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People of Cessnock is a blog by local resident, Rebecca Murray. The project seeks to value the people of her home town by sharing their stories value and raising the profile of people living outside metropolitan areas.

Nineteen

Nineteen

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“We’ve been at it since before the sun came up. Working. We’re working in the vineyards pruning. The cold makes you work faster, right? And we have each other, so it’s alright.

I was imported from Cronulla when I was 12.

My grandmother was an immigrant. So, I’m Australian but my grandmother immigrated here after the war. And my father had some great idea to have a tree change.

He was offered some money for his property, cause he had two acers, you know? It was in the family for four generations but, you know, for him, he’d worked all his life. He wanted to retire.

Well, for me, Cessnock was a big culture shock.

Like, I used to go surfing every morning and then we moved here.

The first weekend I was here I got my board out of the shed and I’m like, “Which way to the beach, Dad?” Cause I’d never been this far in. I couldn’t even get on the bus with my surfboard.

It was like an alien planet for me. It was. Honestly. The people were lovely, but I grew up in a very small part of Cronulla where everyone knew everyone. And then to come here and know no-one. And then, like, there’s no surf, no Italian community … for me it was like an alien planet.

And I come from a very matriarchal family where, you know, if I upset my grandmother, she would just look at my grandfather and I knew, “Oh, that’s it. It’s over.”

So, for me, the way that some people speak to women and stuff here it was very hard for me to … you know?

That was a very big thing for me. The different values that people had.

But now I’ve met my wife here. I’ve bought a home here. I’m raising my children here. It’s my home. I love it.”

Twenty

Twenty

Eighteen

Eighteen