Casa Fin Family Stories: Commendatore Giuseppe FIN OAM

DATE OF BIRTH: 19 May 1930
PLACE OF BIRTH: Noventa Vicentina, Vicenza -  Italia

Giuseppe Fin resided in Runzi, Bagnolo di Po, Rovigo, Italy from about the age of 1 to 26. In 1948 he founded an Italian Catholic association in his home town. He remained as President for several years and then served as Secretary until 1956. In 1949, Giuseppe initiated social activities involving assistance to aged persons in obtaining pension entitlements. In 1950, he was elected Secretary of the local Christian Democrat Party Branch, a position he held until 1956. Giuseppe completed his military service in 1951/52. During his time in the 157th Fanteria regiment in Genoa, Giuseppe founded a Catholic action group among his colleagues and became President of that group.

Giuseppe migrated to Australia in November 1956. In 1957, he commenced his activities with the St Francis Catholic Italian Association of Sydney. This Association played a major role in assisting newly arrived Italian migrants, especially those who became ill or were in need. Until very recently, Giuseppe continued to be part of the Executive Committee of this Association. In 1968, he was responsible for the construction of the St Francis Hall in Leichhardt and in 1971, the construction and organisation of the St Francis Day Nursery, also at Leichhardt. In recent years, a drop-in centre for aged Italian migrants has also opened.

In 1958, Giuseppe married Patricia Nicoll, who was born in Sydney and was the church organist at St Fiacre's, Leichhardt. She has also been honoured by the Australian and Italian Governments, with the award of an OAM and a Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Giuseppe and Patricia are parents to eight children, six females and two males. He now has 18 Grand-children and one Great-grand-daughter. His children and grandchildren are extremely proud of all his achievements and of the fine example he has set to them in the way he has lived his life.

Giuseppe has held many voluntary positions and has received numerous awards of recognition, in acknowledgement of more than 50 years of service to the Italian Community in Australia. These are summarized below:

1961 to 1978 - was an active member of the St Vincent De Paul Society, with specific emphasis on visitation of the migrant camps, where for a period of time immigrants were detained.

1971 to the present time - has been involved in the various activities of CO.AS.IT, the Italian Association of Assistance in Sydney - Firstly, as Treasurer of the Education Sub-Committee and then as Vice-President and member of the Administrative Committee.

1975 - became part of the Executive Committee of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW

1976 - obtained a Builders License and established a small company which employed an average of 30 workers.
1977 to 1980 - was a member of the Pastoral Council of the Archdiocese of Sydney, as an adviser on migrant needs to Cardinal Freeman.

1978 - was elected as Senior Vice-Chairman, an office he held until 1981. 

1979 to 1981 - was part of the Foundation Committee of the Ethnic Child Care Unit at Marrickville, NSW.
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1981 - was honoured to receive the Order of Australia Medal from the Australian Government for services to the Community.

1982 until just a few years ago - was the Administrative Director and President of the Italian Schools Committee (Saturday Schools and Insertion Classes), bringing the number of children learning Italian from 4,000 to 43,000 in NSW.

1988 - was President of the Pelenasi nel Mondo Association Sydney and a member of the Vicentini nel Mondo Association. He was a foundation member of the Veneto Club and Vice-President of the Confederazione Venete of Sydney.

1989 - was appointed a member of COMITES and held the position of Treasurer.

1991 - was a member of the Italian Committee which organises the celebration of the Italian National Day in Sydney.

1991 - was awarded the honour of receiving a Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

1994 (May) - received first prize in the third edition of the annual poetry awards  “Raise Polesane” in Arqua Polesine, Italy, after having participated with some success in previous competitions.

1994 - received a gold medal award in from the Chamber of Commerce in Vicenza, Italy, in recognition of his activities in Australia, both in the field of welfare and culture and in commercial ventures.
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1995 - was elected as President of COMITES (an association of Italians Abroad) for NSW

1996 - received a gold medal award from the Chamber of Commerce in the Province of Rovigo, Italy, for his achievements in Australia.

2006 - received the Premiers Award for Services to the Community and 50 years of volunteer work.

Giuseppe is now Commendatore of the Italian Government, in acknowledgement of a lifetime of service to others.