Father Atanasio Gonelli was born in 1923 in Catignano, Italy. In 1949 he volunteered to come to Australia as a friar.
He was a guiding figure in Sydney’s growing Italian migrant community, helping members find employment and assisting with housing for new arrivals.
His community involvement continued for 60 years through a variety of activities including sport and recreation for immigrant children, editorship of La Fiamma newspaper and the establishment of the Italian Committee of Assistance.
Father Atanasio was instrumental in the establishment of Sydney’s proud Italian community.