I grew up in a family with 6 older brothers and sisters. My dad had to work really hard to financially support us, so I never really saw him, and my mum had a severe mental illness and was hospitalised straight after my birth.
My dad was a migrant from Indonesia and came to Australia with very little. He started his own business which he is very proud of. Mostly my older sisters looked after me and gave me dinner and made sure I went to school. I was also very close to my neighbours, who always gave me advice (and still do!) about life, career, boys and arguments with my brothers and sisters.
Some people say I must have had a terrible childhood because of my mum’s mental illness, but I always felt looked after and knew there were adults I could trust and speak to who understood me. I guess there are many ways of having a family.