Yarrabilba Chose Us!

Long Wait For ‘Lucky Country’ Worth It …

Sonja & Mark with children Lilly, Logan & Leandro at an Easter event in Yarrabilba

You might have heard Australia referred to, in a positive way, as “the lucky country.” Whether you agree with that or not, I think we can learn something from those who see Australia with fresh eyes.  

I recently met new residents of Yarrabilba, Mark and Sonja, and their children Lilly, Logan and Leandro. The family arrived from South Africa earlier this year and moved into Yarrabilba. They are enjoying the simple pleasures that we tend to take for granted.  When they told me what life was like for them in South Africa I could understand why. I was surprised to learn that simple things, like going to the park, taking children shopping, or visiting a library were difficult or even dangerous.  The public parks were not safe places for children to play. They explained that something like Buxton Park, would be on private land, they would pay to enter, and security guards would watch their car while they were inside. There were no local libraries to visit, and Sonja says that child kidnapping had become such a problem that she wouldn’t take her three kids to a shopping mall. You could just imagine then how much the family is enjoying the beautiful parks around Yarrabilba, local services like the libraries, and riding their bikes to the shops.  

I was curious though how they chose Yarrabilba as a place to live. Mark told me, “We didn’t choose Yarrabilba; Yarrabilba chose us.” They applied for over sixty houses and a home in Yarrabilba was the only one they were offered in the right time frame.  

Sonja says they dreamed for years of moving to Australia, but the immigration process was long and difficult. Their application was approved in February 2020, “just before the world shut down”, and it took another two years for the family to arrive. Now they are here, Mark and Sonja look forward to their children having a fair chance and an equal shot at whatever goals they want to pursue in life. They said it was one of the hardest decisions they have ever made. But it has also been better than they could have imagined. I think Mark, Sonja and children just might agree that Australia is “the lucky country.”  

By Susan Alexander (Inspirational Writer)