New Italy MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The memorial commemorates the pride, strength and courage of the Italian settlers and their contribution to the North Coast community.

Australia was an uncommon destination for Italians in the latter part of the nineteenth century, but, among those who came, two parties of immigrants founded rural farming communities. The survivors of the Marquis de Rays’ ill-fated colonising scheme in New Guinea landed in Sydney in 1881 and eventually established themselves in northern New South Wales, where they called their settlement New Italy. The Marquis de Ray`s free colony of Port Breton, also called New France, which was promoted widely in Europe, raised more than 7 million francs and lured hundreds of Europeans (mainly Italians, French, Germans, Belgians and Spaniards) to take part in a grand venture to colonise New Ireland, New Britain, the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.

The scheme aroused the opposition of the French and Italian governments, yet four expeditions of colonists departed from Europe before the Marquis was tried and imprisoned for fraud. The third expedition to the colony consisted almost entirely of Italians from the Veneto region and included women and children. The Italian contingent departed from Barcelona in July 1880 on the India, with more than 300 people on board, and arrived in New Ireland three months later to find that the first two expeditions had failed. Fever and starvation soon caused many deaths, and the surviving Italians requested the captain of the India to take them to Sydney before they all died.

The India went instead to the French colony of New Caledonia, where the Italians refused to leave the ship and requested the assistance of the British consul in getting them to Sydney. Sir Henry Parkes agreed to offer them refuge in New South Wales and they arrived on the James Patterson on 7 April 1881, nine months after leaving Barcelona. More than 80 had died before the 217 survivors reached Sydney. After a period in temporary occupations in Sydney, their dream to be established was fulfilled. Early in 1882, the flow to this area began. After a few months, a total area of 3000 acres had been selected and named `New Italy`.


Address:Pacific Highway , New Italy Museum, New Italy, 2472
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.153333
Long: 153.298056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 8th April, 1961
Front Inscription

New Italy Memorial

In 1880, the ill-fated Marquis Se Rays Expedition of 340 hopeful migrants from Veneto, Italy, sailed to make a new home in New Ireland.  Here they struggled against fever, starvation and the jungle and many died.  After four months the survivors made their way to Noumea and sought aid from the Government of N.S.W.  The Premier Sir Henry Parkes, arranged safe transport.  They reached Sydney 7th April, 1881.

A number of them came to this place and built a happy and prosperous settlement, which was called `New Italy`.  

Nothing now remains of their homes.  But with quiet pride, the courage and strength of these Italian pioneers will always be remembered in this District with respect and gratitude.

This monument was erected by the Italian community and their friends, and was unveiled by Dr. G. Carnevali Consul-General for Italy

Left Side Inscription

Family names of pioneers.
Number of families indicated

E Antoniolli 2
E Battistuzzi
E Bazzo
E Bertoli 2
E Buoro
E Caminiti
E Capelin
E Gava 2
E Martinuzzi
E Mazzer
E Mellare 2

“E” denotes member of the Expedition (They have become worthy sons of the land of their adoption)


Right Side Inscription

Family names of pioneers.
Number of families indicated

E Morandini
E Nardi 2
E Pellizer
E Pezzuti 2
E Piggoli 2
E Roder 5
E Rosolen 3
E Scarrabelotti
E Spinaze 3
E Tome

“E” denotes member of the Expedition (They have become worthy sons of the land of their adoption)

Source: MA,ACPH
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au