I am Elizabeth and I come from the Ukraine, which was part of the USSR. I’ve been here for 30 years! I came to Australia with my husband and two children. We were able to leave the USSR because, back then, the USSR was very anti-Semitic, and we are Jewish, so we were sure there was no future for our children. We decided to move to Australia, and we were able to do this through a Jewish organisation.
In Ukraine I was an economist. Straight away I began working for a sewing factory. It was very good because I don’t have English, so I was happy to take any job I could find.
If I need to work as a cleaner, I’ll work as a cleaner. We had no money to study English. I listened, didn’t use books. And now—my daughter is an economist, so it’s all OK! Life was not easy, but for the first time, here, we could do everything that we wanted to do. I worked very hard, but I made a future for my children and grandchildren.
Many years later, I started knitting dolls because children are my number one in life! I make Cinderella, Robin Hood, many fairy tale characters . . .
Children love these dolls because they are soft, made from wool, and they can have them forever.
I am very glad I met Luz, because I don’t feel alone at SisterWorks. Every week we talk, laugh, and share stories. The first few times I went to markets with SisterWorks, I was very shy, but SisterWorks volunteers told us how to sell, what you have to say. Now I can help my SisterWorks ladies when they are afraid to do this. Now, I can talk with everyone and make them not so shy.
Luz made from something from nothing—that is a very big deal for all of us. What we now have, she made.
In the last year, I have continued to volunteer in the Richmond shop and am very happy to do so. I have been able to do some travel, and feel that all my dreams have come true now that my children have grown up and become successful. In coming to Sisterworks I am able to be social, and consider it my second home. For the first time I will be making Christmas dolls for the festive season this year, including Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, snowmen, Jack Frost and other Christmas toys.