Under the Southern Cross: the quest for a new homeland

Maria Gaudiello

Maria Gaudiello was born and still lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The eldest daughter of a first generation Australian father of Italian descent, and Italian mother, she recounts this memoir the family history that she collected from her grandmother,
parents and parents-in-law.

Written mainly as a keepsake for her children, this story may also interest other Italo-Australian people of her generation who would likely relate to some of the traditions and
regions of Italy that she describes.

When her father passed away in early 2010, she decided it was time to record her rich family history so that it would not
be list in time.

The story opens in Italy in the early 1920’s, when Facism began to spread throughout Italy, and recounts migrant stories from both mass emigrations – the first after World War I, and the second after World War II. She describes with empathy some of the hardships that her ancestors endured when they left Italy to work on the cane farms of North Queensland,
then on the farm in Brisbane.

She also includes the story of her husband’s family as they left Italy to start a new life Australia, beginning tin the tobacco farms of Inglewood
to the construction industry in the boom years of Brisbane.

This is a story where family history entwines with public history – enjoy!