Photo credit: IOM/Elizabeth Perkins
"In Fiji I used to live with my grandparents while I studied towards a Human Resources degree at university. I am from Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji.
I met my now husband when he came from Australia to Fiji for his cousin’s wedding. He visited Vanua Levu; he didn’t want to go at first, but his friends convinced him and he stayed with my aunt who later introduced us. We wrote to each other for about a year and then we got married. I have been living in Australia for four years now and our daughter was born here.
I come from an Indo-Fijian culture. People you meet down the street are friendly and I quickly noticed when I came to Australia that communication was different here. I felt homesick straight after I came. I had difficulty understanding the cultural differences and expressing myself. Then I joined the multicultural centre in my community and I received a lot of support from migrants and local friends. I had my daughter and my world started to change. I still miss my home country but my foundation is now here and I don’t think I can leave Australia now.
I have recently started new studies in medical practice and I hope to soon become a sonographer. It’s going to be a few hard months ahead as I have to study over the weekends but I have met so many people in my community who have inspired me to study and work hard to accomplish my goals. I love my community and how welcoming it has been and I appreciate them sharing their stories with me. Meeting people from other countries that share my lived my experience makes me feel better. I know I’m not alone."