Eolie Melbourne

Home of the Società Isole Eolie Melbourne

Aeolian Genealogy Seminar

9th Aeolian Genealogy Seminar/Webinar

Sunday 22nd October 2023 | 9 am – 4 pm (AEDT)
on Zoom Webinar and at Eolian Hall, Melbourne

An exploration into your Italian heritage and how to further your family history research

Seminar/Webinar Session Date:
Sunday 22nd October 2023

Seminar | Eolian Hall | 9 am-4 pm

Webinar | Zoom Webinar | 10 am-4 pm (AEDT)

Cost:   $45 AUD

The presentations will be in English.


Join us via Zoom Webinar from wherever you are in the world from the comfort of your home or in person at Eolian Hall, Melbourne, Australia to learn tips and tricks to start or advance your Italian Ancestry.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced family historian, you will be sure to benefit from these informative presentations.

Those wishing to attend in person, please continue to register through the link in Zoom in which there will be a section where you can tell us if you will be attending in person at the Eolian Hall. Like other years an Aeolain-inspired lunch will be provided on the day.

If your family isn’t from the Aeolian Islands in Sicily, That’s OK! Anyone with Italian ancestry can apply the information in the presentation to their own families.

The webinar will start at 10 am (AEDT Australian Eastern Daylight Time) in Melbourne, Australia.

10 am for other Time Zones:

Auckland – 12 pm  noon (NZDT) Sunday
London – midnight (BST) Sunday
Los Angeles – 4 pm (PDT) Saturday 21st October
New York – 7 pm (EDT) Saturday 21st October
Roma, Italia – 1 am (CEST) Sunday
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) –  11 pm Saturday 21st October


Key Note Address: What does it mean to be an Aeolian-Australian?

Presenter: Janetta Ziino (Keynote Address)

Learn more about Janetta

After many years of teaching – originally as a Primary School Teacher, then an Italian Language Teacher, Janetta returned to university as a mature student upon receiving a scholarship to study an Advanced Diploma in Interpreting at RMIT in 2015.

Janetta is now a practising Certified Interpreter for the Italian community as well as working for the
National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

A member of the Regional Advisory Council for the Victorian Multicultural Commission,
Janetta is immersed in the Italian community of Melbourne and is the Director of Events for the Società Isole Eolie of Melbourne.

Janetta Ziino


Topic: Lipari 1610

What the 1610 census tells us about the Aeolian Islands.

Presenter: Joe Russo (Keynote Panellist)

Learn more about Joe

Joe Russo was born in Geelong to parents of Aeolian ancestry from Lipari and Salina. Joe has been researching his own ancestry and the genealogy of the Aeolian Islands, in particular, for over two decades. What started off as a hobby grew into a greater appreciation of the islands’ history, culture and especially its rich and often complex genealogical past.

After having created his first website on the subject back in the 1990s when the internet was still relatively unknown, now includes social media and an evolving new website and blog. Joe travels to the Aeolian Islands frequently.

Joe Russo

Joe Russo


Topic: Using Official Records and Newspaper Fragments to Enhance Your Family Story

How to add to and enhance your family stories by searching through digitised records and newspaper archives.

Presenter: Letizia Mondello

Learn more about Letizia

Letizia Mondello was born on the island of Vulcano in 1962 and in 1967 at the age of five immigrated to Melbourne with her family. Letizia worked as a librarian for over 20 years in public libraries in collections management including working with collections in languages other than English. She also trained members of the public on how to use a range of databases related to family and local history. In 2022 Letizia completed a Graduate Diploma of Archives and Records Management at Curtin University. As part of her fascination with the Eolian Islands Letizia collects travel narratives of people who have visited the islands.

Letizia Mondello

Topic: Introduction to Italian Military Records

Discover what Italian military records are available and the information you can find in them to help you learn more about your ancestors.

