sydney. He is a Doctor of Letters,honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales and a member of the Scientific Committee of the journal Altreitalie, published by the Centro Altreitalie, Turin, Italy. He has researched on the history of Italian migration to Australia since 1971, and is the author of many books, articles, exhibitions, radio and television programs and web sites in Australia and Italy on the history of Italian migration to Australia.