Hi, I'm Cristina and I'm in love with an island – Salina – one of the seven exquisite islands of the Aeolian Islands of Sicily!

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

I’m a professional graphic designer, artist, photographer and author. I studied at the Swinburne University of Technology and gained my first employment as a junior designer at Thomas Neslon Australia. Within 4 years, I was promoted to Senior Designer and became responsible for design management. I won my first APBA book design award at the age of 20 and I happy to say that I am also regularly short-listed. I have worked in retail advertising and corporate design. In my last position before taking maternity leave, I worked for AGDA founders Russell Bevers and Wayne Rankin as a senior designer for several years.

After starting my own family, I decided to return my focus to my true love of books and established Canary Graphic Design. I have earned my stripes as a highly regarded and respected creative freelancing for publishers such as Penguin Australia, Five Mile Press, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Lake Press, Garratt Publishing and Ali-Ink.

I has also written and photographed a memoir titled Salina Calling that captures various adventures taken through out the Aeolian Islands.

I am an active committee member of the Società Isole Eolie, the oldest Italian club in Melbourne. My involvement with the Società inspired me to organise various cultural events. In 2012, I created the Eoliano Heritage Study Program in collaboration with Professor Marcello Saija, which saw 22 Aeolian descendants from Australia participate in a 2-week experience of cultural immersion on the Aeolian Islands. Participants also created a family history project at a workshop conducted by myself that was later exhibited at the Museo Italiano, Carlton during the Avventure Siciliane week of events I also co-ordinated. I am is currently working on an exhibition on the history of Aeolian migration to Australia that is scheduled to open in early 2016 at the Immigration Museum of Victoria. The exhibition will feature many Aeolian-Australians of high distinction including Bob Santamaria, the Dimattinas (Dimattina Coffee), John Barbuto (JB HiFi) and more. Just in case I don’t have enought to do, I am also producing a 30-minute documentary celebrating the upcoming 90th anniversary of theSocietà Isole Eolie, due to be released in 2015.

It is my hope that I can honour my family, the Aeolian people, their journeys, cultural traditions and foods.

 

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