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