We didn’t want to bring our children up in Britain as we could see the shrinking economy and the social program being run back. But I had never even left Wales before, except to go to Scotland – I’m not very adventurous at all. So it was a huge thing for me to come to Australia. But when I got here, I went down to the shops and saw Oxo on the shelves and I thought, ‘Oh, this is just like home!’
For 17 years, I volunteered for Meals on Wheels every day, organizing the roster and making sure everybody turned up. I loved it. I met so many different people. I heard some really lovely stories, and really awful stories too. Sometimes you look at people and you think they’re nothing special but when they start opening up, it’s just amazing.
When we arrived, I first worked as a horticulturalist for the Council of Elizabeth in Adelaide, but within six years, I was Head of Fire, Weeds and Vermin in South Australia, and was later appointed to re-organise the CFS. I ended up as a national expert on the socio-political, economic and environmental aspects of bushfires. The irony is, both my father and one of my uncles were firemen.
One of the things that I’m really aware of is that no one questions my right to be here, that we were welcomed here because we were white and we came from the U.K. On the flipside, there are people running from horrors that we could never even imagine, who are not welcomed.
I feel so lucky to be here, and for the decision that Dad and Mum made. I can’t comprehend how you could decide to move to another country without having ever been there before.
I will be forever grateful.
Jan, Howard and Helen
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Helen, if only other people understood what you have so clearly explained. ❤ We have more than enough here to share. x
So glad you chose Australia. Belated welcome to Australia but meant sincerely. Best wishes to your family.
Yes, Helen, I believe Australians, if given the opportunity, are generous and hospitable people. It is such a shame that some policies and actions get in the way of extending that generosity to some groups, especially people who have fled desperate situations in their own country.
My family has a similar story, we arrived in 1977 too and I’m so grateful that my parents took that brave step.
Welcome to Australia.
Well said Helen! Australia really is a lucky country… made more so by it’s immigrants and especially so by your lovely family.
We are all immigrants to this country if you go back far enough. Who are we to say no to people making the same decisions our forefathers made…
HELEN: nailed it!!!
Thank you for being Australian
I love this, and your parents story and values mirrors our thoughts when we emigrated from the UK. My volunteering starts in Feb, when I become scout leaders for our local troop. I love our big island, it’s definitely the best decision we ever made. X
Happy 40th anniversary in Australia. I see you were happy to contribute from the day of your arrival ! (Please no Oxo in the Meals on Wheels ! Not even Marmite !)
“One of the things that I’m really aware of is that no one questions my right to be here, that we were welcomed here because we were white and we came from the U.K. On the flipside, there are people running from horrors that we could never even imagine, who are not welcomed. ”
THIS!! 100000 times this!
Couldn’t agree more Helen. Same thought has gone through my head many times.
So true! also I can’t stand some people’s mentality of stop visas and give jobs to Australians who deserve it!
Lol how stupid!
Well I’m glad visas are available because I wouldn’t of birthed my beautiful daughter had there not of been! I’m an asset to Australia and proud to be British & my daughter who is Australian/British ❤️ ???????? ???????? xxx
I love what you said so much. Maybe because it’s something I have thought for almost as long as I can remember. And I love that you said it. xx
Jan, Howard and Helen. I’m also from Wales, been in OZ 6yrs. I’ve never felt uncomfortable at home, nor my 2 yrs living in NZ, or these last 5yrs in Australia either. I must say recently though with the whole Pauline Hanson thing though and the number of locals who adore her, I feel a bit worried. I tell myself that not all her followers are racist, but they believe her when she says she can also fix many other non-immigration related things. But it does make me wonder ALOT, are people looking at me like I’m brown so therefore I need to leave again and go “home.”
Australia is a terrific place
Yes – arrived here with my husband in 1974 from the UK and have never, ever, regretted our decision.
Thank you, Helen ????