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Community & Business

16 June, 2022

Italian hall of fame nominations open

ITALIANS who have made a significant contribution to the region will be recognised at the inaugural Cairns Italian Festival.


Italian hall of fame nominations open.
Italian hall of fame nominations open.

Nominations are now open for the Hall of Fame awards which is part of the new festival aimed at celebrating Italian history, culture, food, wine, song, and dance in a 10-day program from 28 July to 6 August. 

“This is a significant regional cultural event of not only world-class entertainment, fun and culinary delight, but also to pay homage honouring the Italian immigrants that left their homeland in search for a better life and future in Australia,” festival president Steve Cordenos said. 

“The Italians have been coming here since the 1930s, and we really want to honour the people that migrated here and what they did for Far North Queensland. 

“We never want to forget our roots and the sacrifices of those that made our lives what they are today. 

“This is an opportunity for people to experience the true Italian culture, food and family values in the atmosphere of what being Italian truly represents.” 

Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said Italians were part of the backbone of the community, and it was time to celebrate them. 

“A lot of Cairns has been built on the toil of many Italians that migrated here after the Second World War,” Mr Entsch said. 

“They’re an essential part of our community, and it’s great to be able to celebrate their heritage.” 

According to the 2016 census, Mareeba includes the largest Italian Australian community of any place in Queensland, numbering 1,608 individuals and making up 10.8 per cent of the town's population. 

So, it is not surprising that organisers are expecting nominations for the Hall of Fame Awards from the town where many Italian families farmed tobacco for decades. 

There will be eight inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2022. 

The categories are: 

  • Community Service (sponsored by JPs FNQ GROUP)

  • Farming and Agriculture (sponsored by Mareeba Tyrepower)

  • Business Recognition (sponsored by Maurizio Jewellery Designs)

  • Developing and Building

  • Educational Achievement

  • Sports Achievement (sponsored by Piccolo Cucina)

  • Arts and Culture

  • Young Italian of the Year (sponsored by Westco Motors)

People can nominate someone who is deceased, and nominees must have lived in Far North Queensland for a minimum of two years. 

Unsuccessful nominees will be eligible for nomination in subsequent years. 

Submissions are open until 1 July, with the Hall of Fame Awards to be presented at the Carnevale Gala Ball on 5 August.

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