My Life Before Arriving in Australia By Mick Skrijel

I was born on 1st March 1941 in Yugoslavia. I lost my parents very early on in my childhood. I grew up on my own. I worked to support myself from the age of 13 and I completed high school as well as my trade in Belgrade. I grew up in Belgrade and stayed there until I was 17.

After serving several masters I decided that I wanted a peaceful life. A life where I could work and look towards the future.

I returned to Italy for a second time as a political refugee. In a camp in Italy, the conditions were atrocious. Breakfast was a cup of coffee and nothing else. Lunch was 100grams of bread and dinner was soup. There were 25,000 of us in that camp. There were usually 2 showers working, 1 day a week for 2 hours. To wash myself and my clothes, I would bathe in the river to keep clean, even in winter.

I spent 6 months in a camp in Latina, which was approximately 80k’s south of Rome. Latina was a city built by Mussolini. It was built approx 8-10k’s from the beach, thinking that it would eventually expand to the sea. I’m sure that today, Latina has reached the sea. At that time, in the camp, I could have migrated anywhere in the West. America, Canada, Germany, Sweden, anywhere.

in Latina, Italy


I was born on 1/3/1941 in Yugoslavia and moved to Australia in 1961 looking for a peaceful life. Here is my story.

See Mick's profile.


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