‘Such an easy place to live in.’

Jacques van der Merwe artist. Immigrant Argentina
Jacques vdMerwe artist. Sculptor, visual art, fine art
D.O.B. // 21-12-1986
DATE INTERVIEWED // 01-09-2014
COUNTRY OF BIRTH // ARGENTINA
COUNTRIES LIVED IN // ARGENTINA, SOUTH AFRICA, ENGLAND, AUSTRALIA
DATE OF ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA // 03-01-2010
KIND OF ENTRANCE // 457 VISA

Cecilia’s parents left Argentina when she was three years old becauseof political and social reasons. Her father got work in South Africa. They had to leave this country, because of the situation in South Africa. Cecilia followed her parents to Brisbane. It is possible to have a good living in Australia.

Cecilia has been born in 1986 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  My parents had to leave the country when I was three years old, because they couldn’t get a job there and of political and social reasons.  My dad got a job in South Africa and they stayed for 20 years.  It was a good experience for my family, because it exposes you to a lot of different culture, different way of looking at things.  Then because of the situation in South Africa we have to move to Australia in 2010. My parents came a year before I did, and I joined them.  My first impression of Australia, actually Brisbane, was very similar to Pretoria, where I grew up in South Africa.  It is a city with a town mentality.  Apart from the complication of actually getting the visa, it is such an easy transition, it is an easy place to live in; because it’s possible to save money doing anything; even if you want to be a cleaner, you could have a comfortable lifestyle.  In the 20 years I was in South Africa, I only managed to visit my family in Argentina twice, and in 18 years I haven’t been back, and the only thing I wanted to do was to go back and see my family.  So in I found it quite funny that in Australia, in the first year I was here, I managed to save up enough money to visit them.  I thought now moving even further away from Argentina, I would have even less change in doing that. It was a good thing for me.