I am Tsering, and I am from Tibet. I am married, with four children: three girls and one boy. I came to Australia 11 September 2011.
Initially, we had moved to India, in Dharamsala. We were there seven years. My husband and I had our own business: we produced barley flour—up to 400 kg per day! We applied to Australia under special refugee status. It was especially urgent that we come to Australia, as my husband was very sick—he had been ill, and in hospital in India for more than a year. Sadly, he passed on, two weeks after we arrived in Australia.
Australia was very strange to me at first: different language, different sounds, different tastes. And Melbourne weather—it is so changeable!
I knew I had to support myself. The only thing I thought I could do is sell things I could make: handmade bags and knitted beanies, jewellery, toys, scarves, and mats.
There is not much time for me to do all this, but I manage to make my crafts in between cooking, cleaning, child care, and everything else I have to do. The New Hope Foundation taught me to use a sewing machine, and now I can make very complicated details on a machine, with precision and skill. I met Luz a year ago, through a friend within the Tibetan community.
I feel much happier having joined SisterWorks. I now can talk to other women and make new friends. This fills me with energy.
SisterWorks has helped me sell my crafts. Thanks to them, I am better able to take mass transit around Melbourne. SisterWorks volunteers have given me much time and attention; they have been very helpful..