Lov­ing their newhome

Warm wel­come for pair

Central and North Burnett Times - - FEATURE - ❏ Ge­orge Smith

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.

Photo: Ge­orge Smith

LOV­ING AUS­TRALIA: Rhose and Er­win Lofranco are proud to call Aus­tralia home.

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