I had a baby daughter in my 30s, but it didn’t work out with the dad so I suddenly found myself a single parent. Luckily, I had a lot of support. At that time, I was living at home with my younger sister, my mum and my aunt, so my daughter ended up having two grandmothers, a mother and an aunty! I remember there were nights when she had colic that we would literally take rotations hour by hour. In her first three years, she grew up surrounded by women.

But then one day I got to the point where I started to get restless in Kenya. Just looking at this child, I thought I really wanted to her to give her the best that I could, in the same way that my parents had given my sister and I the best – they had sent us abroad for our university studies, and I had gone to the UK to study Pharmacy.

At that time, Australia was looking for pharmacists so I started the process of applying for a visa, which took around 18 months. They ask you anything, literally from the day you are born – they really leave no stone unturned! I actually couldn’t believe the day that we finally got the visa. I remember I almost collapsed with relief.

I came on my own first, because I had to find a place to live, get a job, buy a car, find a school for my daughter to go to – all that stuff. But I was very lucky in that I got a job quite quickly as a pharmacy assistant in a hospital on the Sunshine Coast. Three weeks later, I went back to Kenya to get my daughter and we settled in to life in Australia. After six months in my first role, I found an opportunity to do a pharmacy internship here and I was finally registered at the end of last year.

I’ve enjoyed Australia so far. I’ve found it tough personally, simply because I’m a new person in a new environment with a child on my own. Now everything is suddenly on me, and I’ve really felt the weight of that in many ways. You’re the one paying the rent, the one doing the housework, dropping off and picking up the child, as well as working full time.

I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I think, ‘Ooh, this is a breeze!’ But generally I’ve found people really friendly here. I’ve been involved in several multicultural events. The Sunshine Coast Council now has its very first multicultural action plan, and I was involved in the formation of that and I’m also a member of the advisory group. To have been able to do that when I haven’t even lived here for three years has really been a privilege.

I have no regrets. There have been ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change any of it, because all those challenges have got us to the point we are now at. My daughter found it really easy to settle in. She’s already picked up Aussie slang, and she has an Aussie accent too!

I’m so glad she’s happy because I did it all for her.

Arrived 2015

Photographer: Adriana Watson www.adrianawatson.com.au

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