I left my country, Indonesia by mid night from Denpasar international airport. Transit at Melbourne airport and changed flight to Gold Coast. Around 9 am, my flight arrived
Australian Immigration stamp on arrival
at Coolangatta Airport, New South Wales, Australia. ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, In the name of Allah SWT, my life will starts here and I’ll be home with dignity, Insha Allah,’ the words of mine.
When we were about landing at Coolangatta airport, I have the idea that I’m about landing at Sorowako airport, because before it landed, the flight made the same turning above the water during the preparation for landing. The different is that Sorowako has the lake and Gold Coast has the sea.
Gold Coast Airport formerly named Coolangata Airport
I didn’t feel too much strange since the airport is small and easy to access. I took my luggage and noticed a standing man with holding my name on the paper. I approached him and found out that he was the driver from university who will drop me to my homestay parents. We were waiting for another Korean’s friend which is also going to the same university as mine.
I came to Gold Coast for study at Griffith University majoring Master in Business Event Management. Basically, the reasons I took this course based on my main responsibilities working as a Public Affairs Officer at Nickel Mining Company, PT. INCO Tbk back in my hometown, Sorowako, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Giving an explanation to the guests
I used to do guest handlings as well as organizing various company events along with the administrations of each events.
Break after completing Sunda Market event in Sorowako
Although some people said I was stupid to leave the company, however, I saw it in a different way. I realize that being accepted as an employee of an international company will brought proud in our society, but frankly I see a brighter future by taking the chance to further my study abroad as well as having the experience to live in a different cultural life. I am more excited to meet the difference, learning new things in life, curious for the new achievement in life, not looking for a settlement life yet.
I believe, successes is about achievement. We must think out of the box to see our own limit. We must take one step beyond to measures our competence. We must digged dipper in our heart to see our potentiality. We already have the power in life through physical and mental spiritual competence and it depends us to using it or not.
I found many people uses their arrogances to limit their potency. I could stay still in my hometown, working as an employee for another two years, but what will I be end up next? Will I get promoted, will I do the same things as today, or will I moved to a different section, hopefully not loosing the job for sure.
So I decided to use another two years of my youth, to see a different part of the world, to witnesses the power of how the Al Mighty rules the world, to find the unexplored side of my life, and definitely to enjoy my youth 😀
I also believe, life is about balance and my life in Sorowako was unbalanced. I lived surounds by the black clouds. Loosing someone you trully love, could effects your whole life, so I need to move on. I need to changed! And I need the revolution inside me.
Oalah… here I am, taking a deep breath, shaking the new life starting from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Welcome to Gold Coast billboard
It takes about an hour to reach my homestay house, a townhouse secured by gated complex at Arundel Drive. I suddenly falling in love with this complex. It has a swimming pool and tennis court.
Swimming pool at Arundel Complex
Judith Bell, my homestay mother waited for me, she showed me a little white room that she prepared for me and around the house. She also took me for a drive and showed me where to take and get off from a bus to uni, home, mosque and harbour town shopping centre.
Harbour Town Fruit Barn
We also organized the time schedule as I started to learn that she is an organized woman, based on her job as a personal assistance. She works in details and it fits me. She even organize my weekly meals, such as healthy food during the week, Asian food for Thursday, junk food for Friday and free meals during weekend.
Why homestay in my age? Why not stay at Uni Dormitory or an apartment. I had that question from few friends. It simple. I’m new to the environment. I know no one before I came to Gold Coast. I came with La haula wala kuwwata illa billah – I submit my life and death to the Al-Mighty.
Stay with a homestay family means being accepted in a new family to learn the environment, to be introducing to family and friends, to be introducing to the new habit and culture which is sometimes tricky in life. Because a homestay program offering parents reaponsibilities during the new student adaptation phase.
Off course, it is easier and its more free to stay at the uni dorm or apartment but for me, a lot more easier to learn about Australia from the Australian family. How they organized things, how they get involved in the society, how they think, act and do, as well as how they daily life activities.
I became an observer for the first week. I let Judith did most, drove me to uni, dove me to mosque, drove me to harbourtown, drove me to Australia Fair, Southport and surrounds until I get my student card and took the bus everywhere.
After 6 weeks, I moved from Judith’s house and stayed with aunty Nadira at Olsen Avenue. Nothing much different from my previous house only this house is closer to the mosque and Harbourtown where I work.
Aunty Nadira and I after Shalah Eid’
I started to make friends in the class. I attended an international class with mostly Asian student, such as from Japan, Korean and China. We also have friends from Taiwan, Thailand, Philipine, Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
New Friends, New Life
Aftet finishing 10 weeks English Class at Griffith English Language School (GELI) at Australia Fair, Southporth, I took an exams and accepted as a bridging course student, Bachelor in Business. I should took the bridging course in bachelor business because I need the base to enter the master degree in Business since my previous bachelor in Communication, social and political science.
Alhamdulillah, I could passed all the exams and further my study to the next level until I got the degree.
Sulvi on Graduation Ceremony after completing Master in Event Management at Griffith University, QLD, Australia
Off course it was not easy to get to the end. Especially student like me, who came to Australia based on faith. No perfect English, No schoolarship, no wealthy family to support, nothing to depend on to. I should fight for my self. Besides completing my degree, I should work for financing my self.
Harbour town co-worker
Luckily I met lots of kind hearted friend whom willing to accepted me the way I was and helped me get through all the difficulties. To pay all the bills, I had to work in two different jobs; a store attendant and a housekeeper. I was not easy but I had to pay my study and my life which was not cheap and there is no shame on that.
Sophia and I were holding an Australian flag during the celebration of Australian Day
I found it different in my country. The working habits of Australia is more than in Indonesia. People threated sequently. You get paid for what you did. Though some of my friends working during the week to get some party funds for the weekend, but still, they did the work to earn the money.
New friends I met at Gold Coast Mosque
Its also valuable to get accepted in the environment. No matter where we go, we will always meet someone new. In Gold Coast, I also get along with some Moslem friends. Mostly we met at the Gold Coast Mosque. I even met some Indonesian friends through the mosque, since there are not many Indonesian living in Gold Coast. Most Indonesian lives in the city such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
Eid Celebration at Gold Coast Mosque
Certainly, my life in Australia was not only about study and work, but also travelling, party and having fun as well as having more experinced by voluntering an event such as International Gold Coast Marathon, Gold Coast Triathlon, Gold Coast Restaurant and Catering Gathering, also attending performances and welcoming honour guests.
Volunteering at Gold Coast Restaurant and Catering Gathering
Volunteering at International Gold Coast Marathon
Sulvi, Rini, Nare (left-right) attending Hanidi’s wedding in Brisbane
KKSS welcoming Governor South Sulawesi at Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Guests visit from Sorowako at Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary Gold Coast
Volunteering at Gold Coast Triathlon
You may means no one for someone else but you are your self and you decided what you wanna be, when and where you wanna go, with whom, and how you wanna be. It’s your choice ‘coz it’s your life!
Just remember, be accepted and you’ll enjoy it more than expected! 😀