During our travels in Australia we were lucky enough to meet, and briefly work with a Fijian couple who have an impressive four harvests under their belts; not to mention six children (all boys), who provide the motivation for working so incredibly hard. They are shiny, happy people who beam goodness, generosity and peace to everyone they meet…and they cook a delicious vegetarian curry too!
The couple have an inspired story; they left their six boys back in Fiji four years ago to come and work in Australia so that they could send them all to university and ensure that when they returned to Fiji, they would be able to fund their own farm and live the life that they want for themselves and their family. We had a lovely meal with them last night and shared stories about family, love, ambition and hopes for the future. We listened as they told us about their traditional Fijian wedding (involving the gift of a ‘tabua’, which is a whale’s tooth and is given to the bride’s father), about the ancient art of ‘shark calling’ , about how Fiji is the first place in the whole world to see the sun rise each day and about the diary that they are keeping to document their time here in Australia. They explained that when they leave Australia and complete their final diary entry, six copies will be made; one for each of their sons, so that they can read about their parents time working amongst the vines and the sacrifices they made in order to secure a better future for the family.
It was impossible not to be inspired and humbled by what the couple told us. They spoke with complete openness, sincerity and love about the reasons for leaving their children, their faith in God, their determination to return to Fiji, to put their kids through Uni and to ultimately live happily on their own land, farming and providing for themselves. ‘Happy’ really is the overriding emotion that you are left with after spending time with them; they offered us such enthusiastic encouragement about our own hopes of starting a family together, making a success of our business and of the difficult decisions we are facing concerning whether to continue to live and work here in Australia, or to return to the UK. We left feeling buoyant, motivated and really lucky to have stumbled upon such genuinely lovely people.
Graphic Design Style
Much of Joe’s work focuses on symmetry. There is a balanced and beautiful strength in symmetry and this can be found in our new friendship; a glinting reflection of familiar hopes, love and determination, despite our different roots and cultures.
This is the original picture that Joe drew for them: