Catalans Abroad

Xavier Garcia

Perth (Australia)

A Catalan in Perth, Australia

Why did you leave Catalonia?
A brother of my father emigrated to Perth after the Spanish Civil War. We've always been in touch with him and his children, my cousins. One of them, on a visit to Barcelona 10 years ago, mentioned a job opportunity in Australia that was perfect for me. I decided to give it a try.
How long have you lived there?
Since 2004. At first it was only me. When I was well established, my wife and kids joined me, a few months later.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
Perth is a big city, with more than two million people living here. And its a vibrant city with a very active cultural life: music, cinema, theatre, festivals... It is impossible to get bored in Perth!
What do you miss most from home?
I miss friends and family. Luckily, I have a large family here too, so it was not so hard for us to feel at home in Australia.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
If you like to go shopping, I'd suggest a walk along Murray Street and Hay Street. Both of these streets are pedestrian malls and you'd find anything you want. In West Perth you'll find Harbour Town, with factory outlets for major brands. When you run out of money, go for a rest in Kings Park, one of the world's largest inner-city parks, with more than 400 hectares.
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
If you have time to spend, you must dedicate it to enjoying the Perth Cultural Centre, the location of the city's major arts, cultural and educational institutions, including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum, the State Library of Western Australia and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. PICA, the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia is also there, and it's the home of the Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Perth Theatre Company.
Xavier Garcia is a cardiologist who has lived with his wife and two children in Perth, Australia, since 2004. He visits Barcelona often, but is happy to be an adopted Aussie.
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