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Anna Monea

Anna's Portrait
photo: Vanessa Veacock
RMIT photography student

video samples

Artist Statement
My work is intrinsically related to my cultural background and the story of my parents who migrated to Australia in the 1950s from Calabria in the south of Italy. They were typical migrants who assimilated well into the new country. Alongside this they were able to maintain a strong sense of cultural identity, language and community - a sense of who they were. And they carried their homeland in their hearts and minds and regularly sent letters par avon.

Although born in Australia I have always felt a profound alienation and displacement. I am lost between my parent’s cultural certainty and the anglo-celticness of the new. The search for identity has lead me full circle. It is still an uncomfortable fit of Italian and Australian and I suspect it may always be so. This uncertainty has moved me to a deep valuing of diversity in all its manifestations, and to an exploration of interconnectedness in my work. Directly or indirectly, I have looked at the ways we come together to be with, speak to and hear the other. This to me is that special place of connection and recognition.




I imagined the project weaving through the personal and the historic, examining Federation from multiple perspectives. Intuitively I felt it would be a collaboration between composers and sculptors. The poetry followed quickly and it adds a deeper articulation.

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South Melbourne Gasworks
Education Kit

The South Melbourne Gasworks Education Kit explores the industrial and social history of the South Melbourne Gasworks which was a gas production plant from 1873 until it was decommissioned in 1957.

The Kit comprises integrated units of work based on the oral histories of workers on-site from the 1920s until its closure in 1957. The oral histories include first hand accounts of the 1937 stay-in strike, which was the first in Victoria, Australia. In addition to the oral history cassette tapes, the Kit includes extensive research material such as newspaper clippings, Gas and Fuel archival photographs and site maps and historical documentation.

The Kit is structured around six main lessons, which are based on the learning outcomes from the Curriculum and Standards Framework (The Victorian Education Department Policy). These lessons include:

    1. The Depression Years and the impact on the Gasworks
    2. Work conditions
    3. The history of Gas
    4. Ways of life in the past
    5. Stay-in strike
    6. The value of work
45 other lessons and activities are included that can be used in related subjects based on the learning outcomes in the CSF. The Education Kit can be used in the classroom or can be combined with a visit to the Gasworks Arts Park. There is also a 30 minute Gasworks Audio Tape Tour which can be listened to while wandering over the site as one relives the day-to-day experiences of the former workers.

Inquiries about the South Melbourne Education Kit can be made directly to:

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artwork: Cathy Horsley
photographer: Victoria Rowland
art direction: Anna Monea

audio samples

from the CD
Recorded Messages: Violin
Composed by Eve Duncan

Australian National
Academy of Music
A string ensemble with Tom E Lewis on didjeridoo



Mayor’s Community Day 1999
Celebrating a Sense of Place

Mayor’s Community Day was an annual community festival held at Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park, Victoria from 1989 - 1999. Every year local community, Gasworks artists, City of Port Phillip staff, festival staff and volunteers would develop activities centered on a theme to create a festival, which reflected the community’s imagination and interest. Mayor’s Community Day was produced by the City of Port Phillip.

In 1999 the final Mayor’s Community Day had the theme Celebrating a Sense of Place. Composer, Eve Duncan was commissioned and her music Remembering Mirrabooka was performed on a number of stages simultaneously in order to create a special experience for the festival. The following ensembles and soloists performed Remembering Mirrabooka:

  • A string ensemble from the Australian National Academy of Music with Tom E. Lewis on didjeridoo
  • Mr Ting’s Chinese Orchestra with percussionist Keith Hunter
  • The Sadko Balalika Orchestra with Brigid Burke on clarinet
  • The Port Phillip Brass Band with Peter Neville on percussion.
  • The Port Phillip Chinese Women’s Association performed a fan dance especially to Remembering Mirrabooka.
Two performance groups at the festival reinterpreted Remembering Mirrabooka in their own particular styles. African musician Valanga Khoza and Hemisphere along with classical Indian musicians Pandit Panchanan Sardar and Dada Parananda performed beautiful renditions of the festival’s theme music. A video and CD were produced documenting Remembering Mirrabooka. The City of Port Phillip and Standard Roads sponsored both the video and CD.

