My name is Oguz Sahin, I am from Izmir in Turkey, and have a wife, Tracey and children Teo 4 and Bahar 9. I met my wife, an Australian, at a friend’s place in Turkey where she was teaching English. I am culturally a Muslim but non-practicing, so I had no problem with family in marrying an Australian wife. In Turkey I was an industrial engineer with my own business and at one stage Secretary General of the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers.

In Turkey it is the present that counts, it is not a dream country, sitting between the Middle East and Europe, it is a country in the middle. The human rights system there is not really working, and the education system is limited and very challenging, with a high burden on the students. This affects all things. I think I am politically involved. If you are in business and politically aware, and opposed to the ruling party, it is a bit stressful but I didn’t leave for these reasons. We moved here simply for the kids.

We came here to live on the Gold Coast. I didn’t expect to find any work in my profession here, I was even prepared to stay at home as a house husband but since I have been here I have been working. I had been here for 2 weeks when heard at The Migrant Centre that a course on retailing had one vacancy. It was nothing to do with my profession but I thought this would be good to look around and learn about Australia. I made some friends there I still see today.

I learnt English at school so it wasn’t a problem for me. A DIR office and administration traineeship gave me more experience in Australian culture, such as how people greet each other and call each other by their first names. Then I managed a Turkish bakery with 9 staff, which was only going to be for a while but lasted for 3 years. I learnt about the Australian accounting and tax, industrial relations, work culture, and production methods.

At home I speak Turkish with my son so that he carries on with the language. Even if he forgets it will always be planted there.

I am a co-founder of the Australian-Turkish Association and do volunteer work teaching Turkish and with community and fundraising activities.

I miss my friends and family and the culture, but when I go back to Turkey for a holiday I miss some things here. When I come back to Australia I feel I am coming home.

I have started my own business again, exporting fuel filters and machinery parts, and working as a translator and am also back at university doing my Masters.