CULTURAL WORKER ADRIAN VATOVEC, and a HONORARY CONSUL OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Adrian (Jadran in Slovenian), was the initiator and the leader of the Music school of the Slovenian Association Adelaide during the years 1970 to 1983.
Adrian is as well Editor and producer of the SLOVENIA South Australia Newsletter in Slovenian and English languages.
Adrian’s essay about being a Slovenian (published in the bookI am a Slovenian Too, by Draga Gelt, 2014:
Slovenian migrants were one of over fifty countries that passed through Bonegilla reception centre between 1947 and 1971, before being dispersed to other areas in Australia to build a new life. Many people started their Australian life at Bonegilla, including my mother Leopolda who also gave birth to me at the centre. Bonegilla was the largest migrant reception centre in post World War II Australia where during its twenty four year history more than three hundred thousand people passed and today, when considering spouses and children, has a direct impact on over 1 million people in Australia. Bonegilla, situated in the precinct of the twin cities of Albury Wodonga on the Victorian and New South Wales border celebrated its 65th Anniversary in 2012 as a migrant camp. Today, Block 19, the last surviving block at the Bonegilla Migrant Centre, was given heritage listing in 2002 and is managed now by Parklands Albury-Wodonga. The word Bonegilla is Aboriginal, from the Koori people, and it means “place of the meeting waters”. This is a symbolic location to hold a migrant reception centre where you have an immigrant and an Australian culture meeting and sometimes colliding. It is with this description that I introduce my song “Two Streams”. It is about living and growing with two cultures. The accordion in the song represents the Slovenian way of life and the piano, the Australian way of life. This song is dedicated to our Slovenian immigrants, who have significantly contributed to Australia’s social and economic prosperity, since first setting foot on Australian soil.
In the poem/song Two Streams he expressed his feelings:
from two streams it’s fed
the journey never ends