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Anna Burke AO is the Patron of the Hepburn Swiss Italian Festa

Anna is a descendant of the Adami and Rolleri families who arrived in Australia to find their fortune on the Victorian goldfields. Striking gold, the Rolleris purchased Parma House and the nearby hotel, running a successful guest house for many years. The Adamis established vineyards, bringing a touch of their previous life to their new homeland. Anna’s maternal grandmother Nina Millman (née Rolleri, daughter of Ernest Rolleri and Marguerite Adami) entertained her grandchildren with tales of growing up in and around the guest house and vineyard.

Besides being a descendant of one of the first Swiss Italian families to settle in the area, Anna is a former MP and Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, and she continues to work in the government sector today as a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

“The Springs have been an important part of my life, since childhood visits with my grandmother, to recent visits with my own children. It has been a joy to see the area preserved, enhanced and thriving. The Festa has become a key part of the area’s history, a great opportunity for descendants to learn more of their heritage, for others to experience the rich culture, produce and beauty of the springs, and at the same time boosting the local economy.

I always love coming to the Festa bringing my mum who has a deep connection to the place, catching up with relatives, experiencing a sense of belonging, which is a precious thing – that is what the Swiss Italian Festa means to me.”

Anna Burke AO, Patron, Hepburn Swiss Italian Festa

From left: Anna Burke, cousin Jenny Staub, sister Nina and mother Joan at Hepburn Springs, 2015

Villa Parma

Photo Credit: Helen Greenwood