Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson

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    New book on Government migrant workers puts Beechboro woman in the spotlight

    15/12/2000 11:35 AM
     
    15/12/00

    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 journey 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, Beechboro’s Leena Bakshi, came to Australia in 1992.

    Born in Bombay, India, she was brought up by a mother whose 'girls can do anything' attitude ensured she grew up confident and able to take on the world on her own terms.

    “Social justice issues were also very much part of the family,” Ms Bakshi said.

    “As a child I can vividly remember we had a ‘poor slum’ settlement near my grandmother’s house and every evening my grandmother used to give away the left over food.

    “The starving millions were not something I saw on television but confronted and lived with on a daily basis.”

    Ms Bakshi worked with a number of welfare organisations before immigrating to Australia.

    She has worked extensively with ethnic communities and is now one of two community development coordinators in the North East Zone for the Department of Family and Children’s Services.

    “Believing in myself has the been my greatest strength and I also have a strong network of friends who I can rely on when my own strength is low,” Ms Bakshi said.

    “Above all I believe that one has do what one considers right and with integrity and everything falls into place. Sounds cliched but that is all there is to it.”

    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