Maria Privitera shares how she found a new home in Australia – and discovered South Eastern Community Connect’s home care services.

“I was 21 when my brother and I made the decision to migrate to Australia from Italy.

There was a call for people who could come to Australia to cut sugar cane, and he decided to apply – so we went.


Maria Privitera at her Mascot home today, aged 80.

My brother had experience working with my father on the land because in Italy we grew wheat, olive trees, broad beans and other vegetables.

The Australian government said they would sponsor people to come, and they were allowed to bring one person, so my brother chose me.

The sound of wedding bells

Within two years of coming to Australia I met my husband, and I married him at the age of 23.

He wrote a letter to my father back in Italy asking for my hand, but my father had reservations because he wasn’t from our home town.

Eventually he came around however, and we were happily married for many years before he got Parkinson’s disease and had to live in a nursing home.

A turn for the worse

He eventually died, and I’ve needed more support as I’ve gotten older. About 10 years ago I had an accident dropping a soft drinks pallet on my ankle, and I’ve had complications ever since.

I started using South Eastern Community Connect’s shopping list service, where someone takes my list and gets me the groceries I need. Then I realised they could offer me a lot more, and I chose them as my home care service provider.

SECC comes through with support

Now, Beatrix takes me grocery shopping once a week, and Kylie comes to spend time with me and does some cleaning.

I also get community transport to go to Bingo locally, and other options such as the Hydrotherapy pools.

I’m also looking into other options, such as getting help with transport to medical appointments and social support programs.

I’m really glad I switched over to South Eastern Community Connect.

They have a great flexible transport system, the best price on the market, and I feel like I belong with their team of support staff.”

For more info on our Home Care Package services, click here.

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