|Franco Belgiorno-Nettis AC CBE|
20 June 1915|
|Died||8 July 2006(aged 91)|
|Height||1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)|
|Children||Marco, Luca and Guido|
Franco Belgiorno-Nettis AC CBE (20 June 1915 – 8 July 2006) was an Australian industrialist and patron of the arts. He founded the construction and engineering company Transfield and also helped establish the Australian Biennale subsequently known as the Biennale of Sydney.
Belgiorno-Nettis was born in Cassano delle Murge in the Province of Bari in Apulia, Italy in 1915 and attended the Turin Military Academy before joining the Italian army and serving in North Africa during World War II. He spent 3 years at an allied POW camp in India. After the war he returned to Italy to complete his studies in engineering at the University of Turin. In 1951 he came to Australia as the employee of Italian engineering firm Electric Power Transmission, (an offshoot of Milan-based Societa' Anonima Elettrificazione), which was constructing powerlines.
Franco Belgiorno-Nettis and Amina Cerino-Zegna wed by proxy in 1951 – Belgiorno-Nettis' brother represented him at the altar of Turin Cathedral for the marriage. Amina soon after joined her husband in Australia, and their three sons, Marco Belgiorno-Zegna, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, were born between 1953 and 1959.
He was also prominent as a patron of the arts. In 1961 he set up the Transfield Art Prize, the largest art prize in Australia.[dubious ] He also helped to found the Biennale of Sydney in 1973.
- In 1976 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for contributions to the arts.
- In 1985 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to Secondary Industry and to the arts.
- In 1997 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in recognition of service to the arts, to Australian business through the engineering and construction industry and to the community.
- In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in engineering and management,
- "Belgiorno-Nettis", Dynasties, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 15 December 2003
- "Amina Belgiorno-Nettis". National Portrait Gallery.
- Stephens, Tony (11 July 2006). "An achiever whose dreams came true". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
- Dusevic, Tom (15 May 2015). "Transfield's Luca Belgiorno-Nettis branches into information technology". The Australian. News Corp.
- The Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil) (CBE), 31 December 1976, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 10 June 1985, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
- Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), 26 January 1997, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
- Centenary Medal, 1 January 2001, www.itsanhonour.gov.au
- Franco Belgiorno-Nettis - 'larger than life' by Danelle Bergstrom, 2004 Archibald Prize finalist, Art Gallery of NSW.
- 1990 portrait photo of Franco Belgiorno-Nettis by Marilena Damiano, Trove, nla.gov.au