New Italy, south of Woodburn, is to be part of a documentary to be shown in Italy later this year.
New Italy, south of Woodburn, is to be part of a documentary to be shown in Italy later this year.

New Italy sends message ‘home’

A DOCUMENTARY crew for Italy’s state broadcaster, Rai, descended on our New Italy yesterday to capture the heartfelt stories from descendants of the town’s early settlers.

The documentary, which will be aired in Italy later this year, will document stories like those from 92-year-old Pearl Morgan.

Ms Morgan reflected on the adversity faced by her mother and grandmother in the early years of settlement, some 125 years ago.

She spoke of her mother having to build bird traps to catch dinner for her and her seven siblings. She described to film crews how her widowed grandmother made wheelbarrows out of scraps of timber to sell for a few shillings.

Ann Gava, a member of the New Italy Museum Committee, said the community was proud of its heritage and was ‘very excited’ to have the film crew visit the town.

“It’s important that we keep our Italian heritage alive,” Ms Gava said.

 She urged Northern Rivers residents to take a trip to New Italy and learn of its history.

“The settlers were promised a great life in Australia but were dumped in Papua New Guinea. The New Italy settlers were Australia’s first refugees,” she said.


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