Mrs Franca ARENA, A.M. (1937 - )**

  • Date of Birth: 23/08/1937
  • Place of Birth: Genoa, Liguria Region, Italy

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Council27 Oct 19815 Mar 199917yr(s) 4mth(s) 7day(s)
Australian Labor Party (ALP) until 7 November 1997 (resigned); thereafter, Independent
Temporary Chairman of Committees1 Jan 199131 Dec 19955yr(s)
Printing Committee1 Jan 198331 Dec 19886yr(s)
Library Committee1 Jan 198731 Dec 19959yr(s)
Standing Committee on Social Issues1 Jan 198831 Dec 19958yr(s)
General Purpose Standing Committee No. 1 (Deputy Chair)1 Jan 19977 Oct 19979mth(s) 7day(s)

Political Party Activity

Australian Labor Party (ALP). Joined 1972. Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of Opposition: 1991-95. Secretary New South Wales Immigration and Ethnic Affairs Policy Committee: 1979-1994. Member of following Caucus Committees - Ethnic Affairs - Women's Affairs - Education. Resigned from ALP on 7 November 1997. Independent.

Community Activity

Board Member-Inner City Education Centre, Stanmore: 1972. Member Federal Immigration Task Force: 1973. Helped found Radio 2EA: 1975. Offered Order of the British Empire for service to migrants but refused. Founder, Vice-Chairperson Ethnic Communities Council. Vice-Chairperson New South Wales Consultative Committee on Ethnic Affairs: 1976-1980. Deputy Chairperson New South Wales Womens Advisory Council: 1976-1980. Co-convenor New South Wales Steering Committee for United Nations mid-decade for Women: 1980. Received Order of Australia for services to ethnic groups. Member Board of Adult Education: 1978-1983. Commissioner Education Commission: 1980-1984. Chairperson New South Wales Ministerial Committee on Multicultural Education: 1981-1984. Member Law Foundation Committee on Constitutional Reform: 1982-1983. Member Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs: 1982-1983. Member National Population Council: 1984-1988. Foundation Secretary Australian Republican Movement. Founded and convened the Women's Network: 1984-1991. Australian Government delegate to the United Nations Conference on the Decade for Women Nairobi, Kenya: 1985. Official Delegate World Women Parliamentarians for Peace Conference-New Delhi, India: 1986. Founder Director Australian Republican Movement. Served on: New South Wales Children's Week Committee-Vice-Patron; The Women's Network-Convenor; National Italian-Australian Women's Association-President; Ethnic Communities Council of New South Wales Executive Member; Amnesty International, Citizens for Democracy and other community organisations-Member; Camperdown Children's Hospital-Vice-Patron. Founder president of the National Italian Australian Women's Association 1985.

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Journalist. Settled in Australia in 1959. Educated in Genoa, Italy and at Syskon College, London, England. WEA University of Sydney, various courses. Employed in a shipping line for two years. Broadcaster and journalist for 'La Fiamma' from 1959 until 1966. Broadcaster 2SM, 2CH, 2KY, 1960 until 1967. Since 2003 has been a volunteer telephone counsellor for Lifeline. Interested in music, swimming and bushwalking.

Honours Received

Order of Australia (AO) in 1980 for services to ethnic groups. Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana (Knight Commander of the Italian Republic) 1990; "Illustrious Ligurian Award" by the City of Genoa and the Region of Liguria 2004


Daughter of Francesco Dellepiane and Onorato Rosita. Married Joseph Nicholas Arena on 29 April 1961 and had issue, 2 (twin) sons in 1966.

Additional Information

Franca Arena, 'Franca: My Story', Sydney, 2002, published by Simon & Schuster. Personal papers in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales: France Arena papers, 1937 - (MLMSS 7362); photographs in the PICMAN Database IRN: 421464. Member of the Former Members Association of New South Wales Parliament.