Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

#WeAreSwissAbroad – Manuela Rocker ‘We’re a very sporty family’

Manuela 1

Manuela Rocker (Selfie im Spiegel)

Manuela Rocker had a tough start when she arrived in Australia 22 years ago. But the 52-year-old Swiss expat has settled into life down under, and even has a place where she can buy Swiss cheese. Originally from Lugano, she lives on the coast just outside of Sydney.

swissinfo.ch: Why did you leave Switzerland?

Manuela Rocker: I left Switzerland in 1995 to follow my heart.

swissinfo.ch: How were the first few months abroad?

M.R.: The first few months were all about exploring and finding out about beautiful Sydney. The language wasn't a big issue as I already had a basic knowledge of English. But driving on the other side of the road was a little challenging at times!

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of swissinfo.ch.

end of infobox

swissinfo.ch: Was it a one-way journey, or did you plan to return to Switzerland at some point?

M.R.: It was a one-way journey even though I had a bit of a re-think and spent 11 months in Switzerland in 2002, only to move back to Australia for good.

I can't exclude that I will move back to Switzerland one day... who knows what life has in store for you. But I have been living happily here with my family so I can't see that happening anytime soon. Sometimes I think my son might want to study in Switzerland someday, but he is only 11 so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Portrait pictures of Swiss abroad

Make Global Switzerland visible: Select your Instagram images with #WeAreSwissAbroad

(swissinfo.ch)

swissinfo.ch: What is your occupation?

M.R.: I do a few things: I have a jewellery businessexternal link, we invented a duffel bag that turns into a change room, and I am also a health coach and am studying nutritional therapy. I love all my activities. It keeps life interesting.

swissinfo.ch: Where exactly do you live at the moment?

M.R.: I live just a ferry ride from Sydney, in a place called Manly, right by the beach. I live here with my husband Carl and our 11-year-old son Jett. We love the beach lifestyle and spend our weekends having a great time with friends, driving our son to tennis tournaments and playing tennis and beach volleyball. We are a very sporty family.

Manuela 2

Manuela Rocker verfolgt mit ihrer Familie ein Spiel am Fernsehen

A post shared by Manuela Rocker (@manuelarocker) on

Manuela Rocker and her family are huge fans of Roger Federer and follow his exploits on TV.

swissinfo.ch: What's the food like there?

M.R.: The food here is great. When I first arrived here 22 years ago it was pretty basic and finding good bread was a mission. Nowadays you can find anything you want... including beautiful Swiss cheese!! And I mean it... we found a Swiss cheese maker/importer who is a real gem. Every year we treat ourselves to a few fondue and raclette meals.

swissinfo.ch: What do you prefer about Australia to Switzerland?

M.R.: I love the great outdoor lifestyle and living right by the ocean. People are pretty relaxed here, so that is a bonus.

Manuela 3

Manuela Rocker

swissinfo.ch: What's your impression of Switzerland from abroad?

M.R.: I stay in touch with friends and with my family of course. I can't help but notice that they complain about life a lot.

The thing that I have noticed over the years is that Switzerland seems more and more crowded.... I don't recall it ever being like that many years ago.

Other than that, judging by what I read online it's still a great country which I love!!

swissinfo.ch: What do you think of the political situation in Australia? Are you interested in politics in your country of residence?

M.R.: I follow the news every now and then and of course voting is compulsory here so you kind of need to know what's going on. Some stuff I find great and other I find not so great. I think that that is the case in every country though. I can say that generally we've got it pretty good here in Australia, even though I miss some Swiss know-how, so to speak.

Manuela 4

Manuela Rocker und Familie in einem Spiegel

swissinfo.ch: Do you participate in Swiss elections and votes?

M.R.: No. I used to in the beginning but for me personally it felt a little wrong to voice my opinion from so far away. I’m not sure if I made the right decision or not.... time will tell.

swissinfo.ch: What do you miss about Switzerland?

M.R.: The mountains! This is what I miss the most, the beautiful Swiss mountains. And the long days of summer. Even with daylight savings here it's already dark by 8.30pm. How I miss the long summer nights in Lugano!

swissinfo.ch: If you don’t mind telling us, how old are you?

M.R.: I'm 52, almost 53 - but truly feel like I'm 40 at the most! I'm sure it's my healthy lifestyle.

Are you a Swiss expatriate? Mark your photos on Instagram #WeAreSwissAbroad.​​​​​​

swissinfo.ch

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


Survey Swiss Abroad

Survey: Keyboard and Hand close-up

Dear Swiss Abroad, tell us what you think

Survey Swiss Abroad

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.








Click here to see more newsletters