• Bettina Kingma

Mario & Mary life story sessions

My first Italian couple Mario and Mary's day spent with me was full of joy, food and homemade wine! They live a traditional life at home growing their own fruit and vegetables, making salami's and other Italian delicacies is all part of daily life. Mario also enjoys making his own red wine once a year and sharing a drop with family and friends.


Spending time with them in their home I could see and feel the traditions held in the home, the pictures on the walls, the decorations throughout gave an impression of love and family ties, which was also heard in our conversations and laughter.


Mario emigrated to Australia on his own in 1958 from Sicily, Italy. Mary was born in Stanthorpe, QLD her family origianally also emigrated from Sicily, Italy.

Mary's family drove to Sydney to visit with relatives, and her parents arranged for Mary and Mario to meet as was tradition then.

The couple married in 1964 in Mary's hometown and then moved to Brookvale, Sydney where they settled and later bought land to build their own home.


Mario worked as a plasterer for many years, building the family home himself as they could afford. Mary was busy at home looking after their four young children and keeping everyone well fed with their home grown produce. Mario later on worked at constructing in ground swimming pools, including one in his own yard which is still used today by his grandkids.


It was my pleasure to spend time with Mario and Mary sharing old memories and capturing new ones. I look forward to working with more couples like them soon and learning more about their cultures and life stories.


Bettina x



Mary and Mario