Where are you from?

I am from Australia, but have lived in Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Singapore and the USA.

What was it like growing up?

Australia back then was utopia, it was a clean,safe, cheap,beautiful just what you dream of. Clean beautiful ocean. Great school which were free and good. College was free, the best medical system. A dream place to grow up. I was so lucky!

What brought you to Cleveland?

I moved to Cleveland by choice, it has everything going for it. Affordable, safe ,arts, food, sports, lake, nice people and more. I was living in San Francisco and the cost of living was killing me. I joke that paying $51,000 a year for a two bedroom apartment with that I would be eating cat food at the age of 60.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America? Did those change?

Well I was on holiday here, and fell in love and as they say the rest is history. I remember when I got off the plane and was trying to call a contact in LA and the phone would not work, after about 30 mins some nice person ( yes in LA) showed me that you have to put a 1 in front of the 818 area code. I was blown away by the amount of food on a plate when you eat out. It took me awhile to get use to miles and inches. And the traffic OMG so much traffic and did a mention the traffic. Thus love Cleveland. Also the gun thing was hard to get use to. I don’t think I am use to it still.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

One thing was both countries speak English but no one could understand me. All you Americans talked so funny. I was pre 911 so not so much, my kids who became Aust citizen after 911, that was hard. I took the test was asked some questions and done. I guess Australia is not much of a threat to USA.

What is your occupation?

Self employed photographer.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

For all the places I have travelled to and lived, Clevelanders by far are the most welcoming and warm !!!

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

Australia day Jan 26, Melbourne cup ( horse race) first thursday in Nov & Ozzie football. I still love to BBQ Ozzie style and of course drink beer FOSTERS. And not taking life too serious 🙂

What do you love about Cleveland?

Everything…. sorry Mid west drivers, aggressive tail gating drivers i don’t like so if you see me please don’t do it

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees ?

Is that a trick question ? They bring new cultures, foods, art, history, ideas. A new and fresh look at the world we get to see the world through their eyes.

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming ?

WOWSA well I think that is happening slowly. I think native clevelanders need to have higher self esteem of Cleveland. And we need to get the negative monkey of the back. But any place that invented Superman and rock & roll can’t be all bad. But like clevelanders have been to me, be open,warm and welcome and if people come here on holiday, just show them the cost of real estate, that will do it. If people come here on a holiday and see it they are more likely to move here

Why is it important to travel abroad?

Why does a dog put there head out the car window ? Travel is the one thing that opens you up to see things new & different. As said by Mark Twain …”.nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.”