In this weeks Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Julie Morgan, originally from Proleek, Ravensdale, now living in Brisbane, Australia.
Parents names and names of family?
Peter and Dolores and my brother David.
What’s your occupation?
I currently work for the Department of Education with the Queensland Government in a vocational education college as an administration and student support officer.
What’s the biggest difference in settling into your new home?
Definitely the weather here in Queensland and the type of lifestyle it allows you to have. This time of year it is just coming out of summertime so trips to the beach are pretty much part of daily life.
Is the social life much different from home?
The social life is similar to home. One of the best things in my social life is playing football with Souths GAA club. We train two nights a week and once the season kicks off in again in April we play one game at the weekend. There’s a girl from Dundalk that plays too - Karen Wynne. It’s always great meeting a local from home. The GAA community out here is brilliant.
Have you been home since leaving and what changes have you noticed?
I have been home three times. I’ve noticed that businesses in Dundalk have closed. I’m a former employee of the Vodafone call centre on Ramparts Road and I was pretty upset to see those doors close and my friends left without jobs. A positive change is that the square looks brilliant.
What’s the best and worst things about being away from home?
Best things - meeting new people from different places and better job opportunities. Worst things - not able to see my family whenever I want to. The longest amount of time I’ve been away was two and a half years.
Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?
Not in the distant future no. Myself and my boyfriend are applying for our permanent residency in a couple of weeks and we intend to stay for several more years.
Name one thing from home that you wish you could buy in your local store?
My local supermarket stocks tayto, club orange and other goodies. The influx of Irish to Australia has been huge and they stock our goods now. I would however, love if there was a local Penney’s.
Have you a message for your friends and family?
I love and miss you all and hope to be home again for Christmas 2014.