THE AUSTRALIAN SENIOR MARCH 2004

 
 

Thanks, Mamma

 
 
More than 100 friends and supporters gathered in December to commemorate the life of a remarkable woman.


Mamma lena... a
helper to many.

 

Maria Maddalena Gustin affectionately known as Mamma Lena to the Italian community had passed away three months earlier.

The gathering recognised her newspaper, radio and charitable activities through more than 1000 photographs and a video presentation.

The function followed a month-long exhibition of Mamma Lena memorabilia in one of the Norton Street windows of Italian House.

Lena had a 25-year career as a radio announcer on 2CH, 2KY and 2SER-FM, and her contribution to ethnic broadcasting was significant.
She was the first on Australian radio to be given permission to broadcast 12.5 per cent of content in a foreign language.

Her radio programs grew from one hour a week to three hours five times a week.
Mamma Lena was also described as a "one-woman assistance agency", taking on board the problems of new Italian migrants.

She has been the subject of three books, many songs and countless poems.

Her legacy lives on with the Mamma Lena Child Care Centre in Fairfield which she and husband Dino built with donations from her listeners, State and Federal Governments and through the Mamma Lena Foundation.
 
 

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