Member’s Statement: Sebastiano Pitruzzello

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) — On 11 April I had the pleasure of attending the launch of a second biography honouring my constituent Sebastiano Pitruzzello, also fondly known as Sam. The first, published in 2003, tells the remarkable story of the man, his family and his company — the migrant, the worker, the captain of industry and Knight Commander of the Order of the Italian Republic.

Sam emigrated to Australia in 1963 and worked for General Motors for 10 years before setting up the Pantalica Cheese Company. Located in Thomastown, Pantalica Cheese Company continues to enjoy great success, and as a cheese lover I recommend not only the delicious cheese range but also the amazing yoghurts.

This second book continues the story of this incredible man, including the establishment of the Pitruzzello Estate in Sunbury. The olive grove, the Italian machinery, the restaurant and function spaces, the five donkeys, the pressed olive oil and the wines all showcase this family’s heritage. The book also highlights the great appreciation felt for all those who have assisted along Sam’s journey, including my predecessor, Liz Beattie, and former Premier John Brumby.

Congratulations to Sebastiano, his wife Lucia, and his children and grandchildren. I am proud to know this inspirational man and his beautiful family. If you want to know where to find Sam at 75, just pop out to the estate. He will be in the blue overalls working as hard as ever.