From Canada


Hello my name is Shelley Biancon

I live in Australia after travelling from Canada a little over 20 years ago.

I live in Willowmavin, Victoria with my husband Dean and my two children Naomi and Ethan.

Growing up in Canada I umm my mother especially had a lot of family and so um we had a lot of big, big extended family um and even though she married a man from the city we spent a lot of time in the country so....I was very familiar with animals and what not.

Um she tried to make her way home to the country and um then at that rate we kind of moved around a lot.

So umm yeah and so then by the time I was hitting high school um we had established ourselves back near the homestead in... in Burleigh falls.

And Canada look it's a beautiful country and it.. it didn't matter where, whether you were in the city or the country it was, it was basically you know people were very similar.

Although I suppose the country people they say, the American especially would say they were a little bit similar in the country. Ohh I didn't think I thought you know so I came from the city and went to the country every weekend. People were people.

Sorta being naive at the time I suppose I was very, I was 16. I moved out on my own I umm met an older man who I became involved with who became extremely violent in the latter we were together for probably three years, and I think it was because I was so naive in that I got involved not knowing and it got to the point where the relationship became very dangerous and I became afraid for my life.

And so in finding that I had a friend who actually was travelling um she, she was in Australia and she had said come to Australia.

It was difficult to choose exactly where I was going. No I need to rephrase that. It wasn't difficult to decide where I was going. I wanted to come to Australia but umm I suppose it was difficult knowing that I was leaving a lot of my important things behind and going for twelve months without a happy type leaving.

I mean when people go away I know you know certain people they get a visa or they go away it's happy times.

Yay! They're going away they're going to go and they are going to be working you know going to be on little a working holiday for three months or four months.

I was leaving under a cloak. I was leaving under you know the night of.... in the darkness. I was sneaking out I was getting out and I felt as though it was very dangerous because I had been threatened, several times I'd been threatened that if I left that he would find me he'd find me and hurt me umm I tried to leave a couple of times and it didn't work I... he found me and I was hurt and I didn't want to go through that again it was a typical... I suppose umm problem scenario where some people have umm I guess they are sick in their own self where he would cry and say look I won't do that again and so I would get sucked back in or in the end I just felt scared, I was just really scared. So I just stayed. And I stayed and then all of a sudden I just couldn't do it any more.

And I started ticking over thinking I have to get out I've got to get out, I have to get out for the safety of me, myself. Um, for my future. For my family and so I started to plan.

And I planned everything down like you would plan a wedding. I planned the phone being cut off at noon on the day I left.

The dog that I loved like a child I planned for him to have a home I didn't leave anything out. I was very meticulous in the way that I had to plan and escape.

And I do, I remember getting on the plane and it, it's, it's like it was yesterday.

And I was just there. I was nervous wreck I'm just there like just please take off, please take off you know I was like just get me off the ground because I knew he wasn't on the plane and knew there wasn't nobody that he knew on the plane .

And when the plane took off I just started I started laughing like a little kid I was just laughing and thought 'fuck I got away'. I got away. And I am free and you know what I am going to make a hell of a run of this. This is a big chance. This is a big chance and I bloody just go it.

So I never looked back. I didn't look back.

I remember flying here thinking that I was certain that there was going to be kangaroos jumping next to the plane as we were landing. I was certain it was going to be a gravel runway and people where going to wear funny hats. Much to my surprise and my delight when we landed in Sydney and there was a large city and everything was civilized.

I didn't feel isolated at all.

I felt the Australians are very welcoming, you know they're happy to umm I was a single girl too I was footloose and fancy free I just you know really enjoyed umm the company of all kinds of people in Australia. I've realized like Canada, Australia was a huge melting pot you know I always was thought that Australia was there you know they are all English type people you know

Australia English whatever but coming here no. It's all kinds. It's, it's similar to Canada.

I got a phone call one day and it was a young Italian man if I would have known probably on that day I probably would never of...I probably would have hung up on him.

But this young man called and he wanted some information and I asked him if I could help him, He was insistent that he need to speak to one of the boys and so I was insistent that he was very rude.

And that if he didn't give me the information that I wasn't going to pass it on at all. Because I was very capable of helping him. So reluctantly he gave me the information and so I began to then umm give him you know answer his questions and from there umm he began to call me and have conversation with me and him and I struck up a friendship.

So he was a solace you know like he became and extremely good friend and we umm we spoke every night on the phone we were there from two, three, four hours. Sometimes I would hear the click of the phone and you know his father would pick the phone up "Are you still on the phone" and he'd be like "I'll be off in a minute" and we'd be on the phone for another four hours so after probably six weeks we decided to meet and um it was then that when we met that it was I suppose an instant attraction we were best friends at this time, he and I struck it off and I was totally in love head over heels in love and so we decided um we decided that I wasn't going back to Canada that my visa had run out in December be we decided that um yeah that I was going to stay.

And um so here was an Irish Canadian and an Australian umm Italian umm starting a new life. Yeah and it's been fantastic we just grow together, we're strong together, we work hard together and um I wouldn't be anywhere else in the world except here in Australia. Because it's the best place to raise children and that I'm really happy to be here. And I wouldn't give it up.

So I suppose at that age you kind of really learn a quick reality of things sometimes and I think that help me to toughen me up too and I think allot of people who again you sort of develop I suppose a character where you can handle certain things and I think these are the things type of people that actually immigrate or migrate they have to have that reality in their brain that things are going to go wrong life isn't always sweet and rosy I, I really don't think the princess type person would ever make, would ever make it.

Just, you just, they just wouldn't, you got to be tough. So I respect people that migrate or immigrate I have lotta, lotta of respect for them because it's tough it's the real world you know you face things that just want to make you cry some times, 'the shitty'. But you move you just look for the good things and you move on.

About this Video

Shelley Biancon shares her migration story with the viewer. It’s a journey of hope and encapsulates experiences shared by many seeking a new beginning.
Length: 10:39