This episode is hopefully the first of a series of migrants living up in the north of Tasmania, in this case, Launceston. I have done one previous interview in Launceston, but otherwise I've only talked to people in Hobart and the south of the state. Although the majority of migrants do settle around Hobart, I don't want to give the impression that there aren't migrants in other parts of the state. I also think that the experiences of migrants in the small cities an towns of Tasmania are likely to be distinct and unique and have different challenges to those in Hobart.
With this in mind, I had the opportunity to speak with Jaewon, who hails from Seoul originally and came to Launceston when her Australian husband got a job at the university.
Of course, I've talked to many Koreans before and had a fair bit of knowledge of some of the cultural aspects of Korea, but every perspective and experience is a little different and I liked the way Jaewon described the area where she grew up, including her still sentimental attraction to the smell of gasoline !
Jaewon's story is also one of new starts and great enterprise. Although her husband had work on arrival, she had an unfamiliar role as a full-time mum. When they had lived in Korea, her mum was around the corner to lend a hand.
But a new role in life and a new place can bring opportunities as well as challenges and after an experience at the Evandale market, she and a friend decided to start a stall selling Korean pancakes, a business which is now running successfully 5 years later in and around Launceston. But as well as that, Jaewon has been able to take up a childhood passion to be a painter and set up her own studio in their house in Riverside and her canvasses are to be seen all over the house. It's something that would have not been possible in Korea, where space is at a premium.
Enterprise, determination and a positive attitude to seize opportunities rather than bemoan the many challenges of living in Tasmania, seems to be a bit of a hallmark of many successful migrants to Tasmania, and I think it does take a special type to make a fist of it here, where things aren't always as smooth as they might be in one of the bigger mainland cities.