4/07/2017

A Bendigo Family

Now that we are up and running we thought it might be a good time to tell you a bit more about ourselves!

As mentioned in our page, Danny is a fourth generation Bendigonian, born and raised here and educated at Catholic College Bendigo. Danny went to Monash University to study politics and law, his two lifelong interests. Rewind a century or so, it was his great grandfather, Ambrose, who emigrated to Australia in the late 1800s and established a business in Mitchell St, Bendigo, as a wireworker, locksmith and gunsmith in 1884. He married, had several children and due to spending time in London as a young man he had become proficient in the English language and was able to become an official court translator here in Bendigo. Contrary to popular opinion there were quite a lot of Italians living in the area prior to the large post World War II immigration program. Ambrose voted in the referenda to unite the colonies of Australia under the one Constitution in the 1890’s and a copy of his certificate of voting hangs here in our meeting room at our law offices at 163 Hargreaves St Bendigo.

Ambrose is the stuff of legend within the Frigerio family, with many great stories about him spread down through the generations. From his disagreement with his brother in Albese, his native Northern Italian village, to his dispute with a Bendigo bank manager who refused to pay him for changing the locks on the vaults in his bank. It was his courage and sense of adventure that brought him to this country, traits with which make the family proud to this day.

His journey and life in Bendigo provides us with a deep connection and love for the local community and a civic pride that has spread down through the generations. One of his son’s, Francis, Danny’s grandfather, was a bricklayer and many of the buildings and homes he built can still be seen in Bendigo to this very day. He was a strong community man, working with a number of charities including St Vincent de Paul and the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst. He also worked with Trades Hall in Bendigo and the early incarnations of ‘craft’ unions. He was also active in the ALP during the ‘split’ in the 1950’s.

“Old Frank” as he is now known, had four children, and his youngest, and only son, Frank, Danny’s father – followed in his father’s footsteps into the bricklaying trade. Frank was conscripted into the Australian Army for the Vietnam War and served with 7 RAR B Company, 5th Platoon in 1967 and 1968.

After returning back to Bendigo Frank married and had a family, and returned to his trade. He eventually found his way into the union movement working for the Victorian Operative Bricklaying Society, becoming the Secretary and overseeing the merge into what was then known as the VSBTU, The Victorian State Building Trade Union and eventually the CFMEU. His last years of working within the union movement was as the Bendigo organiser for the Shop Assistants Union, the SDA.

During his university studies, Danny followed his father into union movement becoming a casual organiser with the SDA until commencing his Articles of Clerkship in 2000 in Melbourne with a large labour law firm. Danny has worked with several unions throughout his legal career, and remains a member of one to this day. Representing working people and union members is a lifelong passion of his and one deeply rooted in his family lineage and his connection to the Bendigo community.

 

 

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