I lived on a farm for 20 years, up in Rosebank in northern New South Wales. Now I’ve been in Melbourne for about a year and a half.
In between moving from Rosebank to here, there was a three-year gap when I was unable to find accommodation. I was up in the Northern Rivers staying with friends, and then I ended up going to the Gold Coast to move in with my mum. Then I came to Melbourne where I’ve got two adult children, living in share houses. I stayed with a friend, thinking, ‘I’ll be able to get accommodation, easy.’ But then it wasn’t easy at all.
A person from Juno, which is an organisation that helps women experiencing homelessness, got me into emergency accommodation, and then helped me with applying for houses. Then I finally got an interview with WPI, and that’s how I ended up here.
Those three years of being homeless and moving around were very stressful. But in that time I managed to do a course in sound healing, studying online, which kept me going and really helped my mental health. I’m also an artist. Since I’ve been down here, I’ve started doing workshops for women’s circles, including sound healing, dance, and art-making.
I am so happy here. It’s like a dream come true, living right near my older kids. I would never in a million years have thought I’d be in a brand new apartment in such a safe place. It took me a while to actually settle in, because I just couldn’t believe it for so long. I didn’t unpack my bags for a few months.
I just feel so much more confident in myself, and safe, and grateful – really grateful. For WPI, and for Nightingale, because I know how hard it is to access this sort of housing.
I’ve also got a son, Sunny, who’s eight years old, soon to be nine. He’s loving it here as well. He’s made a friend over the road and they talk to each other across the balconies. He joined the local football team, so we walk down to the park for training.