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My story so far


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We moved to Perth when I was in year 9. I was 14 at the time. I accepted the move from the beginning because I didn’t fully comprehend all that was about to happen. My parents were upfront, about moving throughout the whole process. They discussed all the details and stages of the visa application process with me. I was constantly reminded that I would have to make new friends and that I would have to start a new life.

I left SA with a heavy heart! I have had the same friends since primary school and leaving them was hard! It was heart-rending process!

Arriving in Perth was incredible. The air was so clear that my eyes hurt and it had a strange smell (clean air) . The advertisements at the airport looked profoundly strange. Everything was different than what I was used to. I was excited to be in this new wonderful place. The first two weeks were wonderful and dreadful. It was wonderful in the sense that we were driving around finding all these new places such as Coles and Dewsons. It was dreadful in the sense that we didn’t have a telly or radio and being in the house gave the impression of a sombre mood.

I have to thank my parents though. When we arrived their first priority was to find me a school. And two weeks after landing in Perth, I went to school. Going to school was fantastic. I was lucky enough to go to year 9. At first they wanted to keep me back a year, but we refused also we were asked if I wanted to commence school immediately or start on the new term. My mom said that I would commence immediately. And so I went to year 9 two weeks before the school closed for the holidays. I am so lucky to have had those two weeks. I hade friends, auditioned for the school’s specialist program and learned heaps about the Aussie culture. Then I had two weeks vacation, and I went back.

I loved the school work we did. All the subjects were fun except for two. I struggled with Mathematics and English. My first language has always been Afrikaans, so doing English as a first language was intense at first. But I excelled with my school work and I received 6 distinctions that year. In SA I did well at school but before moving to Perth I would never dream that I would do so well. I was surprised!

In year 10 I was accepted into the musical theatre specialist program at my high school. It’s a special class that you attend where the students get to interact with each other in a theatrical way. We also met performers like Paul Mercurio (Strictly Ballroom) and Richard John (Les Miserable). They gave us constructive criticism about how we could improve our performing arts skills.

In year 11 my life was almost perfect. I would go down to Fremantle on the weekends with my friends and we would go crazy. Watch movies, go to Timezone, go to the MacDonalds on the beach, all the things that teenagers do in Perth. At school I excelled. I loved the work we did and that made me want to achieve more. I received 4 distinctions in year 10 and I was trying top that in year 11. But then disaster struck.

My Dad’s contract ended and we were on a 457 visa. We had to go back to South-Africa. It was August and I had almost finished year 11, but I had to go back with my parents. All my friends offered me there homes. My best friend, Patrick’s parents even said that they would sponsor me to stay but I couldn’t leave my parents. My mom and dad gave me the option to finish school in Perth, but I declined their offer. It was with their support that I could do all the things at school and I couldn’t do it without them. So on the 8th of August we returned “home”

Going back to SA after nearly 3 years in Perth was difficult. My dad went back to work and my mom was glad to be back with our family. I was devastated. I had the world’s most wonderful friends, but they were thousands of kilometres away. Now that I think about it, I don’t know how I coped with it all.

I went back to my old Afrikaans high school. It was great to see all my friends again. But I felt like I outgrew them. In my mind I kept on comparing my Aussie friends with my SA friends and I soon found out that this was a horrible mistake. Anyway it was August and I had three months to catch up on the whole grade 11’s work. I struggled more than ever. Doing Afrikaans as a first language after three years was rigid but in English I scored in the 90’s. Doing Biology in Afrikaans was difficult because “GEOTROPISME” and “GAIA HYPOTHESIS” sound like two very different things. Learning all the mathematical and biological terms in Afrikaans, after using them in English for the last three years, sucked!

I passed year 11. That wasn’t good enough for me! So in Matric I did every thing I could! I joined the chess team, I joined the debate team, I joined the choir and I got a lead in the schools musical. I delivered service to my school and I managed to get a distinction in English and Computer Studies. I had a wonderful matric year. The farewell was held in November at a nightclub called “The Pyramid”. It was great because my girlfriend wouldn’t let me see her dress until the farewell night. She came over to my house and secretly gave my mom a piece of the material, then when we went to get my suit for the evening, my mom told the tailor what colour scheme to use. I think that this is one experience that every person should experience. I danced and partied with all my friends. And at the end of grade 12, my life was back on track.

