Upon arrival in Australia in 1965 (from England on the SS Oriana), we took possession of our family home located at 137 Mugga Way, Red Hill, Canberra, Australia. The home had been custom designed and built, and was located in a very upmarket area of Canberra. Red Hill, a typically outback rocky outcrop laden with deadly snakes & spiders as well as kangaroos, was literally across the street.
It was from this home I had my first memories of seeing the newspaper photo of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, learning to swim, my father heading to the war in Vietnam, and it was the only time in when our entire family was living together under a single roof in my memories. We played “army” and “cowboys and indians” on Red Hill (with my older brothers nearly killed me by making me sit on a log that under it was a redback spiders nest). My oldest brother, Richard used to be naughty by “mooning” cars passing by at night. It was in this house that I learnt that my mother was actually Santa Claus, when my brother Tim took me into my parents bedroom the night before Christmas and showed me the closet behind the door had all these fabulous toys, that the next morning I would awake too thinking they were from Santa. It was from this house that I first went to school, and first learnt about volunteering, doing “rag drives” for my school (collecting clothes from homes in the area for underprivileged)