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CELEBRATE LIVING
HISTORY
Howdy Folks! Hard to believe two years went flying so fast. It
has been a long time since I created the last mini magazine!
What has been consistant over the years is my passion for
Celebrate Living History. I love mentoring students and seeing
stories blossom from a simple conversation. Words are
powerful and can leave a beautiful imprint on the earth.
One of my goals was to run the Entrepreneurs: Generations
Apart podcast on Radio Carrum. It was so much fun chatting
with business owners about what sparked their interest in
making their dreams a reality.
When I was in Brisbane, I had the pleasure of meeting Muheeb
Hoque who is the founder of The Pluralist a social enterprise
dedicated to promoting language and culture. I interviewed
Muheeb for the book Entrepreneurs: Generations Apart and the
podcast on Radio Carrum.
I have also been running writers classes at the Orwil Street
Community House and interviewing members for Seniors Week
which was cool.
I have also just qualified to be a celebrant which is exciting,
now I just got to make a business out of it. The hard stuff is to
simply start, so if you need a celebrant let me know :)
Keep safe! Till Next time!
Bev
Words from Bev
Founder of Celebrate Living History
Contents
Meet our interns Cheuk Hei Ng,
Leon and Ronan
Recipe: Philippine Adobo
Feature Stories: Island Blood
This is the life story of my
Grandmother, Fay Coleman
This is my home Australia
Senior Spotlight: Les Fernadez
Ski Season
Sponsors
P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History?
The reason that attracts me about being an intern for Celebrate Living History is that I really want to
know more about the stories and insights gained from the seniors throughout their life experiences.
One of the aim and mission of Celebrate Living History is to connect younger generations with older
generations through the work of journalism, which through conducting interviews and documenting the
stories from seniors.
I would not only be able to gain working experiences in terms of journalism and writing skills, but also
gaining some life experiences and wisdom from investigating and listening to older people’s life stories,
discovering their perspective on life and advice to younger people in terms of how to live their life filled
with purpose and meaning. I feel like I really could learn a lot from this internship.
Who is an older person that you admire and why?
The older person that I admire is my grandfather. Although he had passed away early this year, I would
never forget him as part of our family.
My grandfather was a wise old man who had lived his life filled with a lot of different experiences and
memories. He had witnessed the Second World war, and he had talked about his experiences and insights
on life gained from his life experiences, no matter the experience was considered good or bad, he had
learnt a lot.
I admire him because my grandfather never stops learning in life and from history. Although he may not
be the most outspoken man throughout his life, but he was a man full of wisdom. He was also a loyal
husband to my grandmother.
Although my grandmother had passed away long time ago, he still puts the photo of her in front of his
desk as a beloved memory. He loved my grandmother so much when she was still alive and even after she
had passed away. I really admire my grandfather and he will always be remained in my beloved memory.
If you could jump into a time machine, what era would you visit and why?
If I could jump into a time machine, I really want to visit Ancient Greek as I know that it was time when a
lot of science, philosophy and academics were created. I really want to talk to philosophers from Ancient
Greek, like Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE as I was really interested the philosophy
of “stoicism”.
Stoicism refers to the philosophy of maximizing positive emotions in someone’s life instead of negative
emotions. I really wanted to learn more about this idea as I think it would really help me live a happy and
fulfilling life in terms of having a different perspective on life through the glance of philosophy.
Meet Cheuk Hei Ng!
Our latest intern from Griffith University
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History?
There is powerful messages and morals in storytelling. More often we forget that our
human nature has not changed much in a forever changing world. Stories from people
from different times and generations can tell us about their worlds and how they differ
and resemble from modern times and how our humanity remains constant. Stories of
Love, stories of culture, stories of perseverance through adversity teach us good lessons
and help us live an accepting fulfilled life.
Celebrate living history allows these experiences to live on in us, teaching us lessons
that help live a life with perspective. A life with perspective enables us to live more
fulfilled and content.
Who is an older person that you admire and why?
My 90 -year- old Grandmother – Ane Fakaofo Munro has had many lives in one lifetime.
Orphaned at eight-years-old on one of the most remote places on earth, Tokelau. Her
Journey to Queensland, Australia has many strange stories and spooky tales all in the
name of providing a future for her tamatiti, her children.
If you could jump into a time machine, what era would you visit and why.
I would journey to the 1940s. The patriarchal line in my father’s family is shrouded in
mystery, perhaps there I will find my grandfather and, in the process, find myself.
Meet leon
Our 2023 intern from Griffith University
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History?
The main thing that attracted me and still attracts me I think is just how much I resonate
with the goal of this organisation. The concept of recording, writing down and ensuring the
longevity and security of senior’s stories, wisdom and knowledge is something that really
resonates with me, with my own Aboriginal heritage.
Who is an older person that you admire and why?
At risk of sounding cliche, I have to say my grandmother on my mother’s side is a woman
that I respect deeply. As a child, she had to help look after her younger siblings while going
to school and working and raised 4 children virtually on her own with a husband who made
her life rather difficult. Now she has 19 grandchildren and still is an amazing woman who
refuses to live her life any way other than how she wants to.
If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why?
A time machine… I will freely admit, I’m a massive space nerd. So I think for me, it’d be a
no-brainer to go back to July 20th, 1969 or July 16th, 1969, the date of the Apollo Lunar
landing and the launch of Apollo 11 respectively. To be there for a date so steeped in
historical significance. Failing that, my second choice would be somewhere in the region of
200 BCE, to see the Library of Alexandria at the height of its glory, and to find out just how
extensive the knowledge of the ancient world was. While there are other periods and places
that would be amazing, eye-opening experiences, to me, one of those two I think would be
the most enthralling for me.
Meet Ronan
Our 2022 intern from Griffith University
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
Adobo is a popular Filipino dish that has occasionally been
considered the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. Its
rather simple cooking process involves meat like chicken and/or
pork, seafood, or vegetables getting marinated in soy sauce,
vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves, which are then
browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. During my youth,
adobo was one of my favourite dishes to eat and the easiest one
to prepare, according to my Filipina mother. To this day, I like to
cook this meal on special occasions (with Mum’s loving
supervision) to enjoy and share with my whole family.
Ingredients:
• Chicken pieces
• Pork chunks (optional)
• Light soy sauce
• White vinegar
• 5 large garlic cloves (peeled)
• 5 tbsp brown sugar
• Crushed pepper
• Water
• Bay leaves (optional)
Servings:
• 5-6 people
Philippine Adobo
Isabella shares one of her favourite Filipino foods
that her family loves to eat! Nom Nom!
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
Method:
1. Fill a measuring cup three-quarters with light soy sauce. Then,
fill the remaining one-quarter of the measuring cup with white
vinegar.
2. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the mixture along with the
sugar. Combine with crushed pepper afterwards and stir well.
