‘…a very lucky move for me.’

Jacques van der Merwe artist. Immigrant Portrait of American

D.O.B. // 11-07-1955
DATE INTERVIEWED // 24-10-2012
COUNTRY OF BIRTH // UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
COUNTRIES LIVED IN // UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA
DATE OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA // 22-11-1992
KIND OF ENTRANCE // IMMIGRANT

Mike Taylor came from San Francisco, America to Australia as a tourist in 1984 in a sailing boat he built. He came here for a good quality lifestyle because of the cost. He had a choice to immigrate in 1992.

I’m Mike Taylor. I’m from California. I came to Australia in 1984 and I’m not really sure why I ended here or how it was that I ended up here. I know so little about Australia. It ended up being a very lucky move for me.

I was sailing on a boat that I built in California and ran into Australia. It was during the time of America’s Cup and it was all very exciting. In my cruising down and up the east coast. When I decided to go around the top end, to Indonesia and such, I took on an Australian crew member, Liz … who eventually I fell in love with. So she went back to Australia, and joined me later on my cruise in South Africa. She joined me there and has been with me ever since.

We eventually sailed back to San Francisco, we got married and started a family there. At that time we walked into a drive-by shooting, the Rodney King riots had happened, all these menacing things. On a visit we made to Australia, in the late eighties, we realised what a beautiful, safe lifestyle we would have here. And because we had a choice we decided to come here. Another factor in why we moved here was that there was 50 US cents for 1 Australian dollar and for the price of a car, you could buy the most beautiful piece of land. And that was the thing that probably sold us probably more than anything else. We can get such an excellent quality of life for the little bit of savings that we had. You know the young family, trying to make ends meet. It seemed like an excellent idea, and it ended up being such.

…this is a lucky country, a very lucky country.