Presenter: Michael Angelini

Learn more about Michael

Michael Angelini is the grandson of Aeolian born grandparents on his mother’s side, who came from Lipari and Salina. Since 2005 at the age of 15 he has been researching his ancestry and since 2007 has been helping others find their own ancestors.

Michael has created many online indexes from the birth, marriage and death records on the islands relating to the years 1820-1910. He is an active committee member and Assistant Director of Events at the SIE. He aims that his research and data collection will help other descendants from the Aeolian Islands go back further in their ancestry.

Michael Angelini

Topic:  Writing a Life Story Book

Learn how to use simple methods and programs to compile your very own Life Storey Book with all the research you have collated about your ancestors or family.

Presenter: Paulina Bird (Iacono)

Learn more about Paulina

Born in Melbourne Australia in 1954, Paulina is the second child of Tony & Rosina Iacono, Italian migrants both from the Aeolian Island of Lipari, arriving in Australia in 1950.

Living her childhood in Northcote, Paulina’s recollection of a migrant cosmopolitan environment mixed in with the Aussie way of life set her on a course of blending the two cultures and respecting each of them for what they were. This was not an easy task, however, as time went on her passion to dig deep into her Italian heritage, a love of art, design & history all gave her a sense of seeking her own identity.

Marrying in 1975 and after having 3 children, her ambition would see her accomplish a Diploma in Decoration and Design, set up her own business and use her design skills in the Tile Industry for over 40 years.

With a love for writing and history, Paulina interviewed her parents over a year to write their Biographies, both gifts for their 80th Birthdays. This has been a great attribute to them and her family over the past 14 years.

Joining the Genealogy Seminars at the SIE 6 years ago also fuelled her thirst to understand, document and appreciate her ancestor’s legacy giving her a much deeper appreciation of her heritage.

Paulina Bird (Iacono)

Topic: The Influence of Sicilian Proverbs on Everyday Aeolian Speech

Sayings are repeated down through the generations because they apply to every age- people find resonance in the meanings they portray. Using the Aeolian dialect, look at how traditional Sicilian wisdom was received into Island life.

Presenter: John Barnao

Learn more about John

John Barnao was born in Carlton to parents who migrated from Stromboli. As a first child, he learned the Aeolian dialect. His father Vincenzo first came to Australia in 1927 as a 13-year-old and worked as a typical fruiterer all his life. John studied Economics and Commerce at the University of Melbourne and Arts at Monash.

He then went on to pursue a career in Banking, Accountancy, and Tax. He is a member of various local historical societies and in recent years has been collecting photos and stories of Melbourne’s Aeolian fruit shops.

A few years ago, he wrote a paper for the Italian Historical Society detailing the root causes of Aeolian migration and the significance of the Società’ Isole Eolie in directing the decision of many to come to Australia. He is presently our SIE Treasurer.

John Barnao

John Barnao

Feature Presentation: A Glimpse into the Museo Eoliano dell’Emigrazione

Tour through the museum collection of the Museo Eoliano dell’Emigrazione in Malfa, Salina.

Presenter: Cristina Neri

Learn more about Cristina

Cristina Neri was born in the country Victorian town of Horsham. Both her mother and father migrated to Australia from the Aeolian island of Salina soon after the Second World War.
Cristina’s father owned a succession of cafés and established the district’s first reception centre and bistro, the La Fontana. Cristina grew up in these kitchens as well as at the feet of her Nonna, thus igniting an appreciation for her Aeolian heritage and its food.

Cristina is a graphic designer, illustrator, photographer and author. Her favourite subject is her family and Aeolian heritage. She has recently written and illustrated her first children’s picture book titled For Love which is set on the island of Salina.

In 2013, she initiated the Eoliano Heritage Study Program to reunite descendants like herself with their cultural past and on 2016, curated the exhibition titled From Volcanoes We Sailed which featured at the Immigration Museum of Victoria. Cristina also wrote and produced the documentary Ammunini to celebrate the 90th year anniversary of the Società Isole Eolie.

It is Cristina’s hope that she can honour the Aeolian people, their journeys, cultural traditions and foods by her contributions as a committee member of the Società Isole Eolie.

