(Part 2 of 4 – Pam and Harry)
On the first day I came here, it was just like heaven. We got welcomed, and went to the Wacol Hotel, where we lived for one and a half years. Our family went from having no food every day to having food every day. Heaven. If we were sick, we got doctors. Heaven.

I got a job at Golden Circle the first day I arrived because they asked me if I wanted to work, and I said, ‘yes’. At night, I studied English. I went to night school until I finished my high school, and then I went to university and did Biochemistry. You couldn’t believe how I studied. You know what a Microbiology book is like? Every single word I had to translate. I didn’t even know some of the words in my own language, because I had left school so early.

My husband and I went to the same night school, and were just friends for a few years. Then I had to get married so my mum would be happy, and she chose him! Unfortunately, I had my first baby when I only had one more semester to go, so I had to stop my studies. But when my second daughter came, I went back, to study Child Care management. Then I worked in child care for a while, because I wanted to work and look after my children at the same time.

I built up my life here because I wanted my children to have a better life. I wanted to prove to them that if I could do it, that meant they could do it too. Now, my daughter is a lawyer, another is a paramedic, and my son is a pharmacist. I tell them they are very fortunate to be born here, that everything they wish for, they can do. Even if they are the worst student, they can have a better life than many others around the world.

I feel I owe this country a lot. They gave us a life to live.

Arrived 1980

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