"Reporting on 2018 and confronting future challenges"
In a fitting setting of a grand old building high on the hill in Rosanna, on Sunday 17 February 2019 the Sardinian Cultural Association (Vic) Inc. held its 31st AGM at the Assisi Centre.
With over 40 members in attendance, the room was abuzz with conversations (in Italian, English and in Sardo) between old friends and new acquaintances in the lead up to the formalities of the AGM.
The Meeting was well attended by "Young & Not So Young" therefore, while most of those present were long term members of the Sardinian community in Melbourne, there was a welcome participation by representatives of the next generation. The oldest member in attendance was 91 year old Salvatore Masala, and the youngest attendee was 3 year old Isabella Pani, present with her mum Sara and Dad Felicino "Gigi", all relatively new arrivals to Australia.
The AGM was chaired by Honorary Secretary, Angelo Ledda. Angelo was joined at the front table by SCA Committee members: President - Paul Lostia; Vice President - Ylenia Useli; Treasurer - Giovanna Ruiu; plus Tonina Nolis, Aurora Chinghine, Giovanni Chinghine, and Christopher Baker.
The President’s report saw Paul Lostia, the SCA President of 25 years, speak with his usual energy and passion about the achievements and aspirations of SCA. He highlighted that while the SCA is a small Association with many of its members wrestling with the challenges of ageing, the SCA nevertheless continues to be very active in promoting Sardinian culture to the wider Victorian and Australian population. Included in the achievements of 2018, Paul pointed to:
· Su Carrasegare, an exhibition held at COASIT in Carlton and later included in the Telling Stories exhibition held at the Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe
· Balantes a documentary screening held at the Italian Institute of Culture in South Yarra
· Commencement of a major Regional Project involving the gathering of recipes and stories of Sardinians in Australia: Sapori e Profumi della Cucina Sarda in Australia
· Preparation for the Bilateral Melbourne / Cagliari Student Exchange Program being developed in collaboration with Marcellin College in Bulleen and the "Convitto Nazionale" in Cagliari
The President also pointed to a number of initiatives in the pipe-line for 2019, including:
· The distribution and sale of Sapori e Profumi della Cucina Sarda in Australia at the end of the year
· Inclusion of Fototeca di Sardegna / Photo Library of Sardinia, made available by Biblioteca di Sardegna in Sassari, in Melbourne’s Festa della Republica celebration
· Inclusion of Una Terra Ne Sole, made available by Lino Concas, as part of the Settimana della Lingua Italiana in October
· Conduct of a Consapevolezza della Salute Mentale Community Q & A Forum
· Participation of a potential Conference of Sardinian Associations in Australia, being initiated by the Queensland Sardinian Culture Club (Ulisse Usai).
President Lostia reiterated that while like other Italian associations the SCA is experiences the challenges of an ageing population, ‘We continue to position for the future with initiatives in both technology (web and social media) culture, to enhance the national profile Sardinians and Sardinia in Australia, as well as being active and having a strong voice on Social and other issues in the Community in general".
In closing the President thanked the Region of Sardinia and local Media "Il Globo" for their long standing financial and moral support respectively. The Meeting was followed by traditional refreshments, which also gave people the opportunity to informally mix, chat and get to know new members.