Fatime Rustem feeding chickens on her family’s dairy farm in Shepparton, 1960.
Source: Skender Rustem
Members of the early Albanian community forged long-term and often life-long friendships with the non-Albanians they came into contact with. Despite the poverty and deprivations that were ever-present in Albania, friendship, respect and mutual support was part of the social ethos.
Centuries of exposure to and interaction with people of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds had prepared them well for the realities of living with difference and diversity in Australia. They were a ‘worlded’ people, who were prepared to work hard and adjust to the social, material and cultural circumstances of the places in which they settled.