Loving their newhome
Warm welcome for pair
MONTO residents Erwin and Rhose Lofranco are proud to call Australia home.
Originally from the Philippines, the couple has been working at Ridgehaven Retirement Complex since 2010.
Erwin is employed as a food safety supervisor and Rhose as a nurse.
They are now permanent Australian residents and in about 12 months they will officially become Australian citizens. And to make this an extra special year, they will celebrate 10 years of marriage on May 13.
The couple was originally looking to move to America to be closer to their family.
ButAustralia became an option when an advertisement appeared for nurses in Australia.
“I took a nursing exam at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton and had to do a work placement in Brisbane,” Ms Lofranco said.
“I had a three-month business visa and needed sponsors before it expired.
“My immigration agent had a friend who used to be a care manager at Ridgehaven. They were looking for nurses and I got sponsorship.”
Mr Lofranco holds a Masters degree in public administration but it was not recognised in Australia.
He also holds a chef’s certificate which was recognised, so the couple entered the Ridgehaven team.
They arrived in Monto with just two bags, and the shock of winter was replaced with warm hospitality.
“Arriving in winter from a tropical country was a shock butwewere very surprised by the country hospitality – everyone made us welcome,” Ms Lofranco said.
“TheUSAis the land of milk and honey but Australia is the land of gold and diamonds.
“The best gift Australia has given us so far is our 20month-old son Nathan who was born one month beforewe were granted residency.”
The couple are happy in Monto and say Australians are a free-spirited people who take one day at a time.
LOVING AUSTRALIA: Rhose and Erwin Lofranco are proud to call Australia home.