ABOUT OUR AUTHOR
Nina Angelo OAM
Author & Motivational Speaker
Sharing our stories and deeply listening is what connects us in our understanding and empathy for others.
Nina Angelo OAM
Nina Angelo was born in Athens, Greece. At the age of two, with her parents they migrated to Australia in 1949. Both her parents were holocaust survivors having met in Auschwitz concentration camp.
She studied art at the National Art School in Sydney, she was passionate about being a textile artist, so studied general art and design, painting, sculpture and textiles.
In addition to her many skills, Nina has founded, coordinated, publicised, taught and work-shopped creative and community arts and festival events throughout Australia for over thirty years.
Nina’s work and her contribution to community and culture has been recognised in a range of honours and awards. In the 80’s she was a member of the Commonwealth Regional Art Assessment panel assessing applications for grants for over five years.
She was Artist in Residence in Fiji under a Professional Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts in the 1990’s. This led to additional grants from AidAb (now AusAid) and the Department of Foreign Affairs to produce three short documentary films associated with her work for distribution throughout educational institutions, government departments, art associations and for archival purposes.
In 2009 Nina was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Queens Birthday Honours list for her ‘Service to the Arts and the Central Coast Community’.
She has also featured in two documentaries called ‘A Lasting Impression’ and ‘Tapa Tradition’. This cross-cultural exchange between an Australian Community Artist and the people of the Fiji Islands documented for the first time the ancient Pacific tradition of making and printing bark cloth or tapa/masi.
Nina was also awarded Australia Day Community Awards in 2004 and 2007 for her work in Communities and Culture. She is also the recipient of Governor of NSW Children’s Week Award for her work with children in remote locations and in 2017 Nina was awarded an Edna Ryan feminist award for her life’s work empowering women, sharing their stories through the arts.
Nina has written her first book, a memoir “Don’t Cry, Dance. She discovered her father Alberto’s interviews from 1986, which had been held in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, USA and combined these with her mother Janka’s story, a Polish girl, who first met her father in Auschwitz. As a storyteller and artist, it was time to add her story to theirs, and leave a lasting memory for future generations.
In November 2019 after the launch of her memoirs, Nina was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. She was not able to promote or speak to her book and turned to her art. As an intuitive artist Nina managed to alchemies the cancer through her art. After a year of healing and time to reflect and question, she realized that the lymphoma came through intergenerational trauma after dealing with her family’s trauma going through the holocaust.
The Book showcase
DON'T CRY, DANCE
By Nina Angelo OAM
A Memoir of War, Love and Forgiveness.
The Fabric of my Loving Family,
A memoir spanning four generations from war, horror and loss, to peace, calm and love. Through the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Mauthausen, from my parents who were there.
My mother a Polish, Ashkenazy Jewish girl and my father a Greek, Spanish French Sephardic Jewish man. How love and hearts of kindness came out of the horrors of the concentration camps.
This is also my story of how I came from that love. How I learnt my philosophies and life lessons from their forgiveness and how healing embraces generations and new life.
As refugees they came to Australia with me, bringing two cultures and 13 languages to forge a new beginning. These two people who never would have met and fallen in love, if they hadn’t survived the attempted extermination of a race in the death chambers of Europe. They knew and taught me that we cannot move on without forgiveness.
My life became an extension, a fulfilment of their past. This is not a story without war because war continued and hardships from another war touched my life at a very personal level.
I flew in from the stars.
I flew into an adventure
Life is a spiritual journey with a fabric embroidered by the everyday, but what we make and how we use this gift of life is how we create magic, how we discover the eternal and ethereal that surrounds us and embraces us through the fabric of the universe.