Read their Stories
My name is Ziagul Sultani. I’m known as Zee. I live in Katanning but I am originally from Afghanistan. We came because of the war. Afghanistan is not a place for girls to grow up and be free. It gives me goosebumps to think about what life would have been like if I wasn’t here. For my father to bring us here, honestly, it’s a gift that I can’t pay back. Not everyone has the opportunity to do that for their children.
I like knowing that I produce things that go and feed the world. It’s pretty rewarding. But it’s pretty tough too because you’re working with old girl
up there, Mother Nature. If she doesn’t look after you, that’s pretty tough. But it makes you more resilient.
I learned everything I possibly could and I got involved in everything that I possibly could. It just opened my eyes up.
It’s that feeling of being home, you feel you belong here and you have identity. People know me as my name, as Zee – not as a Muslim girl or a refugee girl – so that is always good because you feel like you’re not different.
I think it was the highlight of all our lives, being backup singers for Cat Stevens at the Royal Albert Hall.
We didn’t think either of our sons were coming home to the farm. Then one of them came home over Christmas and he hopped up on the header and he said ‘I’ve made my decision. I’m going to come home.’ And the next day the other son said exactly the same. They hadn’t spoken to each other about it, they both just made exactly the same decision to come home.
Katanning, as you know, is a very multicultural town. That started many years ago with the early migrants who have made a big impact and continue to do so today.
There are twenty-five nationalities living here and there is no discrimination. There are no other words I can use to describe Katanning.
My names is Geraldine Watson but I prefer to be called Gerry. It sounds a bit friendlier. I’ve been in Katanning for the last 53 years. It’s my home but I came from Perth, teaching. I was appointed Deputy Principal of the Primary School. In those days you didn’t get a choice, you went where you were sent. I was about 25 when I came here. It was fairly daunting because it was the first time I was in position as a deputy and the school was quite a big school. There were about 800 students at that stage. It was the only government Primary School here. There was a young staff and we all got on very well and made good friendships that have lasted many years. My husband worked in retail menswear. I met him soon after arriving in Katanning.
I like knowing that I produce things that go and feed the world. It’s pretty rewarding. But it’s pretty tough too because you’re working with old girl up there, mother nature. If she doesn’t look after you, that’s pretty tough. but it makes you more resilient. as long as you’re talking with your mates you keep going I suppose.