Antonio 'Toni' Gobbo migrated to Australia from Cittadella, Padova (Veneto) in Italy in 1927, arriving in Melbourne on board the ship Orsova. His wife Regina (nee Tosetto) followed soon after with their young son Flavio, travelling on board the ship Regina d'Italia. The couple always lived in the Carlton district, first in Newry Street and later moving to Drummond Street.

Antonio was a terrazzo worker, and sponsored many people from his hometown to Australia. On Sundays they would all gather at the Gobbo's house for a meal. During the Great Depression Regina took in Italian boarders, enclosing the the veranda of their terrace house with calico to create sleeping quarters.

In 1935 Antonio returned to Italy with their three children, Flavio, Giacomo (James) and Natalina. They came back to Australia in 1938. In 1939 Antonio and Regina bought the St Kilda Grill Rooms cafe in Victoria Street, North Melbourne. Regina's sister, Savina, joined them in 1939 to help with the cafe. Savina later married an Italian POW, Bruno Bianchi.

Regina was the driving force behind her son James' academic success, who went on to become a QC, Judge of the Supreme Court and Governor of Victoria.

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