After grade 12 I went on to get my qualifications in programming. I received a scholarship to study programming with intent that I would go and work for the company once I graduate. My dad is a programmer and I always knew that I would follow in that direction. I did receive high marks in matric for computer studies as well. So that year I continued my studies. Leaving school was great. I went out with my friends on weekends. When I turned 18 I went for my licence. I did all the regular stuff. I kept in contact with my Aussie friends as much as I could. Because internet is so expensive in SA I didn’t get to chat to them as often and with the time difference, it was hard to make time for them. Every three months or so I would receive and send packages to my friend Casey. We would write to each other on paper, because its just a lot more personal. So once again everything in my life was going great. My social life was great, my family life was great and I had a prospective job. But then opportunity knocked.

While I was studying my dad had a few interviews with a South-Australian government agency. First a couple of emails were exchanged, and then a few phone calls. Then my parents came to me with exciting news. My dad was the successful applicant for the job and they wanted him there immediately. I almost fell over! How many people get to have the chance that I have. Who immigrates twice? We all decided that we would go for it. I checked and saw that my qualifications were valid in Australia and I knew that finding work shouldn’t be a problem. The only catch for me was that we would be moving to Adelaide and not Perth. But I didn’t think much of it. I’m still going to be in Australia and that’s close enough.

I finished my studies early in October. My dad left us in November. He would go over, get everything ready, like the house, car, start working and mother and I would be responsible for making sure that the container was packed correctly and finish all the leftovers. Thinks like bank accounts, tax, ect. I couldn’t believe this was happening AGAIN. It was the strangest of feelings. Once again I had to say goodbye to the same friends I said goodbye to five years ago. Déjà vu! But this time we knew what to do. We had everything planned out. In fact it was easy to do. At least easier than the last time.

And that’s where I am today, currently working for an IT company in Adelaide. We have been here just over four months and loving every moment of it. It is strange to experience Adelaide. It is nothing like Perth. But we are taking every day as it comes.

Kind regards


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Dankie Fred

This is a very interesting story.

We have only just moved here and I can tell you that I would not want to move back and forth between countries it is hard work :-)

Good luck



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Jy het baie tyd by die werk ne? :blush: Dis regtig mooi vertel en as mens net dink aan al die harde werk en trane agter die storie, dan is ek net bly dis alles nou verby. Nou het ek vir jou nog 'n stukkie goeie nuus...die huis in Hallett Cove....ons is vandag goed gekeur en ons trek middel Junie in. :) Dink net, volgende maand stap ons op die strand in die aande as jy en jou Pa van die werk af kom. :lol:

Jy moet lekker werk, sien jou nou nou. ;)


Ma. ( Ek moes jou seker eintlik ge pm het, maar toe maar ) :D

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Hi Fred

Dankie vir die cool uiteensetting van jou storie - baie interessant! Ek haal my hoed af vir jou en jou familie wie die immigrasie ding TWEE keer gedoen het...wow!

Ek kan dink dit moes harde oomblikke met tye gewees het - 'n ware rollercoaster op emosionele en sosiale vlak. Maar dink so daaraan - al die beproewings het jou 10 teen 1 'n sterker mens gemaak en jou karakter positief gebou.

Mis jy Perth? Sal jy eendag dalk wil teruggan soontoe? In watter aspekte verskil Adelaide en Perth vir jou die meeste?

Hoop jou lewe in Adelaide intussen word net beter by die dag - ek dink jy's baie gelukkig om jou ouers by jou te hê...en dis net 'n kwessie van tyd voor jy 'n splinternuwe vriendekring met great mense opbou!


Liza :ilikeit:

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Ou maat, ek laaik jou storie. Ek laaik jou ma sin nog meer. Jy is gelukkig om haar te hê. Ons sal nog vorentoe ontmoet. En, jy bars as jy nie vir my Oom sê nie.

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Dis reg so, Oom.


Edited by Fred
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