In this blog, I want to share some of my story with you and why I am passionate about our Australian made awning and manufacturing here in the Land Down Under.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
My Country, Dorothea Mackellar
I love Australia. This poem sums up beautifully how I feel about this country and living here – especially as an immigrant whose homeland is in dire straights. I couldn’t be more grateful that the people here have opened their arms to me, and even more now as a business owner in Australia with an Australian made awning.
This is why I find it so strange that one of the most common questions I get is: “Why are you making a product in Australia when China is 6 times cheaper and you can make more money from it.”
The truth is: I’m a loyal, passionate person, and I’m dedicated. But all these reasons help to make up the most important one: that I’m proud to be in Australia. I’m proud to become an Australian.
I came to Australia on September 16, 2016, looking for a better life, and freedom.
I left Venezuela seeking change. I was sick of living my life feeling scared, having to leave home with a Smith and Wesson 9mm gun every day to go to the office of my company, just praying I’d get home safely after work. I was sick of living a life full of stress because of the political and social situation in Venezuela. I tell you, that isn’t life.
Australia is everything I was hoping to find – and then some!
So I empowered myself to live the life I’d always wanted and here I am.
It’s been four-and-a-half years full of stories – starting with the fact that I didn’t speak a word of English when I arrived here. I still have no idea about Aussie slang but I’m getting there! (so if you meet me face to face and ask me “watcha got on it, mate? How much dough?”, I may just smile and nod because Aussie slang is a completely new language for me!
I struggled even asking for a coffee in a shop and in McDonald’s too. In Venezuela, we ask for a “combo” but here it’s a “meal deal”. Little things like that can easily give you a headache.
Everything is different. I could spend hours walking around Coles or Woolies because there is so much variety here compared to what we have in Venezuela.
But not only that, I had nothing here.
In Venezuela, I had my own company (a garbage collection service in the second biggest city in Venezuela, which I built from the bottom up with a business partner). I had 128 employees, I had a house, cars, and trucks, but in the blink of an eye, I had nothing because of the dictatorial regime (a story for another time, which includes being kidnapped on more than one occasion).
I had no family here and the only work I could find was as a cleaner in a public school in Brisbane, which I’m not ashamed of at all (I had to do what I needed to do)
Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? But for me, it was a new beginning. I was learning something new all the time and the best thing was I didn’t need to carry a gun any more, I didn’t need to freak out every time I walked the streets because someone could walk up beside me and try to kill me just because they liked my shoes.
An Australian made awning is an investment
Since day one, I’ve been grateful for Australia. I’ve met amazing people, I have great friends, I have learned so much even in my jobs cleaning, driving a forklift, and working in a cold room. Everything here has taught me something new and it has been great so far.
So why would I make a product in overseas when my new home (Australia) is full of people who make amazing things and have incredible skills? Why wouldn’t we build a fully Australian made awning here?
I’d rather keep that money in Australia, give back to this country and make something incredibly great in AUSTRALIA because, as I mentioned before, I’m loyal to the place that opened the doors to me even when no one knew me.
I feel very happy to be doing this for our labourers, businesses, and economy.
With the help of Australia, and local Cairns businesses and labour, we’ve just released the Destination 4WD D270 degree freestanding Australian made awning – fully designed and manufactured in Cairns, Qld, Australia. It’s a you-beaut Australian made awning, mate!
It’s been created for Australia’s harsh elements – and made with space, shade, quality, and comfort in mind.
Australian made awning: Here are the details (270 awning)
Length: It is compact and strong, with a 2.2m base, which is shorter than most
Coverage: 2.2m x 4m x 4m x 2m x 2m
Shade area: 12.4sq m
Lights: LED lights (optional)
Brackets: 2x 3mm stainless steel brackets that are strong and sturdy, and will fit perfectly for your ute, car, caravan, or camper
Base material: Aluminium and stainless steel
Arm material: 4mm aluminium at the base, extending out to 2mm aluminium at the ends
Orientation: LHS / RHS
Fabric: Prestige Dynaproofed Outback Rugged (tear stop) canvas, superfine poly/cotton 260g/sqm (6 oz), it is UV-resistant, water-resistant, and has mould inhibitors.
If you need a new awning and you want it to be an Australian made awning, or know someone who does, we’d love to speak with you! Just contact us here or share our website with your friends!
Thanks for your support!
Destination4WD owner and founder
Meanwhile, you can check out our Instagram for the latest news, tips and how to use our freestanding 4WD awnings.