Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


    New book on Government employees profiles Winthrop fireman

    15/12/2000 11:23 AM

    The inspirational stories of people working in one of the world’s most diverse workplaces can be found in a new publication called Voices of Diversity.

    Voices of Diversity traces the journeys of 14 migrants now working in Western Australia’s public sector and is a joint project of the Office of Citizenship and Multicultural Interests and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

    Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Rob Johnson said Voices of Diversity provided a unique insight into the experiences of migrants in the workplace.

    “Many State public sector employees were born overseas and their contributions highlight the importance of this sector as an equal opportunity employer able to support difference and promote diverse management practices,” Mr Johnson said.

    “Specifically, these authors provide inspiration for dealing with obstacles, relay positive experiences and offer suggestions to new recruits who may find themselves in similar positions.”

    One of the employees, Winthrop’s Frankie Lee, was born in China and raised in Hong Kong, where he was a firefighter.

    He came to Australia at the age of 28.

    “Because Hong Kong is westernised, adapting to Australia was not very hard,” Mr Lee said.

    “What got me was having to study while trying to find my feet in a new job, a new environment and a new lifestyle all at the same time.

    “I had to finish the equivalent of TEE as an adult learner and briefly studied physics and maths at the University of Western Australia before I got work.

    “I was a firefighter for 10 years before being promoted to station officer in 1986. I didn’t find becoming a supervisor a big challenge but more of a natural progression. Basically, there’s a job to do and I do it.”

    Mr Lee said he found Australians to be very fair, but believes the environment at the WA Fire Service accounts for his positive experiences in the workplace.

    He described the service as one big family that embraced all new members.

    “Once you join, you’re part of that family,” he said.

    Voices of Diversity features the stories of migrants from Canada, China, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Vietnam.

    Copies are available from State Government agency libraries or by calling Public Affairs at the Office of Citizenship and Multicultural Interests on 9426 8690.

    Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800