Lake Macquarie History

Masha Koren

photo:masha koren

In 2007 Masha Koren and her husband committed to forming new lives on the other side of the world, leaving behind their native Slovenia to test their prospects in Australia. Since arriving in the country they have become parents and they are appreciative of the Hunter's picturesque coastline. However, establishing and maintaining careers in fields in which they both had existing qualifications has proven more challenging.

The pursuit of stable work and a desire to live in a city comparable in size to their former nation’s capital Ljubljana, saw Masha's young family move from the regional Victorian town of Bendigo to their current home in Lake Macquarie. Masha describes people in her new community as nice but observes that they are perhaps more restrained and less prone to spontaneity than those in her former homeland.

Unperturbed, Masha has encouraged her young daughter Pia to be active and to engage within Australian society whilst also teaching her about the culture from which her parents originated. Remarkably, while networking with a small group of Lake Macquarie based expatriate Slovenians, Masha discovered that following World War Two, there had once been a thriving community of former Yugoslavs numbering in the hundreds in the Newcastle region.