3. Fill the measuring cup almost to the rim with water, mix, and
set aside.
4. Next, lightly drizzle a large pan with canola or vegetable oil
and set over stove at medium heat.
5. When the oil starts to bubble, place the meat in and around the
pan and fry until golden-brown.
6. Pour the adobo sauce from the measuring cup into the pan;
covering all the pieces of meat. (Tip: Pour from and stir the
measuring cup simultaneously so you would not miss any
remnants of sugar.)
7. Add in bay leaves (optional) and cover pan with lid. Allow
adobo to simmer at a slightly higher temperature until the sauce
is slightly thickened. Keep turning over the meat while doing so.
8. Remove the pan from the stove and divide the meat into plates
of 5-6. Serve with rice.
9. Dig in and enjoy!!!
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PHILIPPINE ADOBO
CONTINUED
P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
In 2002 I cut my left lower leg on tropical coral
whilst walking through a reef. The cut stung and
it bled into the ocean. It hurt but I managed to
persevere and manage the scrapes and cuts. It
happened on the island of Tokelau, the
birthplace of my grandmother.
The blood of the island Tokelau runs through my
nana Ane, through my father Sam and into me.
She told me she had cut herself on the coral that
makes up the beautiful reef surrounding Tokelau
many times as a child growing up on one of the
remotest islands in the Pacific.
My grandmother Ane Munro nee Fakaofo was
born on Fakaofo atoll, Tokelau. An island 150km
off Samoa in the middle of the pacific the only
thing smaller than the population there is the
minute landmass that is engulfed by the ocean.
Nana’s journey to where she is now is one of
navigation, which becomes more curious as we
grow older and show similar traits in our travels.
The fruit never falls far from the tree or in this
case the coconut never falls far from the palm.
Allow me to elaborate.
Island Blood
By Leon Panapa
You see, my grandmother at eight years
old was thrown aboard a boat from
Tokelau to Samoa, where her new life
would begin. Crying and wailing for her
parents on the boat, nana was being
sent to Samoa not only for a new life off
the island but for my great
grandmother’s sister’s sake who lived in
Samoa and was married to a German
man. It was there nana grew up working
as a cleaner and a maid in the richest
hotels on the island of Samoa.
At the age of 30, she was pregnant with
my father and had heard of the
opportunity in New Zealand. At the time
NZ was immigrating swarms of pacific
islanders to boost the labour force at
the time known as the great Polynesian
migration. Nana was no stranger to
being thrown into the deep end so she
boarded a flight to NZ with my father in
her belly in search of new lands, new
opportunities, and to blossom what her
parents originally wanted for her when
they boarded her onto the boat to
Samoa.
Nana had little family in New Zealand
but nothing hit harder than the cold
winter months of July and August to
someone who had lived in the tropical
heat. My father was born and well my
nana started life in New Zealand where
she had her own alteration business on
Karangahape Road in Ponsonby
Auckland.
Continued next Page
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
The move my grandmother made from moving to
NZ paid off dividends. My father was athletic and
took to the game of rugby league. It started off
innocent as it could, only for fun and to make
friends.
Whoever would have thought he would go on to
play professional rugby league for NZ and
Tokelau landing him a career in the United
Kingdom with wonder club, Wigan in Lancashire.
I was still a young child when we left Nana in NZ
to live in England but soon enough, she came to
stay in the far north, tides away from Tokelau.
Nana has lived with my parents ever since. After
my Dads career in the UK, we returned to NZ. This
is where I enter the story, I was nine years old
returning to NZ from the UK, and whilst mum and
dad were working, nana looked after us kids a
lot.
The strange thing is like nana, I too left my
family nest in search of greater opportunity. At
the young age of 17, I left Auckland, New Zealand
and came to Brisbane, Australia. A hot and humid
land where I pursued this brutal sport called
Rugby League. My parents had bought the air
ticket and I had little family here in Australia but
the heat hit the hardest. Sound familiar?
Island Blood
Its at this point where I think
sometimes – Your ancestors live
through you, and I keep thinking back
to that cut I suffered from the coral in
Tokelau when my family took nana back
to visit.
I was 13 at the time and there were
times when strange things happened to
not only me but to my father as well. My
father was stung by a poisonous fish but
it was not a lethal dose of venom, just
enough to swell the hand. The sting was
suffered whilst we were fishing in the
lagoon, I was young and remembered
the event well. Dad recovered ok
though.
But it was the day after that when my
incident happened. There is a hunting
tradition in Tokelau where only the men
go out into the lagoon and make a large
circle. About 150m in diameter and
about 50 men create a circle and each
man has a stick. The men in the circle
hit the water with the stick and slowly
walk the circle slowly into the middle.
They are herding fish into a centre
where nets are to catch the fish. In
Tokelau because the fish are so
plentiful, catching them is not the trick,
it’s collecting that is the hard part. As a
young 13-year-old, I had gone along
with older men and joined the circle. It
was a treacherous event as the coral
reef in low tide was full of obstacles.
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
Island Blood Continued
I slipped during the walk and fell into a pothole
that had sharp coral attached.
My blood inked the shallow water to which one
of the local men, gave me a sudden look of
concern. They helped me but told me I had to
keep moving as if I kept still the blood would
draw stonefish and sharks so we had to make
haste.
My leg burned and all I could think about was
my nana. The Island is testing me, seeing if I
have the strength like my nana to keep moving.
I had to keep up with the men and achieve the
feat of catching herds of fish. Eventually, I
made it through the coral reef and contributed
to the catch.
I healed well and the gathering of fish was a
spectacle. I had never seen so much live
healthy fresh fish before and the men who
hauled the huge nets onto the harbour were
strong and had huge shoulders.
In my later years I would have dreams of these
acts. Huge nets of fish sparkled and the fish
were fluorescent in colour.
Nana was waiting for us when we
returned and told me that was the
island’s way of telling me that we must
keep moving in order to survive. If we
wanted to settle, we can always come
back to the island.
Nana thinks about the island often now
and now in her final days she lives with
my father and mother in New Beith,
Queensland she has lived life to the
fullest. I and my sibling all draw
strength from my nana, and although
she has her secrets, we respect them.
Nana says one of her greatest and
proudest achievements was being able
to travel the world. From the smallest
and remotest places on the planet, she
traveled to the United Kingdom,
Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, the USA,
and other pacific islands.
As Polynesians who live here in the
great land of Oz, navigation seems to be
in our genes, to keep moving. Nana has
always said do it for your future. Our
future is in our own hands but history
leaves clues. Nana and I have so many
parallels and I wonder is it because I
had knowledge of her travels it
motivated my own. And furthermore,
will it influence my children? I will tell
my nanas story to the next generation
as the island of Tokelau taught me,
keep moving through the coral, you will
get cut but keep your eye on the catch it
will navigate you through the hard
times, there will be others there to help
and guide you at times but ultimately
keep moving until you get the catch of
fish. That’s what I will be telling the
next generation.
