- Parliamentarian and Women's rights activist
Franca Arena was born in Genoa, Italy, and migrated to Australia in 1959. She was the founding member of the Migrant Women's Association, president of the National Italian-Australian Women's Association, founder of the New South Wales Ethnic Community Council, won a Churchill Fellowship, and was Commissioner of the Education Commission of New South Wales. In 1981, she was the first woman from a non-English speaking background to be elected to the New South Wales Parliament, where she served for seventeen years. Arena resigned from the Australian Labor Party in November 1997, remaining in parliament as an Independent until her resignation from Parliament in March, 1999.