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, Como’s Brenda Lee, was born in Kuala Lumpur, raised in Malacca and is of mixed Portuguese, Irish, Malay and Chinese heritage.
“In Malaysia, people in my ethnic group were known as Eurasians and were a minority,” Ms Lee said.
“English was my first language. However, I also learnt how to speak and write Malay at school and also learnt 16th century Portuguese.
“When I was 15, we immigrated to Perth and I went to a co-ed state school that was very different from the all-girls convent I had attended.
“I made friends easily and found my teachers to be very supportive and basically, this has been my experience of Perth.”
Ms Lee completed a Bachelor of Business and eventually joined the Superannuation Board. She now works as a human services officer with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority.
“I believe you should treat being new to any circumstance - whether a new country, a new culture, a new organisation or a new profession - as a positive challenge,” Ms Lee said.
“View any obstacles with the confidence to overcome them. For every problem there is a solution. Have courage and never lose belief in yourself.”
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 phoning Public Affairs at the Office of Citizenship and Multicultural Interests on 9426 8690.
Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800