“It’s been 3 years that I am in Australia now, and since I am here, I feel like I am me. I can do whatever I want and when I want and go with who I want and be myself. Since I am in Australia, I am just happy. I know it might have an end because of visa issues, but because of that, I have to enjoy every single moment.
I am from Lyon in France and I always wanted to be an au pair, but I was 24 and I was reading that you do it when you are more like 18 to 20. I was thinking, it’s maybe too late for me, but I really wanted to learn how to talk and write properly in English. I gave myself all of the French summer to find a family and if I can’t find one, I believed it to be a sign of life and just stay in France.
First I wanted to go somewhere in America because I play basketball and I wanted to do that there. Then I decided to just check in London, but I said to myself, ‘Why would you go when it is raining there every day.’ I had another friend in France who came to my apartment and said, ‘you want to be an au pair? I want to do it again too but I will go to Australia.’ I thought that was a great idea. I wanted to go for six months and wasn’t talking any English but I got the job with the Jacobs family in Perth and the day I arrived there, that changed my life. I was very lucky; the family was amazing and they gave me the chance to just speak English. Their kids were five and three when I arrived and I just learned English with them. I stayed nine months with them and after Christmas, I found Marina and Brett, the Gregor family, and they made me feel even happier. I arrived here, I knew nothing about the island, and I was literally just coming to get my second-year visa and then go back to Perth with my other family. Day after day, working on the sheep farm and with the kids, you just live with the minimum and you are happy with that, simple happy life. I realised I don’t need to go shopping every day, get clothes, go to the movies, anywhere to feel like you’re doing something. It just reminded me to be a kid again, being lost in nature, lost in the environment, it was just amazing. I stayed with the Gregors for five months, and it was the best five months of my whole life. I always say to my friends, Marina Gregor is probably the most beautiful person I met. I think we all need a Marina Gregor in our life. She inspires me—working, three kids, she is on committees, boards and she is still always smiling. She has been my mentor; she would be a good mentor for everyone.
Now it’s the best life ever with those 3 monkeys over here; we go everywhere around the island, camping, adventures, I just feel like when I was young. You spent time with them, you do more than just nanny-ing—I feel like their big sister helping them and when I see them happy, I feel like I’ve done my job. It’s my calling. They just show me how life is good. There is no reason to be sad, do something you don’t like—you just change it to something you like and just be happy.
Every single day, people have been so helpful and welcoming here. I had the opportunity on the island to start certificate 3 in childcare. I definitely know I like to go in that direction. I feel very grateful to be on this island, for everything that happened in my life. The community is just amazing, I feel like I am on another planet, everyone is so kind with each other. I feel like it’s my home now, my second home. Kangaroo Island is just so beautiful, everywhere I tell the French to visit the island, I spread the word about how amazing it is here. I would be happy to live on the island, especially around Parndana and Stokes Bay, I like it here. It is very quiet and very good. Somehow, I would like to stay, even though it is always hard to accept that I won’t be in my first home at France, but here I feel good and love it.”