Arrived in Australia: 1981
From: Sumperk, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic)
Reason for leaving: Communist occupation of Czechoslovakia after WWII
More information — Wikipedia:
History of Czechoslovakia
Where she comes from:
Lucie was born in a small town called Sumperk in the former Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic). She was only a toddler of three when her parents left and does not remember much of her childhood there. She has been back to the (now) Czech Republic several times and has enjoyed reconnecting with her family and the culture.
How she got to Australia:
Lucie’s parents fled the communist regime which governed Czechoslovakia after WWII until 1989. To escape, Lucie and her parents ran across a field to cross the border between (the former) Yugoslavia and Austria. This was quite a dangerous expedition as there were armed guards of either side of the border. After registering at the central refugee camp in Traiskirchen, they lived in community detention for 2 years before arriving in Australia in 1981.
Lucie’s recollections of the beginning are hazy as she was very young. She remembers that she spoke no English on her first day at school and got teased about her clothes and food, but as she picked up the language and made friends, things got a lot easier and before long she was just like the other children at school.
Upon arrival in Australia, Lucie went Elwood Primary School and then Elwood High School. She studied Fine Arts at Monash University and a Diploma in Education at The University of Melbourne.
Lucie is currently the assistant manager in a university bookstore.
Lucie came to Australia with her mum and dad and that is the extent of her family in Australia. However, over the years she has made many friends who have become her family and is engaged to Mitch, so children are definitely on the cards!
Quality of life in Australia is better and opportunities to achieve one’s dreams are easier to obtain than in the Czech Republic.
Lucie likes art, reading, bike-riding, swimming, playing football, seeing live music and hanging out with fiancé Mitch and her dog Jack. She loves cooking and sampling good food.
What she misses about Czechoslovakia the most:
The two things that come to mind when asked what she misses about her country of birth are her family, particularly her elderly grandmother, and the good beer (although she only discovered that when she returned there as an adult!)
What she likes about Australia the most:
Australia is Lucie’s home and it is hard to reflect on how it’s different from the country where she was born, as she does not think about these differences much. However, she is aware that the quality of life in Australia is better and opportunities to achieve one’s dreams are easier to obtain than in the Czech Republic. She also loves the variety and quality of food in Australia.
Hopes and dreams:
Lucie’s future is bright with hopes for a happy marriage and a family. She and Mitch recently bought their first home, which they are renovating and look forward to settling into and having a family. She would like to find a job that challenges her and that she is passionate about and to continue working on her ceramic sculptures – maybe have an exhibition and even sell some artwork. As for her dreams for the world, she hopes people can be more humble and nice to each other to make the world a more peaceful place.