Barbara Mantoan
Barbara Mantoan

About Barbara

When I was a child, Australia was always on my mind. I used to close my eyes and smell the ochre colours I saw on TV. The reds and browns were the first l thing that linked me with Australia.

After college, I started saving money and travelling around the world. I visited many places in New Zealand and Australia but I’d not been to the Northern Territory. Then, in 2008 I came to Darwin for a holiday. I fell in love with the lifestyle, with the Territorian people and the natural environment. I felt like I had arrived home.

I wanted to stay and study in Darwin but I had to return to Europe to earn money. I spent four years in the UK and another year in Ireland. It was hard, but each week I managed to save some money for my study dream. I worked for so many years and in the end, I saved enough to get back to Darwin and get my student visa.

When I arrived in Darwin, two years ago, I realised my determination had paid off. Darwin has the best laidback lifestyle, amazing sunsets, warm people, and also quality education. Over here, everything is possible. If you work hard, if you are humble and always ready to learn and improve your skills, and if you play your cards right, you can win. And the feeling of being at home never left me. I’ve met fantastic people from all over the world and I’ve made many Aboriginal friends. Two months ago, I went to visit one of my Aboriginal friends, Christine. She was painting and as I watched, I suddenly remembered back to when I was 7 yeas old, seeing and smelling all those ochre colours on the TV. It was amazing remembering that. Look at how far I’ve come! I’m here in this beautiful place called Darwin, full of beautiful people, I’m doing my dream job and I’m studying hard to have a good career. I would like to encourage everybody to follow their dreams, because now I am living mine; a dream called Australia.