Petra Hilsen is a German-born migrant who came to Australia in 1983 after finishing her studies in Europe. “I went to Australia”, she says, “because I wanted my children to grow up in Oz”. In 2012, she founded the German Stammtisch in Newcastle NSW, a city which according to the 2016 census has 328 residents who speak German at home – a small but passionate community!
For 25 years, Ms Hilsen managed a Kindergarten in Melbourne and it was the best experience of her life! However, things took an unexpected turn and she found herself moving to Newcastle a few years ago, starting all over again. Now aged 61, she has reinvented herself, turning her passion for felt and crafts into a fresh career.