Francis Phiri - People of O-Town
I was born and bred in Zimbabwe, but my parents came from Malawi. I came here to Australia in 2007 with my wife Heather and my son Tim. My daughter Leah was born here that year.
The situation in Zimbabwe was deteriorating and we came here to build up a better lifestyle for ourselves and our kids. We applied for permanent residency in 2012, after qualifying, and in 2013 we became citizens.
Before we moved, we thought it would be hard coming into a different culture, but Australian people are very accommodating and very easy-going and easy to get along with.
I studied community services and have worked for the Department of Ageing, Disability and Homecare and then Achieve Australia as a community manager for about three years.
In 2017 November we came over to Orange, we bought a house and I joined Live Better as a disability accommodation coordinator.
Initially, I was a fashion designer and I had my own company in Zimbabwe. It started as a hobby, but later on became my passion and I started a business designing clothes for men, women and then I got into corporate wear and uniforms. I'm hoping with time, I might venture into designing again and establish a business here.
I love soccer and I love music. I used to play keyboards back home and drums. I play drums still and I sing in a band based in Sydney call the Echoes of African Music with Simba Mushete. We’ll be playing here in Orange at Easter.