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Embracing Opportunities

Through embracing opportunities, Malinda, a Sri Lankan migrant begins a career in the Australian Disability sector after completing the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at TAFE Queensland.

In 2018, the Sri Lankan Navy veteran relocated to Australia with his family and they eventually settled in Rockhampton, where his wife found work as a nurse and Malinda worked nights at Teys Australia.

After initially finding the language barrier difficult, Malinda enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program at TAFE Queensland.

Through the AMEP, eligible migrants and refugees can access free English language classes to support their settlement journey.

Studying within the AMEP also gave Malinda the added benefit of utilising the Government funded childcare for his young daughter which gave him the time to improve his language skills.

During his study, he gained confidence in his English literacy, communication skills and learned all he could about Australian culture. Malinda especially enjoyed having the opportunity to listen to guest speakers, learn all about the local area and bonding with his classmates over his love of cricket.

With his newfound confidence, Malinda pursued further education and enrolled into a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015). Upon completion, he gained casual work in the Disability sector, but more recently Malinda has gained a position as a Residential Care Officer with the Department of Seniors, Disability Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Malinda stated that he is very grateful to the Australian Government and TAFE Queensland for offering AMEP to new arrivals. He is also thankful for the guidance and support he received while he and his family settled in Australia.

He expects to continue his learning journey and explore more study options in the future, but while his daughter is young he will continue to work part-time and attend AMEP classes. He is extremely happy to have a regular job with the government, where his skills and knowledge are valued by his colleagues.

Pauline Letizia, Malinda’s AMEP teacher, commends him on his dedication and positivity, “Mal is a regular and enthusiastic student who is always ready to lend a hand and gets on well with everyone... His willingness to embrace new opportunities has been an inspiration to all the students here and when his employment does take him out of the class, as it surely will, we will certainly miss his contributions to our class.”

The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs and delivered by TAFE Queensland across 45 Queensland locations.