Peter Halasz

“For me it was about the beach. I didn’t see the ocean,
or I didn’t see the sea until I boarded that ship in Marseilles in 1957...”

I was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1939.
I arrived in Australia in June 1957.

Coming to Australia

For me it was about the beach. I didn't see the ocean, or I didn't see the sea until I boarded that ship in Marseilles in 1957 and once I saw it I fell in love, and when I was in Bondi in around September ‘57 it was getting warm and the water was wonderful and surf was something that I never experienced before -  and I just loved it, it was just fantastic.  Bondi is the place I wanted to live in.

Freedom in this country

I'm pretty passionate about the fact that we live in a free society and having lived through Nazis and communism I really appreciate what we're allowed here. So freedom is a very important part of why I love to live here. I believe in respect for everyone. Having been a refugee I very much empathise with the refugees of today.

Key Migration Wave - Hungarian Revolution

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against the Soviets sparked the second wave of Jewish Hungarian migration. As a result of this conflict approximately 20,000 Hungarian Jews fled to Canada, USA, Australia, and Israel between 1956 and 1957. Of those who came to Australia, an estimated 70% of these immigrants settled in Sydney.

Listen to Peter's Eat, Pray, Naches stories

Full transcript available here

Peter walked 100km from Budapest to the safety of Austria as he escaped the revolution.


Peter remembers the rations in the war like be allowed 100g butter for the month and how Australians didn’t know what sour cream and olive oil was in 1957.


Peter has fond memories of going to synagogue with is Grandfather and takes us back to the same synagogue on his recent holiday to Budapest.


For Peter, naches is something that makes your heart warm, puts a smile on your face, this happens when he is with family. He believes he's had a good life so far and looks "forward to the next 55 years".