Published: 03 December 2012
Extracted chapter from Griffiths, David (Ed.) Co-operators - Co-operation and Co-operatives, Southeast Housing Co-operative Ltd, 2012, p 35.
My family and I migrated to Australia due to the political uncertainties and the ethnic war in the 1990s in Sri-Lanka. After arriving in Australia we were renting for a short time near Monash University.
As our contract was almost over, we were looking for a new place to call home. My wife came across some information about co-operative housing and she rang up and left a message and few days later we were called for an appointment.
We were interviewed and were successful in qualifying for the SouthEast Co-operative Housing. We soon moved to Clayton South in May 2000. As we were moving to this house, one of the co-operative housing members with whom I did volunteer work, bought some beautiful seasonal flowers to plant in our garden.
The memory of these kind deeds lingers on and we can still remember the flowers, pink red and yellow. It is such acts that brought so much happiness to our lives. We have lived in this house now for nearly twelve years.
The SouthEast Housing Co-operative has been managing these properties well and I would like to state that we as tenants have immense privacy and the staff at SouthEast Housing are extremely understanding, supportive and very efficient in dealing with maintenance problems which arise.
I would like to state that although we meet all our members at the Annual General meetings and other events, we still lack the personal touch we had in the past. This could be due to the fact that we are under a bigger umbrella now. Therefore we should have at least an annual informal event to interact with everyone; I hope that everyone agrees with me.
Johnnie Tissera is a migrant from Sri-Lanka. He has completed a Bachelor of Philosophy from the Pontifical Urban University of Rome and a Bachelors Degree in Arts from the Peradeniya University in Sri-Lanka. Johnnie has worked for Mitsubishi Corporation Colombo Office as a Project Manager for nine years. This provided him with an opportunity to travel extensively in the Asian region for business negotiations. After migrating to Australia he has worked for the retail sector and is currently employed at the Chadstone Myer store. He has been with the co-op for nearly twelve years.