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
Born on February 19, 1947, birth name Fay
Janet Doolan, she was the first Ash Wednesday
born in the hospital for that year.
Her birth parents were Muriel Ileen Anderson,
changed to Muriel Ileen Hammond after she
was adopted and Patrick Eric Doolan, whom,
thanks to later DNA tests, would be revealed to
not actually be of the Doolan family.
When she was born, she was the youngest of
three children, having an older brother and
sister, and by the age of 6 she was the middle
child, having a younger brother and sister as
well. Her mother was a loving and kind woman,
a doting mother, but her father was a different
story, a somewhat violent man who treated
both his wife and children with contempt and
would often mistreat them
This is the life story
of my Grandmother,
Fay Coleman
By Ronan Hughes
In 1953, they moved from their home in
Brisbane to Hemmant, which was the
same year that their father left their
mother, who they wouldn’t hear about
or from for 30 years, only learning
about him in 1983 when they were
called to be informed that he had
passed away in palliative care at a
nursing in barely a few hours from
where they had spent most of their
lives.
Shortly after moving, her mother
remarried, to a man who was even
worse than their birth father. He would
beat his wife and children, and on
occasions fabricated scenarios in
attempt to have the younger children
put into homes and foster care.
One such scenario that she remembered
clearly was when he came home drunk
and attempted to beat their mother.
Her, along with her older siblings,
attempted to stop him by force, and in
retaliation he called the police,
claiming that they had attacked him
and that Fay, young enough to be put
into care, had tried to attack him with a
pair of scissors. During this time, her
mother had a further five children with
her stepfather, resulting in a total of
nine siblings, most of those younger.
Thanks to the long hours both parents
worked, much of the daily child-
minding fell to the five older Doolan
siblings including her, each taking care
of one of the younger siblings.
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
During this time, she was also attending
school along with her siblings, and would later
come to find out that her family had Aboriginal
heritage. Her mother, Muriel, was born on
country in in an Aboriginal campsite in
Charleville in 1918, but when her mother and
grandmother moved to Brisbane she and her
sister were put into a home, where they were
brought up to be domestic servants, where it
was believed they would receive a better life
than what their mother could offer them.
It was due to their and her treatment during
this time that she refused to reveal their
heritage to Fay and her siblings, believing it
would keep them from being abused and
bullied at school, not to mention that she was
afraid aboriginal heritage would make her
children a target of protective services and
more likely to be rehomed if anything
happened, as this was something that, at the
time, happened all too often and there are
countless cases of it. In spite of all this, she
persevered and raised all 10 of her children
virtually alone with almost no help from the
government or her spouse, and aimed to give
them all the best lives possible.
In school, Fay reached grade eight before
deciding to quit, instead starting to work to
help support her growing family. She originally
wanted to become a schoolteacher, as she
enjoyed schooling and learning but this was to
be unrealized.
This is the life story of my
Grandmother Fay Coleman continued
Her first job was with Dixie Chickens at
age 14, where she dealt with sexing and
killing young chickens. Amazingly, her
work ethic, skill and quick learning saw
that she quickly rose in the ranks of the
business as well as standing out in the
eyes of her employers, well enough that
by age 16 she was asked if she wanted
to go over to New Zealand to work in
one of their large hatcheries.
She felt obligated to stay close to her
family and more importantly her own
mother, so she declined, to stay close to
them and to ensure she’d be able to
help them out in the way that they
needed. She continued in that
profession until the age of 17 and a half,
when she moved on to KR Darling
Downs.
Here, she met her future husband, Gary
Coleman, he played the gentleman and
refrained from going out or dating until
Fay was 19 years old, but from there
they feel quickly in love and were
married two years later in 1968.
A year later she had her first child, a
daughter, Lisa, and had two more
children by the 1973. By the birth of
their fourth child, they’d managed to
purchase a house in Hemmant, which
had originally been planned to be
purchased for Fay’s older sister. But
after examining the property, her sister
decided it wasn’t up to her standards.
Fay however jumped at the chance to
own a home for her family and
purchased it herself for the princely
sum of $8,000, with a loan rate of 17
percent, with a total weekly wage of
merely $60.
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Five years later, her husband passed
away, and moved once more in 2002,
now to a home in Hemmant, to be closer
to her family and grandchildren. By
2009 she had moved once more to
Macleay Island, which was the first time
in her life that she’d lived in a newly
built home instead of purchasing one
that had already been on the market.
However, she only lived on the island
for a mere three years until a want to be
closer to her family pushed her to move
back onto the mainland, living with Lisa
for several months while her new home
was built, and in March 2013 she moved
into her current home in a lifestyle
village in Brisbane.
During that time, her family continued
to grow, and by the time she finally
moved back to the mainland for the last
time, her family had grown to 19
biological grandchildren and four great-
grandchildren, who often visit and
spend time with her, thanks to living
relatively close to her once more, one of
the real reasons she decided to move
back to Brisbane, and one of the best
decisions she had ever decided to make,
but she still hopes to travel and see
more of the country one day, to make
up for time she lost.
P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
With so many children to look after, she’d
often spend most of her time as a stay-at-home
mother, and often found herself having to take
care of multiple snakes.
Lisa would often throughout tomato seeds to
start growing plants, and this would often
result in the snakes moving in thanks to the
new foliage. Most of these would often end up
being shot trying to get in through the front
door.
A few years later in 1984, she began working in
the RSL for a few months until the catering
business that employed her shut down, but for
those few short months it would often result in
Lisa having to look after the other siblings due
to both Fay and her husband working on
Saturday’s.
Eight months later, she found part-time
employment at the local Snackbar, where she
worked part-time for a further 10 years, but
eventually sold the snackbar, which resulted in
Fay leaving due to new management.
From there, she moved to the Hemmant Hotel,
where she worked for 5 years in the kitchens
until an accident at work, which resulted in her
almost snapping one of her legs. Thankfully,
the hotel was kind enough to offer her a
position looking after and watering the plants
around the hotel, until her retirement at the
age of 50.
This is the life story of my
Grandmother, Fay Coleman continued
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
It was the month of January of 1986 when
Susanna first came to Brisbane, Australia for a
new fresh start of her life, leaving everything
behind, including her friends and job in Hong
Kong.
“The main reason that I came to Australia is
because of my family. The main purpose of
coming here was for family reunion, as my
mother, sisters and brothers were living here,”
says Susanna.
It had been 36 years since Susanna immigrated
to live in Australia. It was a brand-new
adventure for Susanna, as she had been
hesitant to come to Australia.
“I was not sure if I want to live here in
Australia at first as I was hesitating. But I was
young at that time and I wanted to try living
here and my family were living here in the first
place,” she says.
