Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister John Castrilli recently had the chance to swap stories and share his special understanding of people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Mr Castrilli met residents from Italian Aged Care in Marangaroo to celebrate the opening of a dedicated dementia care garden, designed to help dementia patients at the centre connect with their past.
The Minister, whose own family originated from a small village in the Molise region of Italy, described how his father arrived in Australia not knowing the language or the customs and how his family experienced extreme hardship in their early years.
Most of the residents at the centre are of Italian descent and Mr Castrilli said it was wonderful to talk about their journeys so far.
“Italian Aged Care provides a range of services that target a range of cultural groups and employs 165 staff and a number of volunteers,” Mr Castrilli said.
The Minister said the Office of Multicultural Interests’ Community Grants Program had provided $10,000 towards the project.
“Italian seniors are an important part of Western Australia's ageing population,” he said.
More than 63% of Italian-born Western Australians are 60 plus years
After English, Italian is the most common language spoken at home in WA. Spoken by 32,894 (according to the 2006 Census)
Photograph of Minister and residents available through Minister’s office
Minister’s office - 6552 6600