“I had no family here except my two children, and I had to deal with six rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant alone. It was an extremely lonely time.
Faith Tan runs a property development business in Sydney. Credit: He provided faith
Ms. Tan’s property developer’s husband and extended family still lived in China, and her husband remains there to work.
She had several friends who were part of an Asian women’s network called Way In and the “sisters”, as they are called, visited her in hospital to offer support and encouragement during her long recovery.
“I spent a lot of time preparing and the exhibition helped me regain my confidence and connect with other people.”
Way In president Annie Tang (left) with Faith Tan. Credit: Path provided in the network
Ms Tan is the founder and CEO of a residential property development company in Australia called Urban Stellar, and is close friends with current Way In Chairman Annie Tang.
“Migrant women are often very lonely and many have no friends at all. So the Way In Network provides them with a platform to connect,” says the 62-year-old.
Way In Network members support various community groups. Credit: Path provided in the network
“A lot of Asian women don’t like to share their story. They don’t want to open their hearts because if they have a problem, they feel they have to keep it within the family or lose face in front of strangers,” says Ms. Tang.
“So I tell them we’re all like sisters, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed if you have a problem. I’ve probably had the same problem too.
Many Asian women don’t like to share their story.
– Annie Tang, President of Way In
Ms. Tang knows this only too well. She has walked a lonely road after arriving in Australia with her husband and two little boys.
Annie Tang shortly after arriving in Sydney with her children. Credit: Supplied Annie Tang
“The difference in food culture, then the language barrier, was difficult. And then without a social life, I found it so lonely.
“The only way to make friends was to take the kids to school or daycare, where I met other people and tried to communicate with them.”
“Later, I was asked to work with a local community hospital that wanted to expand services to help migrant women.”
Annie Tang (center right) with her extended family. Credit: Supplied Annie Tang
As Deputy Mayor of Sydney’s Kogarah Council, Annie went on to set up programs for migrant business owners.
Howin celebrates Hong Kong’s street culture through its four locations.
Howin Chui in his restaurant in Kowloon. Credit: SBS News / Sandra Fulloon
“At the Kowloon Cafe on Sydney’s Sussex Street, you can experience a Hong Kong alley surrounded by vintage posters. It’s loud and laid back and always busy.
Additionally, the group regularly hosts forums on topics such as domestic violence and discrimination.
The Way In Network’s domestic violence and discrimination awareness forum. Credit: Path provided in the network
“Many Asian women have been harassed on the streets, especially during the pandemic,” Ms Tang said.
“And I will always remember the help the Way In sisters gave me during my illness. It changed my life.”