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Emilio Russo's early years in Brunswick

Mara Moustafine and Emilio Russo.

Emilio Russo describes his early years in Brunswick



Date Added:

13 February 2009


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We migrated in this country in the ‘60s, with my parents and you know, we’re originally from Italy and my dad had migrated to Brazil in the ‘50s and then we joined him and we stayed in Brazil until the ‘60s when – in the ‘60s there were, you know, situation in Brazil, but economically and politically became untenable and so we had two options: one was to return to Italy and then the second option came up because my father had a brother in Melbourne and he suggested ht we come here and we’ve been here ever since.


So I was in my – I was a you know, 16, 17 years of age when I arrived in this country and – and went straight into work into the textile industry and a few years later became a union organiser, you know as a – clothing union organiser and worked with the trade unions for many years.


I have a lot of good memories, you know, being a teenager in Brunswick and in the ‘60s and there were lots of good things, I mean they – for example in terms of community there was much more closer community than what we have today and we had – in Brunswick there were half a dozen cinemas, you know, there were – there were Greek cinemas, there were Italian cinemas, there were you know –and there were also Australian cinemas, you know, so you had that – the community.


Whereas we lost all of those in the last 20 odd years. So, you know, there was a lot of work and then of course, the work – there was also the solidarity which now, you know, they sort of – all the changes that have taken place at – at you know, the – the work, that has changed as well quite a lot. So, look I have – I have great memories and memories of struggles as well. But I mean, that – I suppose having been an activist and a – I hope I’m not too nostalgic about those days, you know. Because I looked – now that Oscar’s – we haven’t got as – those facilities and those communities but we’ve got other things which are – such which that – I mean even in terms of young people of today, I find that young people are more – much more switched on and caring today than we were in those days.


End transcript