Starting a new life in a different city

This year Annalise and her family moved from NSW to Tasmania. Along the way she has learned how to be resilient and thrive in her new home.
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By Annalise Haigh

Tell us about yourself

My name is Annalise and I moved to Tasmania in January this year.  I grew up in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. I am 24 years old and still live with my parents in our new house in Hobart. My hobbies include sports and I love the creative arts.

What are some of the challenges of moving to a new home in a new state?

It is always difficult to leave behind friends and family,  so the biggest challenge is getting to know a new city and making new friends. Such a big move was difficult during this time of COVID-19, but I feel safe in Tasmania especially now I am fully vaccinated. I have had to learn how to get around in my community using buses and now a ferry to the get to the city.

What do you miss and how you do manage this?

I do miss many things since living here, friends, my support workers, my pet cats, my employment with Able2 and my lovely brothers. It has been important to me to keep in contact with all my friends using video chat and messages. Sometimes I play online games with others from my social groups. One of my good friends Sam came to visit in April for a few days and we had fun together.

I was lucky to be able to visit friends in NSW in May before all the state shutdowns happened. I flew to Sydney by myself, which was a challenge, but I managed it and hope to do that again soon. 

How do you spend your week?

I am attending TasTAFE four days a week to try and get another job. I’m hoping to find work in an office. Twice a week after class I do sport with New Horizons with my support worker, Anna. I am also involved with an amazing performing arts program each Tuesday called Second Echo Ensemble where we have fun with dance and drama and always lots of laughter. 

What advice would you offer to anyone about to move to another place?

The most important thing to remember when you make a big move is to be brave and confident. Try new things and engage with your new community. There are always fun things to discover.

What are your hopes for the future?

I want to continue to study at TAFE. I hope I can find a small job and one day I hope to share an apartment with some friends.  Like everyone else I hope to travel one day and visit my friends again. Or my friends can visit me, and I can show them around my new home.

What has this year taught you? 

It has been difficult with COVID in the world, but we have felt safe in Australia by comparison. I appreciate the time I spend with my friends and family. I feel grateful for my new experiences and new home in Hobart.

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