Cristina Neri

Cristina Neri


Here are just a few of the things people frequently ask about our Seminars/Webinars.
If you don’t see your question here, get in touch with us below.

When, Where and What time is the Seminar/Webinar?

The 9th Aeolian Genealogy Seminar/Webinar will be held on Sunday 22nd October 2023 at Eolian Hall (836 Lygon Street Carlton, Victoria, Australia)

The Seminar/Webinar will start at 10 am (AEDT Australian Eastern Daylight Time) in Melbourne, Australia.

10 am for other Time Zones:
Auckland – 12 pm  noon (NZDT) Sunday
London – midnight (BST) Sunday
Los Angeles – 4 pm (PDT) Saturday of the date before
New York – 7 pm (EDT) Saturday of the date before
Roma, Italia – 1 am (CEST) Sunday

I live outside Australia. Can I still register and watch the Seminar/Webinar?

Of course, you can!  We would love for you to join us. Please just pay attention to the time zone difference as all times and dates are stated as Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).

When it is 10 am on Sunday here in Melbourne it is:
Auckland – 12 pm  noon (NZDT) Sunday
London – midnight (BST) Sunday
Los Angeles – 4 pm (PDT) Saturday of the date before
New York – 7 pm (EDT) Saturday of the date before
Roma, Italia – 1 am (CEST) Sunday

How much does the Seminar/Webinar cost?

The cost per person for the Seminar/Webinar is coming soon.
This is if you will join us in-person at Eolian Hall or join us via Zoom Webinar.
Upon registration, payment will be requested.

Is there a discount for Societá Isole Eolie Members?

There is no further discount for members. The cost of $45.00 (AUD) per person is for everyone, members including non-members of the Societá Isole Eolie Melbourne.

If you would like to become a member of the Societá Isole Eolie Melbourne and see its benefits please click HERE

How long will the Seminar/Webinar go for?

The webinar/seminar will begin at 10 am and finish at about 4 pm (AEDT)

There will be a morning tea break and a lunch break.

Those attending in person are advised to come in at 9 a.m.

My family comes from another part of Italy. Is this webinar beneficial to me?

The webinar is mainly focused on the Aeolian Islands/ Sicilian themes, though anyone with Italian ancestry will also benefit from these informative presentations as they can be applied to other parts of Italy and give suggestions to build upon your ancestry research.

After Registration
I have registered. What now is my next step?

If you are joining us via ZOOM:

If you have used Zoom before on your computer you should be set to go.
If you haven’t used Zoom before, any time after registration, till before the webinar begins we suggest you download Zoom Client for FREE by clicking HERE
That way before the webinar begins you can click the link in your confirmation email and it will open up in the Zoom Free software.
Other than that… just wait for Sunday the 23rd of October to enjoy an informative session.

If you are joining us in person at Eolian Hall: 

After you have registered, on Sunday 23rd of October, please come to Eolian Hall at 9:30 am to begin at 10:00 am sharp.

How do I access/join the webinar after registration?

To join the webinar session, please click the link that you received in the confirmation email after you registered.
You will receive a reminder email 24 hours before the webinar begins and can use the link in that email.

Can more than one person view the webinar session with the same link sent to me?

No. Only one device can view the webinar session at a time with the link sent to you.

During a webinar
Can I ask questions during the webinar?

Yes, feel free to ask questions in the webinar Q&A window during the webinar.
At the end of each presentation, we will have allocated question time with the panellist.

Do I need to mute myself on the webinar?

As an attendee, you will automatically be muted when you enter into the webinar.

Can you see me in the webinar?

As an attendee, we or others will not be able to see you.

After a webinar
I missed the Webinar. Can I re-watch it?

The Webinar will be recorded and will be able to be viewed for a limited time after going live for those who have registered.

If you will not be able to participate in the webinar LIVE with us please email us at and we can give you access to the webinar after it went live.

