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The Forum > General Discussion > From Somewhere Else : People who've made Australia Home.

From Somewhere Else : People who've made Australia Home.

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I'm a bit intrigued to know more about how people
made such a huge move.

The reasons for leaving and why Australia?

What Expectations? How was the journey here as well
as first impressions, first home, starting work
and the difficult times and adjusting to differences.

I'm also interested in people's life today and their
feelings about Australia.

Is there a sense of belonging?

I'm grateful for any responses.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 17 January 2010 8:04:52 PM
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A good question Foxy, I'm looking forward to reading replies that are more interesting than this one...

My early life involved a great deal of travelling, so "new" places held no fears, or even nervousness for me. Thus the move from the UK to Australia some thirty years ago was no more of a challenge than changing my socks.

"Is there a sense of belonging?"

Unsurprisingly given the background, no, not really.

And it often worries me how much store some people put in this feeling of "belonging" to one particular grouping. It can so easily distort the reality that we are all people living on the same planet, and need to treat each other accordingly.

On reflection, I sometimes wonder about the "on the same planet" part...
Posted by Pericles, Monday, 18 January 2010 7:09:12 AM
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Foxy,

We moved here because in South Africa we felt we were playing Russian roulette with the lives of our children. To put this in perspective, I knew four people who have been murdered.

When I say I "knew" them I do not mean I knew of them. I mean these were people I saw regularly.

How many people did you know who have been murdered?

I think the move was the right thing from the perspective of our children. They have settled down very well and love it here.

I would not have moved had we been childless. I have discovered you can take me out of Africa but it's harder taking Africa out of me.

If I can give anyone advice on emigration it's this. If you can at all avoid it donít migrate at age 51. In fact, if you're going to migrate do it before age 35.

If I were in charge of immigration in Australia I would only in the most exceptional circumstances take anyone over age 40. My preference would be for people below age 35.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Monday, 18 January 2010 9:46:48 AM
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Dear Pericles,

I'm happy that your transition was an easy
one.

My parents had a bit of a culture shock,
but their circumstances were different.
They were Lithuanian refugees - part of
the wave of Baltic People that Australia
accepted after World War II. They did have
conflicting loyalties and a search for
belonging - and their life wasn't easy.

Dear Steven,

I personally don't know of anyone who was murdered.
But my parents, their family, and friends did - that's
why they fled to the West. They were not economic
migrants, seeking a richer life, they escaped
as a last resort: to save their lives from the
Communist horror. They had to put up with a great deal
too. They had to hide their tears and and laments
from the world - and learn that it's not easy to be
strangers in a strange land.

In spite of it all however, today my mother feels very
much at home - and considers Australia her home. My father
died in 1970.
I of course don't know anything else - having been born
and raised here.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 18 January 2010 10:16:02 AM
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foxy,
As stated my mum was a refugee at 36 from Latvia.
My adopted parents went (migrated) to PNG for the opportunities, neither had great educations. Poverty, the depression, war, POW camp for dad in Burma stifled options when younger.

I was raised between two cultures, white and indigenous(to a point), Therefore, I was inculcated with both. The latter made me acutely aware of the importance of responsibility to nature and community.

Given other factor singled me out as different amongst the 'whites'
I have evolved as an observer, when it comes to the 'tribal' (belonging) mindset.

I understand/share exactly Pericles' feelings about belong to a groups. I enjoy conversations/people etc but the idea of "my country right or wrong" leaves me ambivalent. I'd die to protect *people* but a lifestyle country per se?

Vietnam was an issue for me, I respect(ed) those who went but like Iraq/Afghanistan to me are all particularly dubious wars to me.
Posted by examinator, Monday, 18 January 2010 10:19:15 AM
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It was simple for me.
Service in the Royal Air Force took me to places where the sun shone every day.
Service in Cyprus in the early sixties brought me into contact with Australian Federal Police peacekeepers and I was impressed.
Back in blighty other servicemen who had been in Maralinga showed me photos of where they had been living.
At the age of 29 years I arrived with my family, got a job, settled down and was purchasing my home within three years.
Now I am totally Australianised. I don't barrack for the Poms at cricket and I love anti Pom jokes - do you remember the Bacchus Marsh Lion Park? Where the sign said Poms on bicycles admitted free? One went in and the lions ate his bicycle.
Then the British Airways Jumbo jet landing at Tullamarine? They turned the engines off but the whining didn't stop.
Better stop before Graham excludes me.
Posted by phoenix94, Monday, 18 January 2010 10:25:11 AM
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