Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


    New book on Government workers profiles Canning Vale man

    15/12/2000 11:05 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 follows 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.

    One of the employees, Canning Vale’s Arthur Wilson, said he loved living and working in Western Australia.

    “I love Perth and Western Australia is truly one of the world's treasures,” Mr Wilson said.

    “I thought America was the land of opportunity until I moved here.”

    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.”

    Mr Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, but moved around a lot because of his father’s involvement in the military.

    “Growing up in all these different surroundings filled part of my life with great highlights but I will never forget the poverty, crime, racism and drugs,” he said.

    “You could not keep count of the people that I knew that fell through the cracks of ‘the system’.

    “I did well in school and ultimately joined the Navy. The Navy taught me how to fix multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art fighter aircraft.

    “The Navy also taught me about project management and working with a wide range of people in a team. I learnt a little about computers.”

    Mr Wilson met an Australian woman and they married and moved to Perth.

    His first job was packing boxes at the Supply West Warehouse.

    He now works at Central TAFE as the inaugural director of the Centre for Online Services and Communications.

    I had to make a few sacrifices over the years,” Mr Wilson said.

    “I had to work hard, first to get my family established. Then I worked long hours to learn as much as I could about my job, the department, Government and people. It meant extra study and working over weekends.

    “But what drives me forward and motivates me most is my wife Andrea and my children Jarred and Jordan.

    “This is a quick snapshot of my life. If it can inspire one person the way others have inspired me, I would be honoured.”

    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