Dad, I made it!
A promise to her father lead Figen Hasimoglu from her homeland of Turkey to Australia, in search of a better life and a chance for a good education.
FIGEN HASIMOGLO: I realized that I was leaving my country that I loved so much when the houses started looking smaller, as our plane was taking off. It is so hard to explain my feelings at that time. Hesitation, excitement, sorrow, happiness, curiosity. It's the only time I have felt this way. I love my country, but I had to take this journey to keep my promise to my dad. My dad Seki was the symbol of success for me. All he wanted for his children was that they have a good education.
I will never forget the happiness in his eyes when I was placed at a university. The first thing he did was to buy me a huge Webster dictionary, which I still have. He was 48 when he passed away during my third year at university. Just before he passed, he asked me to keep my family together, even though he knew it wasn't going to be easy for me. We arrived with $300 and everything we owned packed into bags. As we were walking towards the customs officer, a tall man in traditional Australian outback clothing looked at us by saluting with his hat with a big smile, said, welcome to Australia.
I looked at my husband and said, I will love this country. On the second day, we were on Sydney road, hand in hand, so that we do not lose each other. Everything was different-- the taste of milk, the smell of shopping centers, and especially the houses, which were all single story. During the first couple years, we especially tried to find places that reminded of Turkey so we did not feel so homesick. My husband was lucky. He found a job at a mailbox producing factory.
I found it hard, but eventually, a job in a hosiery factory where I worked there for five years. My husband Ali convinced me to do further study. So when my older son Dincha was born in 1990, I started university. When my younger son Erdige was born in 1995, I was finally registered as a teacher. I now teach at Meadow Heights Primary School, and on Saturdays I teach at a local Turkish ethnic school. My sister is Sin, who is now a textile engineer, and my mother Ilqu live in Melbourne. I know that my father will be happy because we are all still together here in Australia.
Australia: per forza e per amore
Yeni Hayat = New life
New life new country
My Second Home
Dad, I made it!
Loving Lebanon and Australia
The spaces in between
Where do I belong?
Heart of Otara
The story of an immigrant filmmaker
A Fishy Problem
My Beautiful Schwesters
Story education resources
Education Museum Victoria: Drama and Cultural Diversity
These resources for Years 2 - 12 students focus on immigration and cultural diversity through drama based activities. School-based activities are provided for before or after an excursion to the Immigration Museum , or may be used as an additional resource for teaching immigration and/or cultural diversity themes in classroom programs.
Education ACMI Generator - Immigration Stories
Diverse digital stories about the immigrant experience in Australia.
Immigrants who arrived in Australia from countries as varied as Ethiopa, Italy and Vietnam describe the sacrifices made, the experience of arriving in a new country and how immigration impacts on the next generation. Each digital story and theme is accompanied by education resources suitable for VELS 4-6.