LIKE most of Australia, the story of south-west Victoria is one largely made up of the hope and aspirations of those who settled here after British colonisation.
Those stories continue to this day, with migrants of all kinds choosing to build a life in the region.
Geraldine Edar-Ralph is one of those people.
Ms Edar-Ralph can expect to experience a This is Your Life moment when she visits Flagstaff Hill over the next few months.
The Moyne Shire youth development officer is one of three subjects to be profiled in a new exhibition Over the Ocean: Stories of Immigration to the South West at Flagstaff Hill, Warrnambool, from October 9 to December 2.
The exhibition is produced by students of the Associate Degree of Arts, Business and Sciences at Deakin University Warrnambool Campus.
In the exhibition, students tell the personal stories of three people or families who have migrated to the Western District, revealing important but often untold parts of our local history.
Ms Edar-Ralph migrated from Davao, Philippines, with her family after finishing school for the better life opportunities and a nicer environment to raise children.
“In Australia there are more options for work and education,” she said. Since living in Australia, she has completed five different educational qualifications.
She hopes her story will inspire others.
“I think there are a lot of lessons to be learnt,” Ms Edar-Ralph said.
“It has never been an easy journey for me from poverty in the Philippines and then racism in my early years in Australia and the difficulties of trying to pursue a career as a single mum.
“I think it shows that if you’re determined and put in the effort you can achieve your dreams.”
Student Chloe Wood was inspired to profile Ms Edar-Ralph after participating in Moyne Shire youth programs.
“I already knew Geraldine but I learnt a lot more about her,” Ms Wood said.
“It was interesting to find out about why she came to Australia and how her life was before she came here.”
The exhibition features photographs, artefacts, certificates and personal stories tracing Ms Edar-Ralph’s life in the Philippines and Australia.
“Chloe signed on to go overseas with me … I was just returning the favour,” Ms Edar-Ralph said.
The exhibition will also feature the stories of tailor Gae Remine, who migrated from Italy, and Ron and Carlyn Sproston, who came from England in 1964.
Mr Remine migrated from Foggia, Italy, in 1960, looking for a more prosperous life. Supporting his family as a master tailor working for Fletcher Jones, he settled in Warrnambool and now enjoys life by the sea.