NOTE: The recordings will be a recorded video of the webinar session and it won’t be possible to ask questions to our panellists.

Other Questions...

For any other questions, please contact us in the contact form at the bottom of the page.
We are happy to help you out for any questions you may have.

Attending In Person At Eolian Hall
Where is Eolian Hall?

The Seminar will be at Eolian Hall (836 Lygon Street Carlton North, Victoria, Australia)

This is the home of the Aeolians in Melbourne.

If you would like to participate in the seminar in person, please register as you would through Zoom in which there will be a ticket specified for those who will be attending in person at the Eolian Hall.

If at the last minute you will not be able to attend in person, you will still be able to view the Webinar via Zoom Webinar.
Please send us an email if you will not able to make it in person to

Will lunch be provided?

As in previous years yes lunch will be provided for those attending in person and is included.
Please remember to state your dietary requirements upon registration.

I attended in person the Seminar at Eolian Hall, Can I watch the recordings?

Absolutely, whether you come to Eolian Hall or join us LIVE via the webinar, you will be able to view for a limited-time, recordings of the talks. This is for anyone who has registered.

If you will not be able to participate on the day of the Seminar/Webinar with us please email us at and we can give you access to the recordings.

NOTE: The recordings will be a recorded video of the webinar session and it won’t be possible to ask questions to our panellists.

I have decided not to attend in person the Seminar at Eolian Hall, what can I do?

If at the last minute you will not be able to attend in person, you will still be able to view the Webinar via Zoom Webinar.
You will also have access to the recordings of the seminar for a limited time.

Please send us an email if you will not able to make it in person to

Want to watch our previous Genealogy Seminar/Webinars?
The following Seminars are available for purchase. Each has various talks to help you with your family history.

2023 - 9th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar Videos

$45 (AUD)

To watch the video recordings of the 2023 - 9th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar please click the Find Out More button to pay your subscription.

7 Topics Included

Coming soon!

2022 - 8th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar Videos

$45 (AUD)

To watch the video recordings of the 2022 - 8th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar please click the Find Out More button to pay your subscription.

6 Topics Included

2021 - 7th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar Videos

$45 (AUD)

To watch the video recordings of the 2021 - 7th Aeolian Genealogy Webinar please click the Find Out More button to pay your subscription.

6 Topics Included

Discovering My Aeolian History: Video Series (2020)

$40 (AUD)

From beginners to advanced family historians, this informative video series will help you to begin and continue searching for your ancestors.

8 Topics Included



Preserving the Past for the Future
Oral history: Recording your family memories for future generations.
Presenter: Janetta Ziino (Keynote Address)

Aeolian Surnames: A Linguistic and Historical Perspective
A closer look at the surnames of the Aeolian Islands as to their origin and how they might have changed over time.
Presenter: Joe Russo

The First Early Aeolian Migrants to America and Australia
What motivated them and what factors differentiated them from their Sicilian cousins? Discover the historical circumstances that forged the identities of the first Aeolian migrants that went on to establish flourishing communities in America and Australia.
Presenter: Cristina Neri

Hostility Against Italians During WW2 & the Service of Aeolian-Italians in the Australian Defence Force
The ‘alien’ Italian community in Australia had to endure a rocky road during WW2. While many Aeolians were in detention camps and their fruit shops forced to close, a number had family members serving in the Australian Army. This talk discusses these confronting times, including the local hostility against Italians that had already built up before the War began. As the only regional-Italian club in Melbourne at the time, how did the SIE survive and regroup at the end of hostilities?
Presenter: John Barnao

Using Online Sites to do Your Family Tree Research
Discover how, Family, Genealogy Bank, USA Census Records, Ellis Island and Find a Grave can all complement your Family Tree research.
Presenter: Robert Mandile

Reading the 1960s Stati D’Anime (Status of Souls) Family Cards
Learn how to read the Stato D’Anime (Status of Souls) Family Cards created by the church and how they can help you with vital facts that you may be missing for those alive during the 1960s.
Presenter: Michael Angelini

