With an island as their hearth: the Aeolians in Melbourne and the Societa Mutuo Soccorso Isole Eolie

Gerardo Papalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper will analyse the early years of Aeolian emigration to Australia, and in particular the history of the foundation and development in Melbourne of the Societa Mutuo Soccorso Isole Eolie, the Aeolian fraternal society. It will do so by contextualising the Aeolian Islands from the viewpoint of their geography, history, society and belief system, showing how these factors have shaped Aeolian migration to Australia. The paper argues that the geographic, social and historical processes informing Aeolian identity have led Aeolian migration to Australia to display to a heightened degree those characteristics of cohesiveness, solidarity and entrepreneurial spirit that it shares with the broader Italian migration phenomenon. In particular, it will examine how the establishment and development of the Societa Mutuo Soccorso Isole Eolie in Melbourne in 1925 exemplifies these qualities. Finally, it will seek to ascertain what future may lie ahead for Melbourne s Aeolian community as a specifically defined cultural and social group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21 - 46
Number of pages26
JournalLa Questione Meridionale
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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