Publication Details

Hagan, J, Dalle bicilette alle Mercede. Gli Italiani nel New South Wales: scelte politiche a Griffith 1947-1984, in Hagan, J and Rando, G (eds), La Diaspora italiana dopo la Seconda Guerra Mondiale. The Italian Diaspora after the Second World War, Bivongi [RC], International AM Edizioni, 2007, 109-117.

Additional Publication Information

"The volume contains the proceedings of the international conference, held in Bivongi (RC) in November 2006 and organized by AM International in collaboration with the University of Wollongong."--Publisher's transcript


There were a few Italians in Griffith when the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Scheme began in 1913, but they did not arrive in large numbers until after the Second World War. They joined over a thousand people of Italian birth or direct descent who had succeeded at small-scale farming and displaced the majority of Australians who had been the original block-holders. This produced some resentment and discrimination, which led to Italians setting up their own economic and social networks. They did not however act as a single community ; fundamental divisions between Northern and Southern immigrants remained and persisted, and so did old prejudices about the status of women. These differences became significant politically, when in 1984 the electors ended 40 years of control of the State electorate of Murrumbidgee by the Australian Labor Party. But they do not alone explain that result; the defeat of the Labor candidate at that and all elections that have followed reflected also the increasing prosperity of the Griffith Italians, many of whom had become landowners of properties very much larger than the little blocks they or their fathers had once farmed as lessees.