Book Now: Euro Concert Brisbane

Senior Euro Concert Brisbane

As part of Queensland Senior’s Month, the Euro Concert will celebrate our multicultural community bonds at Kedron Wavell in Chermside with a fabulous line-up of live music, dancing, a generous two-course meal, and raffle prizes.

With worldwide entertainment expertise of 26 years, Musical Director Frank Debellis and Australian indie artist Vince Gelonese are set to bring a list of successes from all decades to the event.

“We have performed for Canberra National Multicultural Festival with crowds of over 200,000 people. Over the years, we have organised and served for over 500 events and shows around Australia and internationally,” Mr Debellis says.

“As a musical director and performer, my main aim and expectation for this event are that the audience walks away happy and talking about what a great time they had, enjoying listening to the musical journey we took them through.”

The Euro Concert public will also have the opportunity to relish lunch and dessert, tea and coffee. All-inclusive for just $25!

Kicking off at 11:30 am, we look forward to a delightful afternoon. To book, please call Co.As.It. Community Services on 07 3624 6100. Kedron Wavell is on 21 Kittyhawk Dr, Chermside, with plenty of parking on-site.

Co.As.It. Community Services is a charitable organisation with a heritage of helping the multicultural community for over 40 years. With a well-known reputation for putting on excellent events, this event will surely sell out!

When: Wednesday 4 October 2023, 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Where: Kedron Wavell, 21 Kittyhawk Dr, Chermside, Brisbane
Cost: Tickets are $25, all-inclusive.

A day to be remembered: International Women’s Day 2023

International Women's Day Co.As.It. 2023

Co.As.It. brought a vibrant community together on Saturday (11) in a memorable event to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 under the flag “Embrace Equity”.

In a journey specially prepared through the colours of the Mediterranean, VIPs, guests, and staff at the Greek Club honoured the advances and the crucial work carried out by women in the community services industry.

Kim Skubris entertained the guests over five hours of celebration, networking, and friendship, accompanied by a sumptuous brunch and fashion parade by Laura Churchill (Brisbane Fashion Month).

Guests’ kind-heartedness outpoured as raffles were quickly sold – with proceeds going towards Co.As.It.’s Dementia Support & Mind Wellness Program. Winners were gifted with wines, store vouchers and hampers, among other prizes.

In a touching speech, Brisbane’s Lady Mayoress, Nina Schrinner, singled out the importance of organisations such as Co.As.It.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of organisations like Co.As.It. as they will come in [to support the community]. They are the white knight coming over the hill to help,” Lady Mayoress said.

“Dementia is the number one killer of women in Australia, while isolation is one of the most significant contributing factors to that. I’m talking about serious life-changing issues related to this. You watch your relative being perfectly fine physically before you, but their mind has gone. We need the support of those specialised organisations.”

In 2022, it was estimated that 401,300 Australians were living with dementia, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures.

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, Hon Grace Grace, reinforced the necessity of embracing equity and praised the work conducted by Co.As.It.

“We need to continue to embrace equity to be sure women and men have an equitable challenge in life and the ability to grow,” the Minister said.

“Co.As.It. does such a fantastic job, and I don’t think there is one person in this room who hasn’t either directly benefited from Co.As.It. or indirectly seen the benefits for someone they know – when we think about our Mammas, Nonnas – what a great organisation to look after them.”

Cr Vicki Howard, Central Ward’s first female Councillor elected in 2012, affirmed that Co.As.It. stands for the ability to connect people through their language.

“The organisation has the ability to help people in their own language. This is just so important. More than 30% of our people within Brisbane come from countries other than Australia. So we have organisations such as Co.As.It. that bring people together and are always there to support them,” Cr Vicki said.

Through a recorded video, the Consul of Italy in Brisbane, Luna Angelini Marinucci, regretted not being able to participate in the event but emphasised the strength of women in the 21st century and the importance of the work done by Co.As.It. within the community.

Dina Ranieri, CEO of Co.As.It. highlighted that the organisation has organised International Women’s Day for about 14 years as an opportunity to celebrate the excellent female staff and all volunteers.

“As we are an organisation that looks after the elderly and those with a disability, we attract a lot of females because they are the ones that have that caring nature. With over 400 staff and more than 85% women, it makes us realise we are a force not to be taken lightly.”

“Today, we celebrate women’s incredible achievements and renew our commitment to gender equality. We remember the sacrifices our past strong and determined women made to ensure we would be treated equally and not be put aside and forgotten.”

International Women’s Day – Tickets On Sale Now

Co.As.It. Community Services “International Women’s Day” features the participation of Brisbane Fashion Month’s Laura Churchill – one of Brisbane’s leading stylists and fashion event producers.

Guests will enjoy a fabulous brunch with prosecco upon arrival, generously sponsored by Italiquore. Returning as emcee is the masterful Kim Skubris, an exceptional communicator and ambassador – a true powerhouse of personality.