Subscribe and watch the recordings HERE

Which Aeolian Islands Do You Think You Come From?
Researching the family of the Hon. James Merlino, MP, Deputy Premier of Victoria and Minister of Education and Patron to the Società Isole Eolie.
Presenter: Janetta Ziino

Research Strategies for Italian Family History
Several strategies to use to advance your Italian genealogical research.
Presenter Joe Russo

The History of the First Aeolian Migrations to Sydney and the Circolo Isole Eolie
Presenter: Cristina Neri

How to Access and Read Italian Records
Learn how to access online sources and read Italian Birth, Death and Marriage records to help you build your family tree.
Presenter: Michael Angelini

Speaking Aeolian in the Broader Italian Context
Presenting examples of the speech of traditional Aeolian migrants, John will discuss similarities to the Sicilian it closely resembles. Comparing differences with standard Italian, we can consider whether ‘Eoliano’ is separate enough to be almost a language in itself.
Presenter: John Barnao

Subscribe and watch the recordings HERE

The following are available to subscribe and watch for 90 days at Discovering My Aeolian Heritage 

Nicknames “Soprannomi”
How our relative’s nicknames can assist in your family history research.
Presenter: Janetta Ziino

Aeolian Surnames
Examining the origin, meaning and evolution of Aeolian surnames and how this can help with your family research.
Presenter: Joe Russo

Finding distant cousins through DNA
Learn how taking an Ancestry DNA test can help you find long-lost cousins and break down those brick walls in your family tree.
Presenter: Michael Angelini

Five Centuries of Notable Travellers and Adventurers to the Aeolian Islands.
A discussion about bygone visitors and explorers, featuring an introduction to emerging research on 16th & 17th Century settlements by Jewish refugees after their departure from Spain & Portugal.
Presenter: John Barnao

 Infant abandonment and the foundling wheel “La ruota” in Sicily
Analysing the rescue system and name-assignment practices of abandoned infants
Presenter: Dr. Lucia Barbera

Tips on how cemeteries can help us with our family tree
Exploring how gravestones can give clues to further help us in our family history research & understanding Italian cemeteries.
Presenter: Michael Angelini

Topic: How to get started on Aeolian Genealogy
From interviews with elderly relatives to sources like the Victorian Public Records Office, Australian National Archives, Sands and McDougall Directories, Cemeteries, Presbyteries, and Ellis Island websites to kick start your family tree.
Presenter: Robert Mandile

A Tour of the Museum of Aeolian Emigration in Malfa, Salina
Join a virtual tour through the museum collection and discover the factors and events that shaped the Aeolian diaspora in the New World.
Presenter: Cristina Neri

Subscribe and watch the recordings HERE

In Search of the Original Aeolians
A genealogical history of the Aeolian Islands for the period after 1544.
Presenter: Joe Russo

I Figghi da Rota (The Children of the Wheel)
The history of abandoned children in Sicily.
Presenter: Dr Lucia Barbera

Researching Your Ancestors Online
Tips on how to use and Family to find Birth, Marriage and Death records.
Presenter: Michael Angelini

Using Sands and McDougall Directories to Find Addresses and Businesses
Presenter: Robert Mandile

Aspects of Aeolian-Run Fruit Businesses
Perspectives of working in the Fruit Shop. (Part 2)
Presenter: John Barnao

Lipari 1610:  A Look at the Aeolian Islands from the Perspective of the Riveli Records
Examining those records for their value for us in researching our Aeolian ancestors.
Presented by Joe Russo

Finding Distant Cousins with DNA
Learn how an Ancestry DNA test can help you find long-lost cousins and break down those brick walls in your family tree.
Presented by Michael Angelini

Finding Family through Historic Property Records
An alternative way to trace family history and find missing or unknown members from the family tree via historic family property records.
Presented by: Robert Serra

The Era of Aeolian Fruit Shops in Melbourne
A pictorial history and the factors that influenced their rise and eventual decline when nearly every fruit shop was run by an Eoliano.
Presented by: John Barnao

