Members Statement: Silvio Pitruzzello, OAM

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth) (09:36): I rise to acknowledge and congratulate Greenvale local Silvio Pitruzzello, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on Australia Day this year. Mr Pitruzzello, who is the general manager of his family’s business, Pantalica Cheese, in Thomastown, has been working in the cheese industry for 40 years, and while this will give away his age I will note that he started helping out when he was nine years old, so his dedication and his knowledge of this industry is immense. The family business, Pantalica Cheese, is now a pillar in the local dairy industry, employing around 170 people and producing award-winning cheese that is not only available in major supermarkets in Australia but also exported elsewhere. Mr Pitruzzello is also the vice-president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne. Passionate about his diasporic community, Mr Pitruzzello aspires to serve and lift the Italian community in Melbourne.

I also want to acknowledge Silvio Pitruzzello’s father, Sebastiano, or Sam as he was commonly known, who was posthumously recognised in the Australia Day honours list in 2017. Both Silvio and Sam are known by many people around here—the member for Thomastown for one. They are both very deserving recipients of these honours. I am very proud that they were my local constituents. I consider them both wonderful people, both friends and both part of a very beautiful family.