Our International Women’s Day is our largest fundraising event in which all funds raised go toward our Dementia Support and Mind Wellness Program. The program is fully funded by Co.As.It. and offers counselling and support services to over 200 carers and those living with dementia.

More information here.

IWD2022 a Great Success

MORE than 300 guests attended Co.As.It.’s high tea for International Women’s Day (IWD), Saturday 12th March held at the Rose Room at Cloudland in Fortitude Valley. The theme, celebrating women, the heart in our community, was reflected in a mini documentary outlining the brilliant volunteering work done by women who volunteer in our Italian community.

Co.As.It. acknowledged the selfless work of three women who were interviewed: Ruth Allison who has been volunteering every Wednesday at Co.As.It.’s Casa Serena Social Centre for more than 15 years, Carmela Bozzi OAM who volunteers for the church and many other organisations in the Italian community, and Paolina Greco who volunteers as part of Co.As.It.’s Community Visitor Scheme, attending residential aged care facilities each week for over 10 years. They talked about the work they do, what motivates them and how their work has helped others.

Speeches by the Hon. Grace Grace acknowledged the leadership by Co.As.It. CEO Cav. Dina Ranieri, and the importance of equal representation of women in public roles and governance, and Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner talked about dementia affecting women more than men, and encouraged all guests to support the fundraising efforts by the organisation.

Guests were treated to a professional fashion show curated by Laura Churchill from Brisbane Fashion Month featuring local designers Anannasa, Chamani, Red Ridge the Label, Annalisse Designs, Maiocchi, and Jericho Road Clothing. The collections were modelled by Co.As.It. staff and friends and was enthusiastically supported by guests.

Thanks to the wonderful enduring sponsorship from Cav. Fil D’Arro from Italiquore, guests enjoyed complimentary prosecco, as well as a delicious high tea including scones, hot savoury pastries and gourmet sweets. Over 43 raffle prizes were won, with proceeds going towards Co.As.It.’s dementia and wellness program. A fully sold-out event that will stay in the hearts of all who attended.


A message from one of our VIPs Julie Morrow:

I had the pleasure of attending Co.As.It’s International Women’s Day event on Saturday 12 March at Cloudland. It’s been a while since I’ve attended an event of this size and I’d have to say that 300 women in one room makes for a fun, loud and exciting atmosphere.

Journalist Kim Skubris MC’d this colourful event that helps raise funds to support Co.As.It’s dementia support services. We watched a video, celebrating three of Co.As.It’s valued volunteers and the difference they make to individuals and the community and were treated to a unique fashion parade, curated by Laura Churchill. The collection from Australian women designers were beautifully modelled by staff and members of the Co.As.It community.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating women as well as focussing on equality for women. Speakers included Dina Ranieri who highlighted the inequalities that women in our society still experience, the Hon. Grace Grace spoke about the opportunities she has had because of her parents immigrating to Australia as well as the importance of women in public roles and on boards. Finally, Lady Mayoress, Nina Schrinner raised awareness about dementia which disproportionately effects women more than men (2 to 1).

Congratulations to Dina and the Co.As.It team for a wonderful event.

CEO Dina Ranieri and the History of Co.As.It Community Services

EVOLVING from a consular welfare committee in 1978, the Italian Welfare Association became Co.As.It. by 1986 and in the late 1990s, Community Services was added to the name to better reflect its broader multi-cultural and mainstream role. Today Co.As.It. Community Services employs 420 people supporting more than 5000 clients weekly with aged, disability, community support services and social connectivity.

Despite its dramatic growth, the organisation still retains its original “extended family relationship” model says CEO Dina Ranieri.

“Our culture is such that we welcome people in as a family member, and we look after clients like our own family. We create relationships with them and a sense of village is nurtured every time a new client comes on board -and they love it!”

Dina was 12 when she left Italy and arrived in Australia, with no language skills as she first started attending school. This experience helped to shape her core values, that being the importance of community and culture. As Dina says, “people stay if they like the culture and environment.”

When Dina joined the organisation as an Administrative Assistant in 1987, there were only five staff members and five Community Care Workers providing services to 10-15 clients, all of whom were Italian. At the time, Dina still had small children and was only able to work three days per week.

Soon after she was employed, the organisation became the first culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) organisation to attain aged care funding through the Home and Community Care (HACC) program.

This set Co.As.It Community Services on a path to rapid growth.

Dina’s role at that time involved “a bit of everything”- getting to know the ins and outs of every aspect of the organisation. Like many staff members, she has grown up with Co.As.It. Community Services.

“Many colleagues have been with the organisation for decades and staff turnover is low” she happily reports.

As Dina became more familiar and knowledgeable with the functions of the organisation, she was offered the role as Director in recognition of her skills and expertise. In 2018, when Co.As.It. became a company, she was appointed CEO.

