Winner of the 2019 Victorian Community History Awards
CO.AS.IT. has received the exciting news that the Carlo Catani: Visionary, Creator, Genius exhibition
has won the prestigious Victorian Community History Awards 2019 – Historical Interpretation Award
which recognises the most outstanding local history project presented in a unique format. The
Awards were established in 1998 to recognise the contributions made by Victorians in the
preservation of the state’s history. Presented by Public Record Office Victoria in partnership with
the Royal Historical Society of Victoria the Awards celebrate community history projects dedicated to
telling local stories which help Victorians better understand their past.
The Carlo Catani: Visionary, Creator, Genius special bilingual temporary exhibition was developed
and designed by the CO.AS.IT. Italian Historical Society in collaboration with co-curators Daniela
Riachi and Isaac Hermann to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Catani’s passing. The
exhibition is the first of its type to showcase the life and significant achievements of Victoria’s
foremost Italian-born civil engineer, and key figure in the development of the State of Victoria. Carlo
Catani’s many important achievements were highlighted using rare images and objects from private,
local, state and national collections. We wish to thank all those involved in this ground breaking
exhibition in particular the co-curators and all the generous contributors especially the City of Port
Phillip for sharing its unique Carlo Catani Collection.
Catani held the important position of Victorian Public Works Department Chief Engineer from 1892
to 1917 and was widely recognised for his visionary schemes of public works. Catani created many of
Victoria’s and Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks in particular, the majestic Alexandra Gardens with
the encompassing avenue bearing the same name, and the European resort style St Kilda Foreshore
with its acclaimed palm trees and sweeping vistas. His wide ranging vision and genius in landscape
and engineering design extended into many regional Victorian towns and included the establishment
of new Victorian settlements, such as Koo Wee Rup, which still thrive today.
Due to the exhibition’s popularity with a wide range of audiences from English and Italian speaking
backgrounds and the overwhelming positive feedback received, CO.AS.IT. is exploring the possibility
of further bi-lingual exhibitions focusing on the life and work of four more Italians: Pietro Baracchi,
Ettore Checchi, Ferdinando Gagliardi and Tommaso Fiaschi, who also came to Australia in the 1800s
and who contributed significantly to the development of Victoria and Australia.
For more information please contact Elizabeth Triarico, Manager Italian Historical Society & Museo
Italiano: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9349 9000.