You graduate from Marist Brothers College, Kogarah, in 1981 with marks that put you in the top 1% of the state. Your name is published in the newspaper as one of the “cream of the HSC crop”.
Your parents, Italian immigrants, with little education, must be enormously proud of you. They’ve toiled hard since arriving in Australia, working multiple jobs to support you and your two brothers. Your parents were Australian patriots and raised you to be one, too. "This country has given us everything. We owe this country everything," they tell you. They speak to you in Italian, but you’re encouraged to always respond in English. "This is our home. We speak English here,” they say. The kids at school call you “wog” and “dago,” but this “casual racism” doesn’t bother you. “Water off a duck’s back,” is how you see it. You love this country.