Engaging Newcastle was a two week photo essay of our community by Conor Ashleigh for the University of Newcastle. This image from the 'Family Warmth' series was part of the exhibition, which celebrated the diversity and vitality of our community.
Here are Conor's accompanying words:
Jerome Rugaruza welcomed me into his house with a huge smile that revealed his pearly whites. As I sat down in the living room and listened to Jerome speak in his soft voice my eyes couldn't help but take in his excited children bouncing around the room.
Jerome is originally from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. After seeking refuge in Kenya he was approved for resettlement in Australia in 2009. Finally, in August last year, Jerome's dream came true when his family finally joined him. Jerome's wife Imaculee Nyirahoza and four children, eldest son Bonfils, eldest daughter Joy, youngest daughter Jessica and youngest boy Musaking, have all settled quickly into life in Australia.
Jerome is currently enrolled at Newcastle University studying a Bachelor of Social Science. He has also been active in starting the Africa Australia Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation (AAAPR) with other Novocastrians. After most recently talking with Jerome he informed me that his wife Imaculee gave birth to a fifth child Joshua who was born on 18th July 2012.
To see the full Family Warmth photo series, please visit Engage Newcastle on Flickr.