In the lead up to Harmony Day later this month, Riza Broad shares her story of moving to a new country and integrating into the local community.
A peaceful and welcoming community are Ceduna’s greatest qualities, according to Riza Broad.
A decade after moving from the Philippines to now reside in Denial Bay, Mrs Broad said she was taken in by the sea, the quiet surrounds and the people of the region.
She lived on Panglao Island in the Bohol province – about a 90-minute flight from the capital Manila – before meeting her husband Rodney while he was on holiday and then moving to Australia.
“After I met Rodney we came here to start the next step in my life, coming to a place I didn’t know.”
Mrs Broad said she found her “second home” when she moved to the region.
“It is absolutely nice here, everything I need is here and it is peaceful and quiet,” she said.
“There’s no traffic, it is a safe community and I can fish – I love to fish, my father was a fisherman and I am a fisherwoman.
“There’s nothing more to ask for.”
Mrs Broad is a mother of two children, seven-year-old William and four-year-old Natalie.
She said she spoke some English before moving to Australia but learning to integrate into a new society and community alongside other Filipino people living in Ceduna helped her to settle.
“I still have some trouble but can get by with my English but it was easy to mingle because I came from a small village like Denial Bay is and it is a better life here than back home,” she said.
“I met Filipino people and we will get together for birthdays and do things like go out for dinner, although not as much now as we are raising families.
“I also met other people in the community who have helped me out and I met other mums at schools, which was a big help because I have no family here.”
Mrs Broad said she was full of praise for Ceduna and the local community when speaking to other family members back home.
“I tell them that it is a nice place and that they should come here,” she said.
“Everything is so nice, I really like the place.
“When I go back to the Philippines it is too much for me after a week and I tell everybody that I miss Ceduna.”
She said the community spirit was very strong in the West Coast region and this was something she was fond of.
“Everyone, and everything, is fair and treated well in Ceduna,” Mrs Broad said.
“We are one big community and everybody is nice and welcoming, which I really like.”