On the Wrong Side of the Law (War): Italian Civilian Internment in Australia during World War Two

By Mia Spizzica.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper gives a brief account of the social impact and ramifications of civilian internment on Italian migrants who lived in Australia during World War Two. Several examples of internee experiences are presented including a case study of Giuseppe (Joe) Monzeglio, a sugarcane cutter from Queensland whose story is one amongst three thousand Italian internees who were detained at Loveday Internment Camp in South Australia. Joe’s internment experiences were common to many of the hard- working Italian migrants who lived in Australia trying to make a new life for themselves and their families.

Keywords: Internment, Italian, Italo-australian, Migrant, WW2, Australia, Enemy Aliens, Civil Liberties, War, Ethnic, Discrimination, Concentration Camp, Detention, Detainee, Warfare, Civilian

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 11, pp.121-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 789.315KB).

Mia Spizzica

Postgraduate Research Student, The Australian Centre, Historical Studies Department, Faculty of Arts, Graduate School Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Maria (Mia) Spizzica has diverse academic interests combining the Social Sciences, Education, Counselling and Humanities with two Masters and other postgraduate specializations. She was born in Australia of humble Italian rural parentage during the migration boom of the post war years. Having overcome the usual migratory issues of poverty and lack of access to educational opportunities, she completed tertiary studies to become a high school teacher. After further postgraduate studies, she has continued to achieve a successful teaching career in colleges and universities in both Australia and Italy since the 1980s. Mia has taught English as a Foreign Language at the University of Siena, Italy and Cross Cultural Studies at RMIT University in Australia as well as other subjects in various tertiary institutes in both countries. In addition to a Master in Education, she has a Master in Counselling and is now dedicating herself to a PhD in Historical Studies. Her current research focuses on migrant experiences especially during times of national crisis, such as in Australia during World War Two.

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