Bianca Baldassi OAM

Bianca Baldassi contributed to the Victorian community as a leader and advocate within the Italian elderly community.

Honour Roll

Bianca arrived in Australia after World War II and was one of the Bonegilla migrants. After leaving the migrant camp, Bianca and her husband worked in the restaurant industry. In 1979, Bianca's husband died and her attention turned from successful restaurateur to a leading advocate for women in the Italian community.

She inspired other people to become involved, to contribute in their small way and to take control of their organisations/associations. Bianca's voluntary work was done with great joy, verve and style. Bianca was President of the Northcote Italian Pensioners Association, and President of the Italian Senior Citizens Association of Victoria. The association has 90 member groups from all over the state. Her elevation to the position of President encouraged other women to join their own associations as members and to stand for the position of President of their association. As a result of Bianca's example and support, 45 percent of the position of President are now held by women.

For many years Bianca also spent one day a week at Caritas Christi Hostel to spend time with elderly Italians who are dying and have no family or visitors. In the early 2000s, she had a mastectomy and within three weeks had resumed her voluntary work in the Italian Pensioner Association.

Bianca received an Order of Australia Medal and an Affirmative Action Medal from the Government of Italy.