Thai sisters Sukanya Jantra and (right) Dueannapha White with (centre) Arisa George, have embraced life in Australia with the help of their involvement in the Whitsunday Thai Committee.
Thai sisters Sukanya Jantra and (right) Dueannapha White with (centre) Arisa George, have embraced life in Australia with the help of their involvement in the Whitsunday Thai Committee. Shannen McDonald

'Everyone is so friendly': Group gives sisters taste of home

After landing in the Whitsundays not knowing how to speak a word of English, Thai sisters Sukanya Jantra and Dueannapha White say it was the friendly welcome of the region that encouraged them to embrace their move.

Mrs Jantra moved to the Whitsundays with her mum in 2010 followed by her older sister Mrs White in 2013.

It was an exciting yet daunting move, as the family had never been to Australia before deciding to put down roots in Proserpine.

It was love that first bought the family here and is what has since kept them, as they have come to embrace the Australian way of life while living in the Whitsundays.

Both sisters admit moving to regional Australia wasn't easy at first.

 

The Whitsunday Thai Committee celebrate their culture while living in Australia through traditional Thai performances.
The Whitsunday Thai Committee celebrate their culture while living in Australia through traditional Thai performances. Shannen McDonald

Mrs White said it didn't take long for life down under to improve thanks to the welcoming nature of the Whitsundays community.

"Every morning when I am walking, I get people waving and saying 'Hello, how are you' and big happy smiles," she said.

"I found the first three months really hard but after that I told myself to embrace my new life - everyone is so friendly here, so that helped."

Since living in the Whitsundays, the sisters have come across more Thai people living in the area.

Known as the Whitsunday Thai Committee, the group is a support for those who have made the move to the region.

"We just found each other - Thai people will just pop up in the area," Mrs Jantra said.

"It's funny because for some of us, we are learning so much about our Thai culture, that we didn't know before moving here and being a part of the group."

 

The Whitsunday Thai Committee performed traditional Thai dancing  at the PCYC Whitsundays Multi Cultural Family Day on October 19.
The Whitsunday Thai Committee performed traditional Thai dancing at the PCYC Whitsundays Multi Cultural Family Day on October 19. Shannen McDonald

In an expression of art and culture, the group perform traditional Thai dancing, complete with majestic outfits.

Most recently the women performed at the PCYC Whitsunday Multicultural Family Day in an elegant display of Thai culture.

"We are so proud of our culture and we love to share joy with our dancing to people here in the Whitsundays," Mrs Jantra said.

"We see how happy our dancing makes people so we feel very proud that we can do that."