We arrived in Australia beginning of January – just after the Christmas holidays.
Here January means summer holidays, and the school year starts at the end of the month.

The kids and I spend most of the time in exploring neighbourhoods and playgrounds. But unfortunately for a newcomer, the city is a bit empty, and a bitter sense of isolation comes over us.

Kids are naturally sociable. So, for me was important to find ways of nurturing this side of them, even when there were no other kids in the playgrounds.

As newly arrived in town, we love to do the touristy things. Museums, attractions, aquariums and zoos are must-see places – to get my kids entertained and to find social opportunities. Fortunately, Melbourne has an abundance of the above to explore.

There are plenty of activities for kids in this big town, even if it is the least active month of the year. Also, house hunting is challenging in January, but I will talk about this in another post.

As a mum, I focus instinctively on fulfilling my kids’ desires. This is the first time in our life that we have lived by the sea. The kids love to spend time on the beach, and we spend time there, until the chilly wind starts to blow, generally in the afternoon.

Finally, we receive the first communications from the school which is about to start, and my daughter can’t wait to meet her new schoolmates.
She is turning 9 this year, and Australia is move number 3 for her. It is a crucial age from a social point of view: schoolmates and friends are an important part of a child’s life. My daughter wasn’t immune to huge sadness at having to say her goodbyes to her friends when we had to leave.

Her strong sense of belonging manifests in many ways, and this time school uniform represents a new entry. She just loves the idea of wearing a school uniform. A) because its colours are purple and golden, B) it’s a kind of “dressing up” that she is allowed to wear at school every day. C) it fulfils perfectly her sense of belonging to her new unknown class.

With a thrill of excitement, we head to the uniform shop, to try on the summer dress – yes, there is a uniform for each of the two seasons – and a mandatory hat to protect from the nasty UV rays, abundant in this part of the hemisphere.
On this occasion, we learn with great curiosity, about the history of the two colours which represent the school values, together with the lion crest dated 1877 and the notable motto Sapere Aude – dare to be wise.

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