Skilled migrants adding flavour to Bunbury
Norio and Yuki Idei have fully embraced life in Bunbury with their young son since moving to the area from Japan a year ago.
Mr Idei works as a chef at the Bunbury Farmers Market and at Paddy Patties, which the couple recently took ownership of.
He originally moved to Australia in 2012 to work at Miki’s Open Kitchen in Margaret River.
“I visited Australia 20 years ago and at that time I really wanted to find a way to come back,” he said.
“When I went back to Japan I was thinking about how I could emigrate to Australia, then I saw an opportunity to do so as a chef.
“I really wanted to move to that Margaret River area.”
He worked for five years before returning to Japan to further upgrade his culinary skills.
After a year he had received an offer to return as a chef at the Bunbury Farmer’s Market.
His wife Yuki and their four-year-old son came a month later.
“Margaret River was just a little bit too isolated and we wanted to do something ourselves but didn’t think we could compete against Miki’s,” Mr Idei said.
“There are a few more education opportunities (in Bunbury), it’s a little bit closer to Perth but still close to the countryside as well.”
Mrs Idei had been living in Japan while Mr Idei was working in Margaret River.
She said when she moved to Bunbury it was challenging as she had no friends or family.
“I saw the multicultural service in the newspaper advertising to help people new to the community,” she said.
“I thought to myself that that would be good because at that time I was just being a mum and housewife.
“That helped me a lot because I made a lot of friends.”
Multicultural Services WA Bunbury team leader Julie Todter said she often dealt with people who felt isolated and had varying levels of English.
“One of the fundamental parts of our program is to help people with English and education,” she said.
“Anybody who comes to us is always welcome ... and we do our classes in a family friendly space.”
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