Werribee family flourishes for five generations

Back row: Lara Szuhan, Natalie O'Connor and Tyler Farrugia , Front row: Helene Koniuk, Piper Jean O'Connor and Nadia Szuhan

By Esther Lauaki

Five generations of Wyndham women are traced back to Helene Koniuk.
Mrs Koniuk, 94, set down roots in Tarneit more than two decades ago and today her daughter, granddaughters, great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughters all live within 15 minutes of her.
The family recently captured generations in portrait which they dubbed their “begats photo”.
Mrs Koniuk, a resident at Glendale Aged Care, arrived in Australia from Germany in 1950 with her late husband Gregory and daughter Nadia as displaced persons after World War II.
Nadia went on to marry Robert Szuhan and the couple raised their daughter Lara in Manor Lakes.
Lara, a long-serving teacher in Wyndham Vale, has two daughters Natalie and Tylah.
The youngest of the five generations is three-year-old Piper, Natalie’s daughter.
Nadia told Star Weekly she hoped her family would remain for generations to come.
“It’s wonderful to have my family so close,” she said.
“When my mother [Helene] lived in Tarneit she had such wonderful neighbours and we got to know many of the people in her street.
“My daughter has spent all her working life in Werribee and completed schooling here.
“The whole family is very content where we are.”
She said she loved everything about the area – especially the landscape.
“When we first moved here, it was because of the wide open spaces,” Nadia said.
“When we look out our windows, we see the You Yangs and we still can breathe our country air.
“We found our little corner of the world.”