This is my home
Australia
By Cheuk Hei, Ng
Susanna’s visa application was a
success, she says that it is definitely
god’s plan for her at that time.
But as soon as she arrived in Brisbane,
her impression of the city had been a
surprise for her.
With a big smile on her face Susana says
it was like going for a trip in the country
side.
Susanna was enrolled in an immigration
course for culture and language
learning of Australia after she had
arrived in Brisbane, while her husband
was enrolled in university, majoring in
accounting.
“It had been a source of struggle as I
had encountered cultural and language
differences when I first came here to
Australia, my kids were also having
trouble adapting to English learning
environments in schools,” says
Susanna.
Susanna used to hire domestic helper
for housekeeping in Hong Kong, which
she found it harder when it was not
considered an option living in Australia.
“I need to do everything myself as we
couldn’t hire any domestic helper here
in Australia, I needed to be independent
and it was a difficulty for my situation
at that time,” she says.
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P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
Luckily, she was able to find a job in
Australia after three months, working as a
team member in the Hong Kong Bank located
in Brisbane. She used to work as a member of
the bank back in Hong Kong and it had been
easier for her to be transferred to a position in
Brisbane.
However, she says that the IT technology of
the bank was not considered as advanced as
those in Hong Kong, therefore she found it a
bit challenging to adapt into her new job.
Despite the struggles and hardships Susanna
had encountered, she and her family managed
to adapt to a new way of living in Australia
after a few months period.
Although it was a bit hard when I was trying to
adapt to everything in a new country, I
somehow found happiness and a sense of
accomplishment from my career and the loving
support that the church had provided me and
my family with. I am very grateful for that,”
says Susanna.
This is my home
Australia continued
By Cheuk Hei, Ng
Susanna used to hire domestic helper
for housekeeping in Hong Kong, which
she found it harder when it was not
considered an option living in Australia.
“I need to do everything myself as we
couldn’t hire any domestic helper here
in Australia, I needed to be independent
and it was a difficulty for my situation
at that time,” she says.
Her career had been one of her greatest
accomplishments through her life in
Australia, which she had received
numerous promotions throughout her
years of working in the bank.
“I was working as the supervisor of the
Hong Kong Bank at first, but the bank
was closed down after some time, which
I felt a bit depressed and resentful due
to the loss of my position. But then
when I started working in my new
position in Westpac, everyone in the
team were very nice and helpful and I
had received a few job promotions
throughout my career,”she says.
One of the main reasons for her success
and job promotion was due to her
bilingual language skills, having been
able to speak both English and Chinese
at the same time in terms of working
with Chinese customers.
There was a boost in the number of
immigrants in the 90s, which there were
an increase in immigrants from China,
Taiwan and Hong Kong to Australia
MEGA EDITION 2022/23
WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU
WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
“I participated in teaching Chinese at
church and I found a source of
happiness and support offered by the
church and everyone from the church’s
community, I feel very grateful for what
God had done for me and my family.”
says Susanna.
Susanna is feeling very happy with her
choice and does not have a single
regret coming to live in Australia.
Despite the challenges Susanna had
faced and struggled, she somehow
found great happiness, achievements in
her career and found a loving church
community that had supported her
throughout the years. “This is my home,
Australia,” she says.
P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
This had been beneficial to Susanna’s career
as she was skilled at communications in both
Chinese and English, which had earned her
with a great amount of trust from her boss,
managers and colleagues in regards to her
helpful abilities.
“I was first being promoted to the position of
manager assistant, and was then promoted to
the manager of Asian business, and lastly
being promoted to the position of relationship
manager. I was feeling very accomplished and
happy due to my job promotions,” says
Susanna.
“It was all God’s plan. I am very grateful for the
support provided by the church,” says
Susanna.
Susanna is now a committee member of a
senior group of Sunny Bank’s Baptist Church.
Throughout her years of immigrating to
Australia with her family, facing hardships and
distress from adapting to a new country and
way of living, the church had become a
significant source of support for Susanna and
her family.
This is my home
Australia continued
By Cheuk Hei, Ng
MEGA EDITION 2022/23
WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU
WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
Entrepreneurs: Generations Apart book is available at
www.bevwilkinson.com.au
or Amazon
P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H
I had great fun interviewing my good friend Les
for senior’s week! He shared a little part of his
life with me.
Where did you grow up?
In India, in those days growing up was pretty
good. We did the normal things growing up we
went to school, played sport which I enjoyed.
My favourite sport was cricket, I kept wickets
and opened the batting.
I played cricket a lot, I even coached juniors.
Do you have any favourite memories of
coaching cricket?
The main thing was seeing the kids enjoy
themselves and I tried to give everybody a fair
go. The young kids when won the premiership.
I enjoyed coaching my son he was only 12.
What was your favourite subject at school?
It was French, I forgot most of it now. I
remember Parlez-vous français (Do you speak
French) Bonjour (Hello) Oui Oiu (Yes) and
Garcon (Male waiter).
Meet Les Fernadez
By Bev Wilkinson
Did you have a big family?
Yes, there were eight of us in the family,
five sisters and three brothers. I was
number seven.
I was the spoilt one, my sisters took
care of me.
We are very close now my whole family
is in Australia.
We catch up once a month, we meet at
an Indian restaurant and have a meal
together.
What Indian dish would you
recommend?
We have a favourite Masala Dosa which
is a South Indian dish. It is hard for us
to cook so we purchase the meal at a
place in Carrum Downs. I like to cook an
Indian version of scrambled eggs, we
have onions, tomatoes, bacon, and
chili. I tried to dabble in curries, my
sisters cook a lot and spoil me.
What advice would you give to the
younger generation?
My parents always told me to think
before you speak. You cannot take back
what you say, always be careful.
Most important treat others the way
you would like to be treated.
MEGA EDITION 2022/23
WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU
WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
MEGA EDITION 2022/23
WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU
WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
It was hard having roommates and
having to get up early at 5am for
work. One of my roommates, Sarah,
had her friends – who worked at the
hotel – come over, and I was trying to
get some sleep. I sounded like a
grumpy grandma when I woke up and
said, ‘Guys, I do have to get up early,
can you move this conversation
elsewhere?’ Sarah was upset about
her fight with her boyfriend, and
decided to ignore me and continue
drinking with her friends.
It makes a difference when you have
respectful roommates, and it was
awkward while I was trying to sleep
and Sarah was carrying on her
conversations, as the room was so
small. I could hear every detail and I
didn’t want to know everything about
her personal life.
Ski Season
(Taken from Diaries of a Casual Worker by
Bev Wilkinson)
After travelling overseas, I came back home
to Melbourne, where I completed a season
working in the snow fields of Mt Buller. I had
grown to have a love for travel and didn’t
want to stop, so I thought working in the
snow would be something different. I had
initially gained a cleaning job at the hotel,
where I shared a room with others on
working holidays. It was a different way of
life, I got up at 5am to start cleaning at 6am.