Using the Sands and McDougall Directories to Find Your Family’s Business Address
Find out techniques for researching your family’s business address.
Presented by Robert Mandile

Family History Research Strategies
Presented by: Joe Russo

The Fruits of their Labours – A History of the Costa Family (Part II)
Presented by Kevin Costa

Researching Your Ancestors From the Isole Eolie
Presented by Michael Angelini

From the Aeolian Islands to Melbourne and Sydney (Part II)
Presented by: Robert Mandile

 ‘Cu, u e quannu’
Presented by Janetta Ziino

Aeolian: Dialect or Separate Language?
Presented by John Barnao

The Aeolian Dialect – A Brief Look at the Differences and Similarities to Sicilian and Neapolitan Dialects
Presented by: Rosmarie Taranto

Lena Santospirito – ‘La Mamma Degli Italiani Down-Under’
Presented by Cristina Neri

Italian Dialects Down-Under: A Richness to Preserve
Presented by Angela Tarantini

Reflections on Sicilian Dialects
Presented by Massimo Petterlin

Family & Friends, Food & Wine
Presented by: John Portelli (Entoteca Sileno)

When Our Ancestors Came to the Aeolian Islands
Presented by: Joe Russo

Bob Santamaria – A Retrospective
Presented by: Paul Santamaria QC

The Fruits of Their Labours – A History of the Costa Family
Presented by: Kevin Costa

The Aeolian Dialect – A Brief Look at the Differences and Similarities to the Regional Dialect Sicilian, and the Neapolitan Dialect
Presented by: Rosemarie Taranto

The End of the Era of Abundance in the Aeolian Islands and the Role of the Società Isole Eolie in Channelling Migration to Australia
Presented by: John Barnao

A Genealogical History of the Aeolian Islands Post 1544
Which surnames might have been on the islands pre-1544, Where did the inhabitants come from post-1544,  Populating the archipelago during the 1600-1800s, Is it possible to trace one’s ancestry back to when they first arrived on Isole Eolie?
Presented by: Joe Russo

Delving into the Records
What to expect, Accuracy, shortcomings, idiosyncrasies and pitfalls, Problem-solving when records don’t match
Presented by Joe Russo

Getting Started with Aeolian Genealogy & Exploring Online Options
Where to start & How to record your family tree, Who, What and Where to search for Documents and certificates.
Presented by: Robert Mandile

Guided Cemetery Walk
Taken By John Barnao



For any inquiries or for more information regarding
our Annual Genealogy Webinar/Seminar please contact us here.

We look forward to you joining us for an informative seminar/webinar.


Bob Dimattina & Antonio Bongiorno Acland St St Kilda c.1920s
Aeolian Fruiterers
Aeolian Genealogy Seminar
Aeolian Genealogy Seminar/Webinar
Cudduri Di Pasqua
Aeolian Recipes
Annual Keast Park Picnic
Annual Keast Park Picnic
Children's Christmas Party & Free Members BBQ
Children’s Christmas Party & Free Members BBQ
Aeolian Genealogy Seminar
Discovering My Aeolian History: Video Series
Festa di San Bartolomeo
Festa di San Bartolomeo
From Volcanoes, We Sailed
From Volcanoes We Sailed
Historical Photo Archive
Historical Photo Archive
History of Eolian Hall
History of Eolian Hall
Honour Board
Honour Board
1970 Societa Mutuo Soccorso Isole Eolie Committee Meeting
In Memoriam
Mercato: Festa Eoliana
Mercato: Festa Eoliana
Miss and Mr Isole Eolie 2019
Miss and Mr Isole Eolie
Museo Società Isole Eolie and Resource Centre
Museo Società Isole Eolie and Resource Centre
Notable Aeolian-Australians
Notable Aeolian-Australians
Supporters Wall
Supporters Wall
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Supporter's Wall At Eolian Hall - Request a PlaqueFind Out More