I, Too, Am a Refugee

I stated this to a work colleague, today, when  they were verbalizing ‘their theory’ on our refugee crisis; here in Australia.

Do not, for a minute, think I am racist or do not understand the enormity of this current humanitarian dilemma; I do.

Its just that – it really has been a problem for many generations/ years.  Its more noticeable probably because of SOCIAL MEDIA.

How did I come to my statement?

Sidebar: Tomorrow, my siblings, extended family and I are, finally , burying our mother. She passed away in July from one last stroke , deep in her cancer riddled brain and body. Yes five and half months post statistics; for brain cancer, she died a peaceful death.  Having quickly succumbed to minute strokes on a daily basis, dementia then Alzheimer’s.

Rewinding through her family  trail, we found that her Great Grandparents, on her fathers side left North west Ireland for Wales – 1700’s, then England and then a boat to Australia – 1850’sh, Melbourne in specific. They worked for sometime, had family go off to the Great War/First World War and when upon arrival back, due to lack of work they were allocated a ‘bush block’ or Soldiers’ Settlement Block some 560 km’s north west of Melbourne in what is known as The Mallee.  So they upped stumps and travelled to this harsh environment and began farming in a small community called Cowangie / Boinka.

After a number of years( and children) my grandfather decided that Doris was the girl for him and that farming was never going to make ends met.  He then moved his new bride further north to the community called Sunraysia.   Where there was irrigation, grapes, citrus,, better soil etc.  Even when my mother was growing up they moved house approximately 12 times, that I know of before finally marrying dad and having us four kids.

In the meanwhile Doris (my grandmother) her family came to Australia via Wales, Cornwall, London, to South Australia then to a similar Soldiers Settlement block nearby Pop.

On my fathers side of the genealogy trail it goes way back to Iceland Vikings sailing to the Isle of Skye, through the Scottish cleansing period ( creating a name change) down to a small village south of Liverpool, Manchester, some on convict boats to Tasmania and others as free citizens to Melbourne, Victoria.   Again the opportunity to  open up’ Australia as farmers. So they came to Mildura for a combined wheat, sheep, and grape and citrus blocks as part of the free allocations and at the time of the Chaffey Brothers setting up the irrigation system for Sunraysia

I, personally have moved from Mildura to Melbourne, then Sydney, back to Melbourne where I meet Andrew – who was from Yallourn North in Gippsland.  We made our home in nearby Newborough then he was transferred to Benalla, then Albury-Wodonga.   Since then I have lived back in Mildura, Keith ( south Australia), Ocean Grove, Geelong and currently am here in sunny downtown Werribee South.

For all sorts of reasons my family, on both sides, has experienced the similar sort of religious and political situations to todays’ refugees.  Seeking a better life for their families.

So yes like everybody else I , too am a refugee.









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