My Second Home
Memet Gunes was one of the lucky few people in his village in Turkey to receive an education.
When he migrated to Australia with his family he found a place full of possibility and opportunity.
MEMET GUNES: I was born in 1943 in the village of Dutratla. In the mountain city of Carce, I am the second child of 10 children. The summer months are hot, and the winter months are long, cold with heavy snow. The homes in my village were decorated with handmade rugs and clims. People live in harmony with nature and the elders are highly respected. I was lucky enough to be one of the few children in this village to have received an education.
My student years were very tough. This was where I met my wife. And eight years later, we graduate as teachers. My son Ashgan was born soon, and later my daughter Aishen and Hande. We decide to make an application to migrate to Australia. When our application was accepted a few years later, we were happy, excited, and scared. On Saturday, 7 November 1976, we arrived in Melbourne.
We were taken to hostel in Nanavati. A friend who had migrated to Australia prior to us arrived immediately and collected us from the hostel. We stayed with his family for 10 days. I am very grateful and hold high regards to this friend. With friendly assistance, we leased our own home and were both employed within weeks. I began working at the town tire factory. My wife also found employment in a textile factory.
My wife and I also commenced teaching Turkish to prime middle school students on the weekends. We were happy to have been able to continue as teachers, and teach the children the Turkish language and culture, and celebrate our national and religious days of significance. As the teaching profession was of great importance to me, I imitate and become involved in the Victorian Turkish Teachers Association.
Over the years, my involvement in the Turkish community has been a source of personal satisfaction and achievement. I have exhibited my oil paintings, organized cultural exhibition, discussion, forums, and social gatherings. My interest in politics has led me to be involved and to learn about Australian politics and the Australian way of life. I was honored to have met the former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Bob Hawke, and other politicals. I have also volunteered with state and federal election campaigns in the past.
My son Ashgan become a doctor. My daughter Aishen is a social worker, and my daughter Hande become a physical therapist. Having achieved our main goal of providing a good future and education for our children, we are proud and live with joy in our adopted homeland. Our children have moved on, and now have established their own families. We now have three grandchildren. My wife and I know in joy and appreciate the things we were not able to experience and appreciate in our younger years.
We enjoyed picnics, going on camps, and engaging in the physical activities such as walking and swimming, writing and reading stories, poems, and drawing. As a Turkish Australian living in peace and harmony in this great country, I extend my sense of gratitude to Australia, and send my regards to you all.
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.