I eventually adjusted to life in Australia, though I still had a lingering sense of difference. Writing novels set in Brisbane and seeing people in Brisbane claim me as a Brisbane writer helped change that – if locals felt I was entitled to write about the place, then I was entitled to feel like I belonged. My books led to me being chosen as the face of Brisbane’s promotional campaigns in 2002 and 2004, and that completed the transition. I was recently asked to write a book for 8-10-year-olds, and I realised I had a story I wanted to tell. Forty years after arriving, I’m now writing a book about a young person arriving from another country, how odd it feels and how adjustment is a bigger process than we often realise.

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