While Australia commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of the Anzacs on 25 April, the day holds special significance for Italian-Australians like Babcock Australasia’s Manager – Business Winning, Rob Lorenzutti, for one more reason. It marks the end of the Nazi occupation of Italy and the victory of anti-Fascist Resistance in the Second World War. As such, La Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day) is similarly celebrated in Italy as an annual national holiday. For Rob, the day has additional significance being the birthday of his father, Fedele.
I recall my father telling me about the Nazi occupation of his village in the Friuli region. Being of northern Italian heritage, he would often be favoured by some of their soldiers. As a light-haired, blue-eyed teenager, they were happy to provide him cigarettes because he looked like a German.
Like many of his generation, Fedele served in the Italian military in the post war years. In 1950, he served in the Alpini – the Italian Army’s specialist and the world’s oldest mountain infantry. Interestingly, the Alpini had fought alongside the Axis forces during the Second World War. In 1953, Fedele served in the Venezia Giulia Police Force – the police corps formed and commanded by the Allied Military Government in the Free Territory of Trieste. In 1955, Fedele sought new opportunities by migrating to Adelaide in South Australia.
Having worked for more than 25 years in the Defence industry, I have had the pleasure to work with many military veterans. I have learnt much from them, helping me to develop my values, and duty and commitment to self, family and colleagues. Working at Babcock allows me to continue supporting our government, military and commercial customers, ultimately contributing to the prosperity and security of the country that has provided my family with the opportunities that would otherwise not existed.