Migration heritage - Lucy Leung

Interviewee: Lucy Leung

Interviewer: Noelene Pullen

Date of Interview: 15 May 2009

Transcription: Kevin Murray, May 2009

This interview represents the personal recollections, views and opinions of the interviewee


I was born in Pontianak in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Kalimantan was also known as Borneo. I lived in a small town. There were eight children in our family. My father ran a toyshop, and we enjoyed trying out the new toys. I left Indonesia in 1980 because I married my husband. He is from Hong Kong and his job involved a lot of travelling. We travelled to a few places such as London, Paris, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and China.

The life in Hong Kong was not as good as I had expected... because I had a house before that was actually much bigger than in Hong Kong, so that's why I had a better lifestyle in Indonesia. I loved the food and the shopping, and also my husband's relatives made Hong Kong an enjoyable place for me.

Lucy as a child

After having my first daughter, this life was not suitable for me, so that's why we tried to find a place to settle down, so that's why we chose Australia. Because previously we had seen Australia. Because the people here are so friendly - a lot of green, and the parks are so lovely, and also because the education was available here. I came to Australia in 1987 and I lived in Westmead for one month, and later moved to Wentworthville. And after six months I moved to another house in Greystanes.

The life in the beginning was quite hard, but we are very lucky because one of the managers from my husband's work brought us to everywhere in the local area. So that's why we could open a bank account, and know where to shop, and also he showed us a few of the restaurants nearby. We had learnt English in Primary before. I remember my daughter said to me when she first came to Australia. She asked me why she cannot understand what others are talking - because my daughter was only speaking in Chinese. I came first to live in The Hills Shire in 1998 Because we needed a bigger house. I have three children. This area is for me very comfortable, very peaceful, and everywhere I go I feel safe. The people here are very friendly also. And I found out that the school here is quite good.

I still practice the Chinese New Year... usually we give out the Red Packets, and inside the Red Packets we have the money, and it also means good luck. I have been involved in volunteering - at the Baptist Community Centre, the Multicultural Forum, Aged Day Care, and now I volunteer in The Hills Community Health Centre in Excelsior Avenue at Castle Hill. I am a Sunday School teacher in St Monica's at Parramatta, and also I host a few groups of Church activity in my place. I am working in the Education area, operating a Kumon Study Centre in Castle Hill. This tutoring program is actually for children from pre-school to Year 12 in Maths and English. Every child enrolled in the Centre can gain success in school and also they will build positive study habits such as discipline, independence and also feel confidence in the school area. And also all of these habits are very useful - is a must - for their life skills.

Lucy and friends making Chinese storytelling DVD Meng Mu Moved Three Times