The organisation has powered and grown under Dina’s stewardship, expanding both service provision, assets and presence within the industry.

Co.As.It Community Services have received recognition and won awards for high quality services and excellence in care. In 2021, they were presented with a distinguished Order of Merit Award from the Italian Government for services to the community.

“We all believe in the vision of the organisation and because more than 80% of our staff speak another language, we have the cultural and linguistic competency to excel in this area. We have since opened our arms to other new and established CALD communities.”

Co.As.It. Community Services has two divisions that Dina oversees on a daily basis.

The Italian Language Centre (ILC) promotes and teaches the Italian language and culture in primary and secondary schools Queensland-wide. The centre provides professional development opportunities, resources and support for teachers and over 24,000 students learning Italian.

The Community Services division delivers aged, disability and community care services in Southeast Queensland, from Bribie Island to Tweed heads. Based in Lutwyche, there has social activity and respite centres in Stafford, Brackenridge, Acacia Ridge, Cleveland and the Gold Coast.

Three of these facilities were proudly built using Co.As.It.’s reserves and fundraising capital- a massive achievement for an organisation that started with one office and no bathroom facilities.

Today all the centres offer themed-day activities, transport and meals for clients. Every centre operates five days a week with two activities offered each day that are “often the highlight of the week for the clients” says Dina.

There is also an activity group specially designed for people living with cognitive impairment, the Sunshine Group, which is an essential service for carers and those who attend.

“Co.As.It is providing services that are very much needed in the community. We are supporting families in a way you would in a village; extended families, that is our ethos”

Dina Ranieri

The newest facility Amici House at Bracken Ridge was refurbished entirely from its own funds to the cost of $1M and has been operational since mid-2021.

An array of classes and activities is offered through this centre including respite, Latin dance, art, technology, physiotherapy, podiatry, information sessions and social group meetings. This community hub also boasts a café offering tasty meals and snacks at an affordable price for clients and guests.


One of the most enjoyable activities is having children from Tumble Tots Kindergarten and Goodstart Early Learning Centre visit to share their day with clients. The intergenerational exchange between the two generations is extremely precious and rewarding- so much so that it’s not clear who enjoys the day more the children or the elders.

Co.As.It have evolved their services to meet the needs of their clients; to continue to support them on their life journey. “Italians migrated to Australia in large numbers, so they are the first to age in large numbers,” Dina says.

Services like the free ‘Stay Active Exercise Programs’ have been created, to encourage physical activity for older community members. This program is funded entirely by the organisation and started with a pilot study of 15 people. Now the program proudly boasts 6 weekly classes with over 120 participants in three different locations.

The organisation has cared for many clients for generations.

Including children who initially attended playgroups when they were young now attending as parents who have their own offspring and clients who previously attended Co.As.It social outings in the 80s now receiving social activity support, in Italian, as they have moved into aged care homes.

“The demographic has changed but we will always have the history with the Italian community, and Italian will always be part of us,” Dina says.

The sense of continuity and continued strong relationships with their clients are just like a village – the sense of which is loved by all clients regardless of their cultural heritage.

Yoga Classes at Amici House

ARE you wanting to learn yoga without breaking the bank? Why not join our yoga classes on offer at Amici House? All you need to do is register your attendance, bring a yoga mat and wear loose, comfortable clothing. The classes on offer are suitable for all levels and you will learn postures to help improve your mobility, core strength and stability.

Amici House is a re-purposed gospel chapel on Bracken Ridge Road that has received a new life as a café and community facility.  The centre runs weekly community activities for seniors, yoga classes, art classes, and latin dancing. The centre is a hub for the local community and boasts over 170 visitors weekly.

The benefits of yoga are well known and some classes charge up to $20 per class, this is a fantastic way to learn this modality for only $5 in a wonderful environment. You can contact  Co.As.It. Community Services on (07) 3624 6100 to book your place. This course is very popular and highly recommended – register today!

Art Classes at Amici House

DO you live in the Bracken Ridge area and keen to learn something new? Have you ever wanted to join an art class but not sure what you might be good at? If you want the option to try sculpture, painting, sketching, collage, working with clay or watercolour, why not join an art class at the wonderful Amici House! Classes are held every Monday from 10am to 12pm at Amici House, 294 Bracken Ridge Road, Bracken Ridge. Access to the centre is via the service road and there is plenty of on site parking.

Amici House is a re-purposed gospel chapel on Bracken Ridge Road that has received a new life as a café and community facility.  The centre runs weekly community activities for seniors, yoga classes, art classes, and latin dancing. The centre is a hub for the local community and boasts over 170 visitors weekly.

