We arrived at South Brisbane on 5 November, 1968, having made the final leg of our long journey by train from Sydney, where we disembarked from MV Fairsky. Little did we realize that record temperatures would be experienced in Brisbane that summer, or my parents may have turned us around and headed home. There was to be no turning back for us though - we were here to stay. As kids we weren't consulted about this trip: we just assumed that our parents knew what they were doing. It is only as adults that we children have come to understand and appreciate the sacrifices that mum & dad made for us, in the hope that we would have a life of greater opportunities. As kids - especially for my little sister Stephanie (8) and me (nearly 10) - this was a great adventure. Sailing from Southampton, via the Canary Islands, Cape Town, Freemantle and Melbourne, had been enormous fun. My older sister, Lesley (14) had rather less fun, suffering from sea-sickness much of the way. What we also realized only later on was how fortunate we were to have a supportive church waiting to welcome us to our new home. Nundah Baptist church had agreed to participate in a national scheme to sponsor migrant families. They had rented us a house, stocked the pantry and organised job interviews for Dad. In those first weeks and months they became our first and best friends. They took us shopping, took us to the beach, helped to get us enrolled in schools and reassured us that the plagues of Christmas beetles and cracking thunderstorms were all perfectly normal. They managed to interpret our funny accents (we had come from Liverpool) and took us into their hearts. In return, Steph grew up to marry the church secretary's son, and I married the daughter of one of the deacons. He always joked that neither of them had anticipated the far-reaching and very personal implications of that decision to sponsor a family of '10-pound poms'.

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