About The Ballarat Italian Association Inc. (BIA)
The Ballarat Italian Association (BIA) was established in 1975 and formerly incorporated in 1986, however Italians had been coming to Ballarat since the Gold rush period of the 1850’s – Raffaello Carboni being the most famous. They came to Ballarat in greater numbers after the Second World War and by the 1960’s Italians were well established and holding regular social gatherings at the Ballarat Show Grounds. Every opportunity was taken to maintain their cultural identity whilst contributing to the social, culinary, professional and economic prosperity of the Ballarat Region. The purpose of the Association is to create and maintain an organisation of Italian origin but inclusive of people of diverse cultural background and, to foster harmony in a spirit of friendship and unity. The Association is steadily changing with recent members joining to connect to their Italian heritage. Currently there are 140 financial members and many others who are friends of the Association regularly participate in functions and organised activities.
The BIA continues to attract the next generation of Italians who are determined to celebrate their Italianess while recognising Ballarat as their home and rightful place. The BIA has also attracted many who are not of Italian heritage but nevertheless are keen to celebrate Italian culture through language, food and friendship. As a settled and firmly integrated group, Italians play a pivotal leadership role in supporting emerging communities by celebrating the positive aspects of interculturism and diversity in our community.
The purpose of the current Association is to create and maintain an organisation of Italian origin that is inclusive of people of diverse cultural backgrounds and, to foster harmony in a spirit of friendship and unity. The Association also aims to arrange and coordinate a range of cultural and social activities and functions for members and the broader Ballarat community including new and emerging communities. In recent times there has a noticeable presence of new Italian arrivals in Ballarat and establishing themselves in various occupations. We encourage them to join the Association and add to the cultural richness of Ballarat.
Membership of the Association is steadily changing with recent members joining to reconnect to their Italian heritage. Currently, there are 140 financial members and many others who are friends of the Association and regularly participate in functions and organised activities.
Through prudent investment of its financial capital BIA plans to support disadvantaged individuals and organisations with a focus on disadvantage primarily in emerging communities through sponsorship of individuals and group activities. BIA is also well placed to promote and support cultural diversity in our community
Key activities of the Association include:
• Ballarat Italian Film Festival
• Italian Language Conversation Group
• Promoting Italian Culture e.g. staging 3 Tenors concert. Open to general public
• Italian Choir – Coro dell’Oro – Open the members and non-members
• Regular Lunches for members and friends
• Italian Independence Day Function
• Bus trips to various cultural events
• Sponsorship of Cultural Events
• Sponsorship of Ballarat City Soccer Club Under 20 team
• Active membership of Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council
• Member of Working Party organising Ballarat City Harmony Festival
• Sponsorship of South Sudanese language and music activities
• Represented on State Government Regional Advisory Committee for Multicultural Affairs
• Financially support elderly Italian’s weekly cultural and recreational activities
• Support Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council multicultural tucker program
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