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<DIV style="background-color:#A0FFA3; border-style:solid; border-width:6px; padding:13px; margin:-5px; font-family:Arial; font-size:12pt; font-weight:normal; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; cursor:default; text-align:left; text-indent:0em; letter-spacing:0px; word-spacing:1px; "> Q1. Why did you come to Australia? Was it by choice or by force? Joan: We came because my husband was leaving the army and my sister had already moved here. It was more for a change of lifestyle too. Yes, entirely our choice. Robert: I didn't really have much of a choice, I mean, I was a only a kid. It's not like I could say; "Oh, sorry mum, I just wanna stay here. Bye!" Q2. What year did you come here? How many years have you been here for now? J: 1974 sometime in February, I'm quite sure it was valentines’ Day, although I can’t quite remember. 38 years. R: In 1974, February 22nd. It's been 38 years since we moved. Q3. What was your journey like? Was it rough? Would you do it again J: We came in a very big aeroplane and it was comfortable, I would definitely do it again. The plane ride was quite long, a total of 36 hours. I remember going to Melbourne and looking down at the ground It was so weird. I honestly can’t complain about the ride. R: It was really good, I was very excited, although, it was a quite long. When we left London, it was freezing cold and then when we landed in Singapore, it was stinking hot. In Melbourne it was warmish and then forty degree heat in Adelaide. I think I was a little bit annoying on the plain ride and restless. I think most people would have been glad to see the back of my head when I left. Seeing as we had my Aunt and Uncle living here already, we stayed in a caravan in their driveway which is one of those heavily sloped ones I might add. Anyway, I remember on the way 'home' from the airport we were all crammed inside a Moris Minor with all the windows down, no seat belts or air conditioning for almost an hour. Q4 How old were you? J: I was 33 years old. R: I was 6. Very young. Things were a bit hard to comprehend, like leaving all of my friends and family. But now I understand that it was for the better. Q5 Did you come with anyone? If so who? J: My husband, my two sons and my daughter. Anthony, nine, Robert 6, and Joanne, 2, R: My mum and dad, my brother Anthony and sister Joanne. Q6 Was there a process you had to go through? J: Before we left, we had to answer an ad in the paper and then go to Australia House in London for interviews. At the time they were more interested in children. They wanted to bump up the population and they would’ve taken just the children if they could. They wanted them for the future. We had to have very strict medicals and have private health and insurance, we couldn’t rely on the Australian government. We had to be totally independent. When we were at the Australia house, they showed us movies about what life was like in Australia and what the accommodation (houses) were like and where we would live. Then we got accepted, we obviously needed passports and all that sort of stuff for when you travel. The kids needed one too. We had to have $1,000 Australian dollars in the bank before we could leave. My husband had to have a job to come to, we had to have an Australian drivers license and we had to have somewhere to live so we were aloud in, luckily we had help from my sister for that. When we were here after a certain amount of time, we had to have a check up including chest X-rays to make sure we were still healthy. After all this, we never heard anything else, so we must have been good enough, I don’t ever remember anybody coming to check on us. It seems like a lot to go through, but it honestly wasn’t. R: I wasn't really apart of the process because I was too young, but I remember going into meetings and watching movies. We had to get immunized as well. In England, at night we used to knock on floors before bed and say: "Auntie Ann and Uncle Norm, we'll be there soon!" Q7. What was your job/everyday life/schooling like here compared to back at home? J: My life was pretty much the same. I was a mum and house wife or home duties as they called it back then. The only real difference was that it was a lot hotter over here. R: School was very different. I preferred the English way much more. We would get given milk at Morning Tea (Recess), cooked Lunches such as roasts and then an afternoon snack. I remember on the first when the bell went for recess and I didn't know what it was. My teacher told me that I had to go have my recess and of course at that time I didn't know what it was. So I assumed we had to go home, so I ran back to Auntie Anne's house. W were but a year back as to what we were at home so we could 'catch up on the Australian schooling' which we were to advanced for. The hardest thing was having to learn the way Australian's talked and the language they used. Q8. Did your life change for the better? J: Yes, my life definitely did. The social life was a lot better and the way we live. Especially in the summertime. Things like barbecues and going out, the children were expected to come, unlike in England, were they weren’t. Barbecues were weird and I found them disgusting. Trying to understand some things people said were hard. Everything was just so amazing, We couldn’t believe it. R: Yes, when I first moved I didn't want to, but now I'm very thankful. It was a much better lifestyle and so many more oppertunities. Q8. Where did you come from? J: We came from England, Wilkshire which was our last station in the army. Although I was born and bred in Ireland as was my husband. R: Somewhere in England I couldn't remember. I was actually born on an Island called Malta, as that was where my dad was stationed in the Army at the time, although I have an Irish passport and am an Irish citizen. Q1O. Did you find it a shock when you first came to Australia? Can you remember what your first thoughts were when you got off the plane? J: No, not the country, the heat was definatley a bit of a schock.I couldn’t get over how big Austrlia is and the houses. They are so lovely, I just couldn’t get over how big they were and they were all one story coming from a country that was full of two-storied houses. I remember walking along the street and going “Look at all the red roofs! Look at them all.” It was lovely. Even on the plane, all you could see was red tiled rooves. The flies were annoying though. R: It wasn't a shock, it was very exciting. The first day was just catching up with relatives (Anne and Norman.) and just running around. It was all very surreal. Everything was just new. It was just new and exciting. And VERY hot. Words honestly couldn't describe how I was feeling.\ For some things relating to this and pictures, click on the link below: http://www.polyvore.com/ireland_thinh_school/set?id=56308012 By Robert Hughes, 45. By Joan Hughes, 72. My reaction to the interviews Well, I've talked to my Nan a lot about her growng up in Ireland, so some of this stuff wasn't that much of a surprise to me. What shocked me was all the things they had to go through to get here. Like having a job and a home. My Auntie, mentioned in the interview, had to stay in like a holding space when they first arrived here because they didn't have anywhere to stay. The first party she went to, she got told to bring a plate. So she did. She brought an empty plate, not realising that she had to put food on it. Because everyone assumed she knew that. So Joan said she was lucky that she had Anne to help with little things like that. My Dad also had the same things with school. He ended up moving schools later because they refused to put him up a grade, no matter how smart he was. And at the new school, the same thing happened and no matter how many tests he passed with full marks, the teacher wouldn't put him up a grade. I don't think I'd really want to move countries, moving schools was hard enough. Although, like my grandparents, my parents would be doing it my brother and mines best interest for our future. That was another of the reasons that Joan moved. Georgia Hughes.
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