It was a convenient job as I lived at the
hotel, so I literally woke up and I was at
work. There was good and bad! I felt very
much like being in the Big Brother house,
every move I made was monitored by
cameras. Management knew every move the
staff made!
Even though I’m not a troublemaker, I did
end up breaking the rules. We were not
allowed friends into our room, but I thought
I would sneak my friend Kate in, to watch
Home and Away together. The next day I was
told off, my actions were caught by the
night audit cameras.
I had received my first warning! I felt like a
scolded child, and knew this was the
beginning to the end of my employment.
Diaries of a Casual Worker can be purchased at
www.bevwilkinsoncom.au or Amazon
Sponsors
MEGA EDITION 2022/23
WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU
WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
PROUDLY SUPPORTING STUDENT PLACEMENTS FROM:

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Celebrate Living History Mega Edition

  • 1. CELEBRATE LIVING HISTORY Howdy Folks! Hard to believe two years went flying so fast. It has been a long time since I created the last mini magazine! What has been consistant over the years is my passion for Celebrate Living History. I love mentoring students and seeing stories blossom from a simple conversation. Words are powerful and can leave a beautiful imprint on the earth. One of my goals was to run the Entrepreneurs: Generations Apart podcast on Radio Carrum. It was so much fun chatting with business owners about what sparked their interest in making their dreams a reality. When I was in Brisbane, I had the pleasure of meeting Muheeb Hoque who is the founder of The Pluralist a social enterprise dedicated to promoting language and culture. I interviewed Muheeb for the book Entrepreneurs: Generations Apart and the podcast on Radio Carrum. I have also been running writers classes at the Orwil Street Community House and interviewing members for Seniors Week which was cool. I have also just qualified to be a celebrant which is exciting, now I just got to make a business out of it. The hard stuff is to simply start, so if you need a celebrant let me know :) Keep safe! Till Next time! Bev Words from Bev Founder of Celebrate Living History Contents Meet our interns Cheuk Hei Ng, Leon and Ronan Recipe: Philippine Adobo Feature Stories: Island Blood This is the life story of my Grandmother, Fay Coleman This is my home Australia Senior Spotlight: Les Fernadez Ski Season Sponsors
  • 2. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History? The reason that attracts me about being an intern for Celebrate Living History is that I really want to know more about the stories and insights gained from the seniors throughout their life experiences. One of the aim and mission of Celebrate Living History is to connect younger generations with older generations through the work of journalism, which through conducting interviews and documenting the stories from seniors. I would not only be able to gain working experiences in terms of journalism and writing skills, but also gaining some life experiences and wisdom from investigating and listening to older people’s life stories, discovering their perspective on life and advice to younger people in terms of how to live their life filled with purpose and meaning. I feel like I really could learn a lot from this internship. Who is an older person that you admire and why? The older person that I admire is my grandfather. Although he had passed away early this year, I would never forget him as part of our family. My grandfather was a wise old man who had lived his life filled with a lot of different experiences and memories. He had witnessed the Second World war, and he had talked about his experiences and insights on life gained from his life experiences, no matter the experience was considered good or bad, he had learnt a lot. I admire him because my grandfather never stops learning in life and from history. Although he may not be the most outspoken man throughout his life, but he was a man full of wisdom. He was also a loyal husband to my grandmother. Although my grandmother had passed away long time ago, he still puts the photo of her in front of his desk as a beloved memory. He loved my grandmother so much when she was still alive and even after she had passed away. I really admire my grandfather and he will always be remained in my beloved memory. If you could jump into a time machine, what era would you visit and why? If I could jump into a time machine, I really want to visit Ancient Greek as I know that it was time when a lot of science, philosophy and academics were created. I really want to talk to philosophers from Ancient Greek, like Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE as I was really interested the philosophy of “stoicism”. Stoicism refers to the philosophy of maximizing positive emotions in someone’s life instead of negative emotions. I really wanted to learn more about this idea as I think it would really help me live a happy and fulfilling life in terms of having a different perspective on life through the glance of philosophy. Meet Cheuk Hei Ng! Our latest intern from Griffith University MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 3. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History? There is powerful messages and morals in storytelling. More often we forget that our human nature has not changed much in a forever changing world. Stories from people from different times and generations can tell us about their worlds and how they differ and resemble from modern times and how our humanity remains constant. Stories of Love, stories of culture, stories of perseverance through adversity teach us good lessons and help us live an accepting fulfilled life. Celebrate living history allows these experiences to live on in us, teaching us lessons that help live a life with perspective. A life with perspective enables us to live more fulfilled and content. Who is an older person that you admire and why? My 90 -year- old Grandmother – Ane Fakaofo Munro has had many lives in one lifetime. Orphaned at eight-years-old on one of the most remote places on earth, Tokelau. Her Journey to Queensland, Australia has many strange stories and spooky tales all in the name of providing a future for her tamatiti, her children. If you could jump into a time machine, what era would you visit and why. I would journey to the 1940s. The patriarchal line in my father’s family is shrouded in mystery, perhaps there I will find my grandfather and, in the process, find myself. Meet leon Our 2023 intern from Griffith University MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 4. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H What attracts you about being an intern for Celebrate Living History? The main thing that attracted me and still attracts me I think is just how much I resonate with the goal of this organisation. The concept of recording, writing down and ensuring the longevity and security of senior’s stories, wisdom and knowledge is something that really resonates with me, with my own Aboriginal heritage. Who is an older person that you admire and why? At risk of sounding cliche, I have to say my grandmother on my mother’s side is a woman that I respect deeply. As a child, she had to help look after her younger siblings while going to school and working and raised 4 children virtually on her own with a husband who made her life rather difficult. Now she has 19 grandchildren and still is an amazing woman who refuses to live her life any way other than how she wants to. If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why? A time machine… I will freely admit, I’m a massive space nerd. So I think for me, it’d be a no-brainer to go back to July 20th, 1969 or July 16th, 1969, the date of the Apollo Lunar landing and the launch of Apollo 11 respectively. To be there for a date so steeped in historical significance. Failing that, my second choice would be somewhere in the region of 200 BCE, to see the Library of Alexandria at the height of its glory, and to find out just how extensive the knowledge of the ancient world was. While there are other periods and places that would be amazing, eye-opening experiences, to me, one of those two I think would be the most enthralling for me. Meet Ronan Our 2022 intern from Griffith University MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 5. