Nihal smiling happily in her home.

I’m Nihal, a Turkish-Australian.

I own my own home here. It’s a small but very cosy little house. I live by myself, but I have my family and friends very close to me.

In our Turkish culture, women are expected to live with their family until they get married. This was very difficult for me. I decided that I actually really wanted to move out and develop my own life skills. It was very important to me and it took a lot of convincing to get my family to accept it, but I was also very lucky that they got around and helped me move out and find my own place and my independence,

The house is in a very convenient location directly across the road from a train station. where I can easily catch the train and go wherever I want. Very easy to get around.

Independence is very important to me. I pay my own mortgage. I have a part time job. I support myself. I go on my holidays. It’s just fantastic for me.

I just wanted my own safe haven where I could invite my friends, my family,I could cook for them and make mess if I needed to.

I love my home. This is where I feel very safe and it’s where I feel relaxed and myself. I can just close the door and be myself.

My home is filled with art works from my travels. They all have a story to tell.Being blind, it doesn’t matter for me what colour they are, but most of them were either made especially for me, or I was present when it was being made. It’s the time and the effort that the artist puts in it that makes it very valuable.

In my own time, I listen to my audio books, do some knitting, crocheting, but the best thing I like isis gardening and producing my own fruits, plants, etc and it just gives me a lot of satisfaction.

(car horn tooting)

My family and friends drop by spontaneously. Sometimes they just drop by, toot the horn and say “hello, how are you?”, which is lovely and then we go out to have coffee together.

A while ago, I established a Turkish choir. I actually wanted my people in Perth to experience our culture through our music and  I opened my home, and we mainly did our practices here.

I love entertaining and hosting people, cooking, serving, as much as I can.I get my family, friends, culturally diverse community all coming here and I’m a bit of a gatherer. I like getting people together.

I love my freedom, being in my own home, having my own friends, it’s just wonderful.

The Lives We Lead Worklife has been funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services.
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