Population ageing and low fertility rates have placed the Australian workforce under pressure. This resulted in calls for shortages to be addressed by the recruitment of more immigrant workers. As a result of that, at 30 June 2014, 28.1% of Australia's estimated resident population was born overseas.
South Australian aged care provider, ACH Group, has welcomed many of these workers to its community, with more than 50 countries being represented by our workforce.
Sebastian is an enrolled nurse working at ACH Group’s Highercombe Residential facility for seven years. He came to Australia with his wife, who also works at ACH Group, and their daughter for a change of lifestyle.
“I was an accountant in India and had no job satisfaction. In Australia I was able to have a career change, study and I now have a job I am proud of. Now I feel I am making a difference,” Sebastian says.
Lily moved to Australia fresh from high school. She was only 19 years old when she migrated by herself – all her family is in Kenya.
“I wanted to do my studies in a different country. This was 8 years ago and when I look back I am happy about what I have accomplished. I am a nurse,” Lily says.
“It is fantastic to be able to work in a place where all these cultures come together but we interact like we have come from the same place. No one is treated differently and we are able to learn so much about other countries.”
Ruvini’s move to Australia came at times of war when it wasn’t safe to raise her two daughters in Sri Lanka.
“We had to move because our country wasn’t safe. I am glad we did because Australia has welcomed us with great opportunities,” Ruvini says.
Iveta migrated from Slovakia almost six years ago. At first she worked as a careworker while finishing her studies. She now follows the career she has always been passionate about – nursing.
As what she loves the most about Australia, Iveta says: “My son.” Iveta’s son was born in Australia and has recently turned one.
This article was written to coincide with Harmony Day tomorrow (21 March) to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity. It is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.