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H Adobo is a popular Filipino dish that has occasionally been considered the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. Its rather simple cooking process involves meat like chicken and/or pork, seafood, or vegetables getting marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves, which are then browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. During my youth, adobo was one of my favourite dishes to eat and the easiest one to prepare, according to my Filipina mother. To this day, I like to cook this meal on special occasions (with Mum’s loving supervision) to enjoy and share with my whole family. Ingredients: • Chicken pieces • Pork chunks (optional) • Light soy sauce • White vinegar • 5 large garlic cloves (peeled) • 5 tbsp brown sugar • Crushed pepper • Water • Bay leaves (optional) Servings: • 5-6 people Philippine Adobo Isabella shares one of her favourite Filipino foods that her family loves to eat! Nom Nom! MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 6. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H Method: 1. Fill a measuring cup three-quarters with light soy sauce. Then, fill the remaining one-quarter of the measuring cup with white vinegar. 2. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the mixture along with the sugar. Combine with crushed pepper afterwards and stir well. 3. Fill the measuring cup almost to the rim with water, mix, and set aside. 4. Next, lightly drizzle a large pan with canola or vegetable oil and set over stove at medium heat. 5. When the oil starts to bubble, place the meat in and around the pan and fry until golden-brown. 6. Pour the adobo sauce from the measuring cup into the pan; covering all the pieces of meat. (Tip: Pour from and stir the measuring cup simultaneously so you would not miss any remnants of sugar.) 7. Add in bay leaves (optional) and cover pan with lid. Allow adobo to simmer at a slightly higher temperature until the sauce is slightly thickened. Keep turning over the meat while doing so. 8. Remove the pan from the stove and divide the meat into plates of 5-6. Serve with rice. 9. Dig in and enjoy!!! MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU PHILIPPINE ADOBO CONTINUED
  • 7. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H In 2002 I cut my left lower leg on tropical coral whilst walking through a reef. The cut stung and it bled into the ocean. It hurt but I managed to persevere and manage the scrapes and cuts. It happened on the island of Tokelau, the birthplace of my grandmother. The blood of the island Tokelau runs through my nana Ane, through my father Sam and into me. She told me she had cut herself on the coral that makes up the beautiful reef surrounding Tokelau many times as a child growing up on one of the remotest islands in the Pacific. My grandmother Ane Munro nee Fakaofo was born on Fakaofo atoll, Tokelau. An island 150km off Samoa in the middle of the pacific the only thing smaller than the population there is the minute landmass that is engulfed by the ocean. Nana’s journey to where she is now is one of navigation, which becomes more curious as we grow older and show similar traits in our travels. The fruit never falls far from the tree or in this case the coconut never falls far from the palm. Allow me to elaborate. Island Blood By Leon Panapa You see, my grandmother at eight years old was thrown aboard a boat from Tokelau to Samoa, where her new life would begin. Crying and wailing for her parents on the boat, nana was being sent to Samoa not only for a new life off the island but for my great grandmother’s sister’s sake who lived in Samoa and was married to a German man. It was there nana grew up working as a cleaner and a maid in the richest hotels on the island of Samoa. At the age of 30, she was pregnant with my father and had heard of the opportunity in New Zealand. At the time NZ was immigrating swarms of pacific islanders to boost the labour force at the time known as the great Polynesian migration. Nana was no stranger to being thrown into the deep end so she boarded a flight to NZ with my father in her belly in search of new lands, new opportunities, and to blossom what her parents originally wanted for her when they boarded her onto the boat to Samoa. Nana had little family in New Zealand but nothing hit harder than the cold winter months of July and August to someone who had lived in the tropical heat. My father was born and well my nana started life in New Zealand where she had her own alteration business on Karangahape Road in Ponsonby Auckland. Continued next Page MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 8. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H The move my grandmother made from moving to NZ paid off dividends. My father was athletic and took to the game of rugby league. It started off innocent as it could, only for fun and to make friends. Whoever would have thought he would go on to play professional rugby league for NZ and Tokelau landing him a career in the United Kingdom with wonder club, Wigan in Lancashire. I was still a young child when we left Nana in NZ to live in England but soon enough, she came to stay in the far north, tides away from Tokelau. Nana has lived with my parents ever since. After my Dads career in the UK, we returned to NZ. This is where I enter the story, I was nine years old returning to NZ from the UK, and whilst mum and dad were working, nana looked after us kids a lot. The strange thing is like nana, I too left my family nest in search of greater opportunity. At the young age of 17, I left Auckland, New Zealand and came to Brisbane, Australia. A hot and humid land where I pursued this brutal sport called Rugby League. My parents had bought the air ticket and I had little family here in Australia but the heat hit the hardest. Sound familiar? Island Blood Its at this point where I think sometimes – Your ancestors live through you, and I keep thinking back to that cut I suffered from the coral in Tokelau when my family took nana back to visit. I was 13 at the time and there were times when strange things happened to not only me but to my father as well. My father was stung by a poisonous fish but it was not a lethal dose of venom, just enough to swell the hand. The sting was suffered whilst we were fishing in the lagoon, I was young and remembered the event well. Dad recovered ok though. But it was the day after that when my incident happened. There is a hunting tradition in Tokelau where only the men go out into the lagoon and make a large circle. About 150m in diameter and about 50 men create a circle and each man has a stick. The men in the circle hit the water with the stick and slowly walk the circle slowly into the middle. They are herding fish into a centre where nets are to catch the fish. In Tokelau because the fish are so plentiful, catching them is not the trick, it’s collecting that is the hard part. As a young 13-year-old, I had gone along with older men and joined the circle. It was a treacherous event as the coral reef in low tide was full of obstacles. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 9. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H Island Blood Continued I slipped during the walk and fell into a pothole that had sharp coral attached. My blood inked the shallow water to which one of the local men, gave me a sudden look of concern. They helped me but told me I had to keep moving as if I kept still the blood would draw stonefish and sharks so we had to make haste. My leg burned and all I could think about was my nana. The Island is testing me, seeing if I have the strength like my nana to keep moving. I had to keep up with the men and achieve the feat of catching herds of fish. Eventually, I made it through the coral reef and contributed to the catch. I healed well and the gathering of fish was a spectacle. I had never seen so much live healthy fresh fish before and the men who hauled the huge nets onto the harbour were strong and had huge shoulders. In my later years I would have dreams of these acts. Huge nets of fish sparkled and the fish were fluorescent in colour. Nana was waiting for us when we returned and told me that was the island’s way of telling me that we must keep moving in order to survive. If we wanted to settle, we can always come back to the island. Nana thinks about the island often now and now in her final days she lives with my father and mother in New Beith, Queensland she has lived life to the fullest. I and my sibling all draw strength from my nana, and although she has her secrets, we respect them. Nana says one of her greatest and proudest achievements was being able to travel the world. From the smallest and remotest places on the planet, she traveled to the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, the USA, and other pacific islands. As Polynesians who live here in the great land of Oz, navigation seems to be in our genes, to keep moving. Nana has always said do it for your future. Our future is in our own hands but history leaves clues. Nana and I have so many parallels and I wonder is it because I had knowledge of her travels it motivated my own. And furthermore, will it influence my children? I will tell my nanas story to the next generation as the island of Tokelau taught me, keep moving through the coral, you will get cut but keep your eye on the catch it will navigate you through the hard times, there will be others there to help and guide you at times but ultimately keep moving until you get the catch of fish. That’s what I will be telling the next generation. