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  • Laura Mecca (Angela Bailey)
In 1970 the Mecca family applied to migrate to Australia. They left from Genoa on 10 September of the same year on board the Guglielmo Marconi, arriving in Melbourne exactly one month later.
English
By
Virginia Padovese

20 Jan 2016 - 8:09 AM  UPDATED 22 Jan 2018 - 2:10 PM

Laura Mecca was born on 20 May 1943 in the Veneto region and in 1952 she moved with her parents to Milan where she met Dante Mecca, an architect she married in 1968. One year later they had their daughter Lucrezia. In Melbourne they rented a flat in South Yarra, and Dante found a job with a Melbourne architectural firm. 

#FirstDaySBS

Unfortunately his qualifications were not recognised in Australia, so he could only work as a draughtsman. This led them to leave Australia in 1974 for Singapore where Dante worked as a local government architect for three years.

"It was the 10th of October 1970: it was a memorable day of our life".

More "First Day" in Australia stories sbs.com.au/topics/first-day-stories

 

"There were lots of people waiting (...) relatives... even (future) husbands waiting for their spouses. Some of them were known, some of them were unknown, but they were very happy".

When they returned to Melbourne, Laura joined the Italian Trade Commission where she worked until 1987. After a brief experience in Papua New Guinea Dante was finally able to register as an architect in Australia and open his own practice in Hawthorn.

"Sometimes the spouse sent a photo of himself a bit younger than reality and they couldn't see him. But they were shouting the name, they had signs with the names of the people, and we were looking with a bit of envy because we had no one waiting for us in Australia".

In 1986 Laura joined the Italian Historical Society at Co.As.It where she worked until July 2006.

Laura and Dante now live in Windsor and enjoy being the busy grandparents of Lucrezia’s three kids.

  

"I said to my husband 'You can walk on the grass in Australia'. And he said 'Are you sure?' Because in Milano they shoot you if you put a foot on the grass. So we did and it was such a joy, a sense of freedom..."

English
 

Laura Mecca's First Day in Australia (in Italian)  

See more:
First Day stories
Do you remember your first day in Australia? SBS takes a look at what sights & smells first struck over 30 migrants and refugees. #FirstDaySBS