Remembering Mirrabooka, composed by Eve Duncan. Performed by a string ensemble from the Australian National Academy of Music with Tom E. Lewis on didjeridoo. The audio of Remembering Mirrabooka is kindly reproduced for this site with permission from Eve Duncan, Australian National Academy of Music and the City of Port Phillip.

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Hearing Other Voices
Education Kit

Hearing Other Voices is an education kit produced by the Aged and Disability Services, City of Port Phillip, which aims to dispel some of the myths and negative stereotypes surrounding psychiatric illness. It also presents very powerful messages about the relationship between mental illness, the arts and cultural development.

The Kit consists of a 26 minute documentary titled Theatre of Hope, which follows the development of a play, Catapult, created and performed by members of the Recreation Access Group (RAG). As the video unfolds, we hear different perspectives on life with mental illness from the members of RAG.

The video is to be used in conjunction with a resource book containing information and discussion questions about the Recreation Access Group, the actors and issues relating to mental illness. The kit also contains a selection of brochures and resource material about mental illness from government departments. While much of the information is applicable to senior school students, particularly the video, the political aspects of mental illness, arts, disability and local government discussed in the book are more suited to industry stakeholders, including those working in community development, local government, arts, mental health and disability.

Hearing Other Voices Education Kit emphasizes the inclusion of people with mental illness in our communities, the role of the arts and cultural development in forging links within the community and the role local government can play in this process.

Hearing Other Voices Education Kit is available from:

    City of Port Phillip
    Special Needs Recreation and Arts Coordinator
    Private Bag 3
    ST KILDA Victoria 3182 Australia
    Phone: (03) 9209 6385

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Diploma of Primary Teaching, State College of Victoria at Coburg
Bachelor of Arts (Social Theory and History), University of Melbourne

2000-1998 Multicultural Liaison Officer, City of Port Phillip
1999 Coordinator Hearing Other Voices Education Kit Aged and Disability Services, City of Port Phillip
1999 Coordinator, ‘Disability and Recreation Seminar’, YMCA
1999&1998 Event Coordinator, Mayor’s Community Day Festival, Gasworks Arts Park, City of Port Phillip
1998 Coordinator, Neighborhood Forums, Planning Department, City of Port Phillip
1998 Oral history facilitator, St Peter and St Paul’s Parish Church, South Melbourne
1997 Oral history facilitator, Learn for Yourself, ‘Adult Education in the Community’, Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET)
1997–1995 Program Assistant, Gasworks Arts Park, City of Port Phillip
1994 Researcher/Writer, South Melbourne Gasworks Education Kit, Gasworks Arts Park, City of Port Phillip

She has also worked on arts festivals, such as the biannual Gasworks Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition from 1996-2000. Anna has extensive experience as a project coordinator, archivist, executive officer, producer and primary teacher.

Publications/AV material
1999 Hearing Other Voices Education Kit Aged and Disability Services City of Port Phillip
1999 Mayor’s Community Day Sense of Place Gasworks Arts Park Video documentary & CD, City of Port Phillip
1997 South Melbourne Gasworks Education Kit Gasworks Arts Park City of Port Phillip
1997 Ice Chests to Microwaves Learn for Yourself Oral history publication Adult Education in the Community, (DEET).
1991 An Eye of TV, The ACTAC Handbook Australian Children’s Television Action Committee (ACTAC)

Tom Hills Memorial History Prize (1998) from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society for the South Melbourne Gasworks Education Kit.

About Tom Hills (1904-1995)
Tom ran away from his Sydney home at the age of thirteen and was taken in by a Port Melbourne family. Out of work during the Depression, he became President of the local unemployed workers’ group and led sustenance workers in their struggle for survival and dignity at Fishermen’s Bend. He became Vice President of the Waterside Worker’s Federation (Melbourne) and later was President of Melbourne’s Retired Waterside Workers until his death. Always an active militant, he stood for many years as Communist candidate for Port Melbourne Council. In 1984 he was honored as Port Melbourne’s Citizen of the Year. Tom co-authored the oral history publication Under the Hook: Melbourne Waterside Workers Remember (Lowenstein and Hills).

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