The art classes at Amici House are suitable for students interested in developing their skills or learning new skills. A perfect class for anyone seeking to explore their creative side. All materials are provided for the very affordable cost of $5 per class. Classes are run by a qualified art teacher who can deliver tips and tricks to help you develop your skills. All you need to do is contact Co.As.It. Community Services on (07) 3624 6100 and register your interest.

Nourishing the Soul at Amici House

COME and experience two hours of pampering, wellbeing and friendship. This is a monthly event open to women from the ages of 16 years and above for a $5 contribution. The event will present the importance of self care and how to take time out – there is also time for connecting.  The presentation will be followed by a delicious morning tea including tea and coffee and something nutritious to eat. The gatherings are held on the first Wednesday of every month from 10am to midday at the wonderful Amici House in Bracken Ridge just near the corner of Bracken Street – entry via the service road.

Amici House is a re-purposed gospel chapel on Bracken Ridge Road that has received a new life as a café and community facility.  The centre runs weekly community activities for seniors, yoga classes, art classes, and latin dancing. The centre is a hub for the local community and boasts over 170 visitors weekly.

The “Nourishing the Soul” talks are filling up fast, all you need to do is contact the Co.As.It. Head Office on (07) 3624 6100 to register and book a space for you and a friend, if you wish. It’s a women-only event and there is plenty of on site parking.

International Women’s Day 2022

CO.AS.IT. Community Services is delighted to host the International Women’s Day Celebration on Saturday 12 March, 2022 from 10am to 2pm at The Rose Room,  Cloudland in Fortitude Valley. International Women’s Day is a unique global event that is the highlight of Co.As.It.’s community calendar.

Themed ‘Celebrating Women, the Heart in our Community’, be immersed in a stunning event that will honour the quiet achievers in our community who dedicate time, love and energy to helping others. In collaboration with Brisbane Fashion Month’s Laura Churchill, this year’s event is shaping to be unmissable.

Laura Churchill will curate the Co.As.It. International Women’s Day fashion parade, she is one of Brisbane’s leading stylists and fashion event producers. As director of Brisbane Fashion Month, a month-long series of runway, networking and public events each October, and producer of the Ekka Natural Fibres Fashion Parades since 2017, Laura helms the two largest showcases of Brisbane and Queensland fashion in the state and is a passionate advocate of local fashion designers and makers.

Join Co.As.It. for a wonderful high tea with prosecco upon arrival, generously sponsored by Italiquore, and a chance to win raffle prizes – all in a breathtaking setting at the opulent Rose Room, at Cloudland in Fortitude Valley. Returning as emcee is the masterful Kim Skubris, exceptional communicator, ambassador – a true powerhouse of personality.

Enjoy this event with friends, family, and celebrate the work that women do in our community. Co.As.It. is hosting this exclusive event with all funds raised going toward their Mind Wellness Program – a fully funded counselling and support service for carers and for those living with dementia. Brisbane women of all ages are invited to this event to celebrate women’s achievements and to help #BreaktheBias for a more equitable future.

You do NOT want to miss this one! Tickets via Eventbrite or the Lutwyche Office.

Organisers: Grace Demaio and Linda Moffat

Amici House Community Café

BRACKEN Ridge has a new Community Café at the newest community hub,  Amici House, at Bracken Ridge. The former gospel chapel on Bracken Ridge Road has received a new life as a café and community facility. Opening the facility on 8 May, the Hon. Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education, Industrial Relations and Racing, praised the “wonderful” centre, noting the quality of service Co.As.It. has been providing to the community for more than 40 years, including to her own parents.

Other guests including Italian Vice Consul for Qld and NT Oreste Lastella, Luke Howarth MP,  Cr. Tracy Davis, Cr. Sandy Landers, Co.As.It. CEO Dina Ranieri, Co.As.It. President Cav. Nereo Brezzi and President Com.It.Es (Committee for Italians Abroad) Mariangela Stagnitti, were among many other notable VIPs at the official opening. The commercial kitchen and various allied health equipment were obtained with funding from the Community Benefit Fund, which was represented by Alan Sparks, AM, BEM.

Beth Merkus and Sue Lawrence-Duman were thrilled to see their father’s legacy being repurposed. Designed and built originally by Albert Lawrence and Arthur Sweeney, the newly renovated community hub boasts a commercial kitchen, allied health facilities, a large deck for café guests and community gatherings, ramps and a 46 space carpark, making it easier for community members to access the facility. The centre will service Co.As.It. clients from Brisbane’s northern suburbs to Redcliffe, Sandgate, Pine Rivers and Caboolture, providing exercise classes, physiotherapy and podiatry, information sessions and social group activities.

The community café offers Italian cannoli, panini, arancini, lasagne as well as staples such as wraps and muffins. The range of coffees is extensive, all day options, and delicious smoothies are also on offer. The café is set in the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding Amici House.  Open from 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, Amici House Café is located at 294 Bracken Ridge Road, Bracken Ridge.

View the menu here!