‘Ha!! I could kiss the ground.’

Jacques vdMerwe artist. Sculptor, visual art, fine art
Jacques van der Merwe. Artworks of refugees and immigrants into Australia.

D.O.B. // 03-05-1947
DATE INTERVIEWED // 24-10-2012
COUNTRY OF BIRTH // GERMANY
COUNTRIES LIVED IN // GERMANY, AUSTRALIA
DATE OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA // 2004
KIND OF ENTRANCE // IMMIGRANT

Brigitte came to Australia for the first time as a tourist in 1995. In 2004 she applied for and was granted a one year working visa for Australia. Brigitte got married at the end of 2004.

I just wanted to say, that I’m here in three stages.

Stage 1:

I went to see an exhibition … and saw these landscapes of Hans Heysen …  (gasps).

I have to go to this country because I thought this was so amazing. So which I did.

I counted the time that I could go back to Australia

Because of my visitor visor (clears throat).

Stage 2:

2004 I finally tried to get a one year working visa for Australia.

I was granted this visa and taught workshops in art classes at the International School at Kooralbyn.

Yeah…

Then at the end of 2004 I got married. Luckily I was. And, I finally ended up with this permanent visa and we both (my husband and me)…moved to Stanthorpe.

After four years in Stanthorpe we … I moved back to Tamborine Mountain, to settle down.

Stage 3:

This current year I have applied for duel citizenship with Germany and Australia.  Where I thought it was not an easy task to fill in all the forms, but I was always determined and I knew in which country I wanted to live.

I’m the only one who lives overseas in my family because my three sons still live in Germany and Switzerland.

I always had the strong feeling that Australia is my country and that I want to stay here.

This was the third stage of development for my new naturalization and for my new Australian passport, I am looking forward to that.

Every time when I came out of the airplane then… Haaa! I could kiss the ground!