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 Opportunity Employment.
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, Waterford’s Nawdy Rousety, was born in Columbia and was the youngest of 13 children
“My father admired my mother and we girls were never treated differently from the boys,” Ms Rousety said.
“My father worked really hard to ensure all his children got to university. I studied Behavioural Psychology at Cartagena University and then got a scholarship to do a further certificate in England - now that was a culture shock for me.
“Suddenly I found myself alone in a new and foreign culture. Despite being good in languages, many people couldn't understand me.
“In 1981, we moved to Perth to be near my husband’s family. I love and respect people from different cultures, so it wasn't such a culture shock anymore.”
Ms Rousety said it was initially difficult to find work in her field of expertise.
She did odd jobs and eventually enrolled in a Community and Welfare Diploma Course. TAFE recognised most of her qualifications, and she achieved her diploma very quickly.
She now works as a co-ordinator with the Domestic Violence Legal Unit.
“I feel that there are lots of good things in this country and that each of us has the power to make a difference,” Ms Rousety said.
“Some people are doctors and when they get here, they can only do mopping and cleaning. I say that this is honest work and it will give you an opportunity to learn some things about this country and culture.
“I also think we should take the time to learn about the new country and how we can fit into a new society.”
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