The Asian “immigrant” story is a common one which we all have heard numerous times. But one thing is for sure – it is never tiring to hear it told by different people time and time again. Why? well because it shows the resilience, persistence and the will to forge a life and in many cases succeed in different ways. Also, it is a reminder, that not all immigrant stories are successful and that not all Asians/Asian Australians live the “model minority” life. In any case, it is always important to highlight, and here is one we found on the Facebook page “New Humans of Australia”.
This one talks about the journey of a Chinese Australian – Michael, who didn’t meet his own father till he was 6 years old, as his father left for Australia before he was born to set things up for the family. When Michael and his mum arrived in Australia many years later (1995), his dad unexpectedly left them in Sydney to fend for themselves. Michael and his mum’s journey into forging a life in Australia is now all about suffering and trying to make ends meet, as well as moving around the country and finally settling in Melbourne as Michael grew up. Before we share some excerpts of this story, Michael is now a dentist based in Adelaide. Here is a few excerpts of the life story:
“When I started, my first thought was that I didn’t belong because I had done so badly in school up to year 11 and everyone else seemed so smart. But I put my head down, got through it, and ended up getting a job in the legal department of a major manufacturing company, which was a different approach to what most law students do. I really enjoyed it. It was hard work, but I learned a lot of foundational business, legal and corporate communication skills.”
“After that I worked in corporate governance in RMIT, then started to moonlight as a lecturer in the Law Faculty. Eventually, they asked me if I wanted to do a PhD and I blindly said yes! I next worked at Swinburne University, and then was head-hunted to lead the corporate legal team at the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Commission.”
“I had a good life, but after a while, I realised I wanted a different kind of job. I could see my seniors were making a lot of money but that their family life was not that good. And looking at my own upbringing, I wanted to be the kind of father who could be present in my own kids’ lives.”
“So I decided on dentistry. It would not only allow me to use the hand skills that I had developed from playing the violin, but also the analytical and reasoning skills that I’d developed in law. Plus it would be flexible, and offer me a stable income and the chance to meet different people every day!”
You can read the entire story in the Facebook post above.
Image via New Humans of Australia