The President of the Republic of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro cutting the ribbon at the entrance to Casa d'Italia, Leichhardt, NSW 11 December 1998. Courtesy of the Italian Embassy

Sydney’s Comitato Assistenza Italiani (Italian Association of Assistance) was established by an initiative of the Italian Government in 1968. The purpose of Co.As.It was to “coordinate, promote and develop the various activities of assistance for the Italian immigrants in NSW.” From 1971, funds were granted by both the Italian and Australian Governments to assist in providing services. Since its inception, Co.As.It. has provided culturally specific community services for Italians in areas such as community development, advocacy, youth work and counselling. However, from the mid 1980s Co.As.It. focused its energies more solidly on the needs of older Italians.

Today, Co.As.It. is well known for providing: Community Services for elderly Italian-Australians, Italian language and culture education, an Italian Multimedia Resource Centre, an Italian Family History Group and an Italian Bilingual School.