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 10. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H Born on February 19, 1947, birth name Fay Janet Doolan, she was the first Ash Wednesday born in the hospital for that year. Her birth parents were Muriel Ileen Anderson, changed to Muriel Ileen Hammond after she was adopted and Patrick Eric Doolan, whom, thanks to later DNA tests, would be revealed to not actually be of the Doolan family. When she was born, she was the youngest of three children, having an older brother and sister, and by the age of 6 she was the middle child, having a younger brother and sister as well. Her mother was a loving and kind woman, a doting mother, but her father was a different story, a somewhat violent man who treated both his wife and children with contempt and would often mistreat them This is the life story of my Grandmother, Fay Coleman By Ronan Hughes In 1953, they moved from their home in Brisbane to Hemmant, which was the same year that their father left their mother, who they wouldn’t hear about or from for 30 years, only learning about him in 1983 when they were called to be informed that he had passed away in palliative care at a nursing in barely a few hours from where they had spent most of their lives. Shortly after moving, her mother remarried, to a man who was even worse than their birth father. He would beat his wife and children, and on occasions fabricated scenarios in attempt to have the younger children put into homes and foster care. One such scenario that she remembered clearly was when he came home drunk and attempted to beat their mother. Her, along with her older siblings, attempted to stop him by force, and in retaliation he called the police, claiming that they had attacked him and that Fay, young enough to be put into care, had tried to attack him with a pair of scissors. During this time, her mother had a further five children with her stepfather, resulting in a total of nine siblings, most of those younger. Thanks to the long hours both parents worked, much of the daily child- minding fell to the five older Doolan siblings including her, each taking care of one of the younger siblings. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 11. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H During this time, she was also attending school along with her siblings, and would later come to find out that her family had Aboriginal heritage. Her mother, Muriel, was born on country in in an Aboriginal campsite in Charleville in 1918, but when her mother and grandmother moved to Brisbane she and her sister were put into a home, where they were brought up to be domestic servants, where it was believed they would receive a better life than what their mother could offer them. It was due to their and her treatment during this time that she refused to reveal their heritage to Fay and her siblings, believing it would keep them from being abused and bullied at school, not to mention that she was afraid aboriginal heritage would make her children a target of protective services and more likely to be rehomed if anything happened, as this was something that, at the time, happened all too often and there are countless cases of it. In spite of all this, she persevered and raised all 10 of her children virtually alone with almost no help from the government or her spouse, and aimed to give them all the best lives possible. In school, Fay reached grade eight before deciding to quit, instead starting to work to help support her growing family. She originally wanted to become a schoolteacher, as she enjoyed schooling and learning but this was to be unrealized. This is the life story of my Grandmother Fay Coleman continued Her first job was with Dixie Chickens at age 14, where she dealt with sexing and killing young chickens. Amazingly, her work ethic, skill and quick learning saw that she quickly rose in the ranks of the business as well as standing out in the eyes of her employers, well enough that by age 16 she was asked if she wanted to go over to New Zealand to work in one of their large hatcheries. She felt obligated to stay close to her family and more importantly her own mother, so she declined, to stay close to them and to ensure she’d be able to help them out in the way that they needed. She continued in that profession until the age of 17 and a half, when she moved on to KR Darling Downs. Here, she met her future husband, Gary Coleman, he played the gentleman and refrained from going out or dating until Fay was 19 years old, but from there they feel quickly in love and were married two years later in 1968. A year later she had her first child, a daughter, Lisa, and had two more children by the 1973. By the birth of their fourth child, they’d managed to purchase a house in Hemmant, which had originally been planned to be purchased for Fay’s older sister. But after examining the property, her sister decided it wasn’t up to her standards. Fay however jumped at the chance to own a home for her family and purchased it herself for the princely sum of $8,000, with a loan rate of 17 percent, with a total weekly wage of merely $60. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 12. Five years later, her husband passed away, and moved once more in 2002, now to a home in Hemmant, to be closer to her family and grandchildren. By 2009 she had moved once more to Macleay Island, which was the first time in her life that she’d lived in a newly built home instead of purchasing one that had already been on the market. However, she only lived on the island for a mere three years until a want to be closer to her family pushed her to move back onto the mainland, living with Lisa for several months while her new home was built, and in March 2013 she moved into her current home in a lifestyle village in Brisbane. During that time, her family continued to grow, and by the time she finally moved back to the mainland for the last time, her family had grown to 19 biological grandchildren and four great- grandchildren, who often visit and spend time with her, thanks to living relatively close to her once more, one of the real reasons she decided to move back to Brisbane, and one of the best decisions she had ever decided to make, but she still hopes to travel and see more of the country one day, to make up for time she lost. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H With so many children to look after, she’d often spend most of her time as a stay-at-home mother, and often found herself having to take care of multiple snakes. Lisa would often throughout tomato seeds to start growing plants, and this would often result in the snakes moving in thanks to the new foliage. Most of these would often end up being shot trying to get in through the front door. A few years later in 1984, she began working in the RSL for a few months until the catering business that employed her shut down, but for those few short months it would often result in Lisa having to look after the other siblings due to both Fay and her husband working on Saturday’s. Eight months later, she found part-time employment at the local Snackbar, where she worked part-time for a further 10 years, but eventually sold the snackbar, which resulted in Fay leaving due to new management. From there, she moved to the Hemmant Hotel, where she worked for 5 years in the kitchens until an accident at work, which resulted in her almost snapping one of her legs. Thankfully, the hotel was kind enough to offer her a position looking after and watering the plants around the hotel, until her retirement at the age of 50. This is the life story of my Grandmother, Fay Coleman continued MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 13. