Wednesday, August 16, 1995 THE TORCH (Bankstown)  


A lifetime of helping others has meant a retirement of tributes for one of Bankstown's best known migrants, Mama Lena.

Lena Gustin, who lives in South Terrace, carne to Australia from Italy in 1956 with her husband and two small children (pictured right).

Very much a foreign land to her at first, Lena found Sydney a strange and lonely place.
She also found there were thousands of Italian women who were feeling the same way.

They were part of the post war migration boom that brought ship loads of non-English speaking people.

Australia proved a very isolated place for these new visitors.
With this in mind Lena carne up with the idea of an Italian language radio show (pictured below).

Now known as Mama Lena, she helped migrants with the transition and helped raise money through her program.

Mama Lena has since been honoured with an MBE, and the prestigious Cross of the Cavalier from Italy, while her tributes in Australia read like a who's who of politics.

Tributes have poured from names such as Bob Menzies, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, John Hewson and Bob Carr. Paul Keating sent her good wishes on her recent 80th birthday.


In honour of Mama Lena, a night of entertainment will be held at the Fogolar Furlan Club, Lansvale, on Aug¬ust 27. Tickets are $8.


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