Lena Gustin (Mamma Lena) collection




A collection of approximately 50 items relating to the migration and career of Italian radio broadcaster Lena Gustin (Mamma Lena). The collection includes immigration papers, employment contracts, correspondence, passports, ship passenger tickets, passenger lists, certificates, entertainment programs, newspaper clippings, books, compact discs of Mamma Lena's radio broadcasts and radio program transcripts. The material dates from the 1950s to 2000s.

Maria Maddalena (Lena) Morelli (1914-2003) emigrated from Italy to Australia with her husband and two children on AURELIA in 1956. Lena pioneered the development of foreign language programming on Australian commercial radio in the late 1950s and was highly regarded as the voice of Sydney's Italian community. Her popular programs on 2SM and 2CH helped to dispel Italian migrants' isolation and facilitate their integration into Australian society, prior to the introduction of community radio and SBS in the 1970s. Lena's radio work, combined with her support of Italian welfare organisations, social, religious and sporting activities, and charitable and fundraising endeavours, earned her the nickname Mamma Lena (Mother of the Italians). The Mamma Lena collection documents the migration journey and remarkable career of Italian radio broadcaster, journalist and welfare worker Lena Gustin.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1950s-2000s; Italian community; Migration; Radio broadcasting; Women; Working life

Gustin, Rosalba


Personal papers

Coverage Spatial

Australia; Italy; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:40