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H It was the month of January of 1986 when Susanna first came to Brisbane, Australia for a new fresh start of her life, leaving everything behind, including her friends and job in Hong Kong. “The main reason that I came to Australia is because of my family. The main purpose of coming here was for family reunion, as my mother, sisters and brothers were living here,” says Susanna. It had been 36 years since Susanna immigrated to live in Australia. It was a brand-new adventure for Susanna, as she had been hesitant to come to Australia. “I was not sure if I want to live here in Australia at first as I was hesitating. But I was young at that time and I wanted to try living here and my family were living here in the first place,” she says. This is my home Australia By Cheuk Hei, Ng Susanna’s visa application was a success, she says that it is definitely god’s plan for her at that time. But as soon as she arrived in Brisbane, her impression of the city had been a surprise for her. With a big smile on her face Susana says it was like going for a trip in the country side. Susanna was enrolled in an immigration course for culture and language learning of Australia after she had arrived in Brisbane, while her husband was enrolled in university, majoring in accounting. “It had been a source of struggle as I had encountered cultural and language differences when I first came here to Australia, my kids were also having trouble adapting to English learning environments in schools,” says Susanna. Susanna used to hire domestic helper for housekeeping in Hong Kong, which she found it harder when it was not considered an option living in Australia. “I need to do everything myself as we couldn’t hire any domestic helper here in Australia, I needed to be independent and it was a difficulty for my situation at that time,” she says. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 14. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H Luckily, she was able to find a job in Australia after three months, working as a team member in the Hong Kong Bank located in Brisbane. She used to work as a member of the bank back in Hong Kong and it had been easier for her to be transferred to a position in Brisbane. However, she says that the IT technology of the bank was not considered as advanced as those in Hong Kong, therefore she found it a bit challenging to adapt into her new job. Despite the struggles and hardships Susanna had encountered, she and her family managed to adapt to a new way of living in Australia after a few months period. Although it was a bit hard when I was trying to adapt to everything in a new country, I somehow found happiness and a sense of accomplishment from my career and the loving support that the church had provided me and my family with. I am very grateful for that,” says Susanna. This is my home Australia continued By Cheuk Hei, Ng Susanna used to hire domestic helper for housekeeping in Hong Kong, which she found it harder when it was not considered an option living in Australia. “I need to do everything myself as we couldn’t hire any domestic helper here in Australia, I needed to be independent and it was a difficulty for my situation at that time,” she says. Her career had been one of her greatest accomplishments through her life in Australia, which she had received numerous promotions throughout her years of working in the bank. “I was working as the supervisor of the Hong Kong Bank at first, but the bank was closed down after some time, which I felt a bit depressed and resentful due to the loss of my position. But then when I started working in my new position in Westpac, everyone in the team were very nice and helpful and I had received a few job promotions throughout my career,”she says. One of the main reasons for her success and job promotion was due to her bilingual language skills, having been able to speak both English and Chinese at the same time in terms of working with Chinese customers. There was a boost in the number of immigrants in the 90s, which there were an increase in immigrants from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to Australia MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 15. “I participated in teaching Chinese at church and I found a source of happiness and support offered by the church and everyone from the church’s community, I feel very grateful for what God had done for me and my family.” says Susanna. Susanna is feeling very happy with her choice and does not have a single regret coming to live in Australia. Despite the challenges Susanna had faced and struggled, she somehow found great happiness, achievements in her career and found a loving church community that had supported her throughout the years. “This is my home, Australia,” she says. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H This had been beneficial to Susanna’s career as she was skilled at communications in both Chinese and English, which had earned her with a great amount of trust from her boss, managers and colleagues in regards to her helpful abilities. “I was first being promoted to the position of manager assistant, and was then promoted to the manager of Asian business, and lastly being promoted to the position of relationship manager. I was feeling very accomplished and happy due to my job promotions,” says Susanna. “It was all God’s plan. I am very grateful for the support provided by the church,” says Susanna. Susanna is now a committee member of a senior group of Sunny Bank’s Baptist Church. Throughout her years of immigrating to Australia with her family, facing hardships and distress from adapting to a new country and way of living, the church had become a significant source of support for Susanna and her family. This is my home Australia continued By Cheuk Hei, Ng MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU Entrepreneurs: Generations Apart book is available at www.bevwilkinson.com.au or Amazon
  • 16. P H O T O B Y M A R T I N R . S M I T H I had great fun interviewing my good friend Les for senior’s week! He shared a little part of his life with me. Where did you grow up? In India, in those days growing up was pretty good. We did the normal things growing up we went to school, played sport which I enjoyed. My favourite sport was cricket, I kept wickets and opened the batting. I played cricket a lot, I even coached juniors. Do you have any favourite memories of coaching cricket? The main thing was seeing the kids enjoy themselves and I tried to give everybody a fair go. The young kids when won the premiership. I enjoyed coaching my son he was only 12. What was your favourite subject at school? It was French, I forgot most of it now. I remember Parlez-vous français (Do you speak French) Bonjour (Hello) Oui Oiu (Yes) and Garcon (Male waiter). Meet Les Fernadez By Bev Wilkinson Did you have a big family? Yes, there were eight of us in the family, five sisters and three brothers. I was number seven. I was the spoilt one, my sisters took care of me. We are very close now my whole family is in Australia. We catch up once a month, we meet at an Indian restaurant and have a meal together. What Indian dish would you recommend? We have a favourite Masala Dosa which is a South Indian dish. It is hard for us to cook so we purchase the meal at a place in Carrum Downs. I like to cook an Indian version of scrambled eggs, we have onions, tomatoes, bacon, and chili. I tried to dabble in curries, my sisters cook a lot and spoil me. What advice would you give to the younger generation? My parents always told me to think before you speak. You cannot take back what you say, always be careful. Most important treat others the way you would like to be treated. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU
  • 17. MEGA EDITION 2022/23 WWW.CELEBRATELIVINGHISTORY.COM.AU WWW.BEVWILKINSON.COM.AU It was hard having roommates and having to get up early at 5am for work. One of my roommates, Sarah, had her friends – who worked at the hotel – come over, and I was trying to get some sleep. I sounded like a grumpy grandma when I woke up and said, ‘Guys, I do have to get up early, can you move this conversation elsewhere?’ Sarah was upset about her fight with her boyfriend, and decided to ignore me and continue drinking with her friends. It makes a difference when you have respectful roommates, and it was awkward while I was trying to sleep and Sarah was carrying on her conversations, as the room was so small. I could hear every detail and I didn’t want to know everything about her personal life. Ski Season (Taken from Diaries of a Casual Worker by Bev Wilkinson) After travelling overseas, I came back home to Melbourne, where I completed a season working in the snow fields of Mt Buller. I had grown to have a love for travel and didn’t want to stop, so I thought working in the snow would be something different. I had initially gained a cleaning job at the hotel, where I shared a room with others on working holidays. It was a different way of life, I got up at 5am to start cleaning at 6am. It was a convenient job as I lived at the hotel, so I literally woke up and I was at work. There was good and bad! I felt very much like being in the Big Brother house, every move I made was monitored by cameras. Management knew every move the staff made! Even though I’m not a troublemaker, I did end up breaking the rules. We were not allowed friends into our room, but I thought I would sneak my friend Kate in, to watch Home and Away together. The next day I was told off, my actions were caught by the night audit cameras. I had received my first warning! I felt like a scolded child, and knew this was the beginning to the end of my employment. Diaries of a Casual Worker can be purchased at www.bevwilkinsoncom.au or Amazon