‘I WAS BORN IN A REFUGE CAMP’
She might be the definition of a bubbly cheerleader but House Rules: High Stakes contestant Susan reveals that her positive outlook on life is largely influenced by her parents’ upbeat attitude despite their traumatic past that saw them flee the war in Cambodia.
“We are Chinese-cambodian and my parents were in Cambodia when the war was happening and times were tough,” she tells New Idea.
“They fled to Thailand
“[MY PARENTS] TAUGHT ME TO REALLY WORK HARD FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE”
really in 1984 to get away and seek refuge in a camp and that’s where
I was born.
“It would have been hard for them leaving
Cambodia without anything. “We were in Canada and “They taught me to really They only had didn’t have a lot of family work hard for everything you a few dollars.” there,” Susan reveals. have and to be grateful for it,”
After several months in the “So, the goal was to be she says. “They taught me some refugee camp in Thailand, the family were lucky enough to get a sponsorship to move to Canada, where they lived for the next 18 years. However, they were separated from the rest of their family, who had all ended up in Australia. reunited with them in Australia. We tried once but were unsuccessful because of the lack of documents my parents had. Finally, 18 years later, we made it to Australia.”
Susan admits her parents’ journey and optimistic outlook in life are what inspires her to be positive and go after what she wants. good work ethics in life.”
It’s this work ethic that Susan and her husband Anthony plan to bring to the competition in House Rules: High Stakes.
“Anthony and I both tried to keep a positive outlook on things,” Susan says.
“Knowing there was an elimination as well we said, ‘We will just try our best’.”
Indeed, unlike previous
years, two contestants will be eliminated and won’t get the opportunity to have their houses renovated. Susan admits the news was initially difficult to come to terms with.
“We were pretty shocked and devastated at the same time,” she admits. “Just because every other season everybody has had their houses done but with this season, we now we have to fight our way to the top and we have no renovation experience at all, so we knew that would be a really big factor in how we do as well.”
But, unable to afford renovations on their own home, the couple hope they can score a spot in the top six and get their dream home makeover.
“Our house is a bit old and outdated,” Susan reveals. “Obviously purchasing a house and having a wedding recently, we couldn’t afford a reno, and we love kids and we really want to start a family soon. So, I knew, financially, we wouldn’t be able to do anything soon, so I signed up for the show.”
Susan adds that her parents couldn’t be prouder to see their daughter on national TV.
“They were definitely excited and very proud,” she says.
“My mum and dad have come a really long way and they were happy to see their daughter on something like TV nationally – that was exciting for them.”