60 seconds with Fortunata Maria Callipari

Maria is a Multicultural Officer at the City of Whittlesea

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?
I have been teaching myself to make pickles based on what my Mum taught me. I also teach other people how to make pickles on my blog, Kindred Link on traditions that are new again. I explore traditions and how to keep them alive. I am sharing her recipes so everyone can enjoy them. In Australia these recipes belong to all of us.

What is your best quality or attribute?
I’ve got a great smile – I use it often.

If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
I would not have a job – they’re overrated and get in the way of the important work at hand. I would work with my neighbours, artists and the local community to make our local area more beautiful. I’d be a community connector.

Can you describe a time where you felt discriminated against as a woman or as someone with an immigrant and refugee background?
Yes, at work I applied for a senior role and was working part-time with a 1 year old son at home. I was not successful because I had indicated that I wanted to work part-time. I was highly dedicated and committed to my role. I attempted on three occasions to step up to management, only to be discouraged. At the time it meant a great deal to me, but as I get older, I appreciate things that are more important and ‘management’ is not one of them.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Learn from Indigenous people – learn from their cultures and traditions to pave the way.

If you could meet the Prime Minister tomorrow, what would you like to tell him?
Change the political system, so diversity of leadership is reflected at the top and so all views make our policies.

Finish this sentence: “We need feminism because….”
It’s our right!