Kaw’s journey to independence in Australia
19 Jun 2018
25 year old Kaw Wah arrived in Mt Gambier in 2013 after spending 12 years in a refugee camp in Burma. At that time, his English wasn’t strong, he didn’t have work experience and hadn’t had a formal education.
Kaw began working in a number of casual labour, nursery and vineyard jobs over the next three years, however he was keen to have reliable and sustainable employment as opposed to seasonal positions, and was also looking to purchase a house.
In 2016 SYC worked with Kaw, exploring the benefits of full time, stable employment and how this would help him to secure the loan which was previously declined due to an irregular work history. This would also provide him annual leave entitlements which he could use to pursue the longer-term dream of becoming a musician/actor.
Over a number of weeks Kaw was assisted by Meg, his case worker, to understand the necessity of proving a regular income in Australia to gain a bank loan. Meg helped Kaw to explore the options of dairy work which would provide regular hours in formal employment, supported by documentation and payslips. This work would also use and build on his current skill base and provide opportunity for him to practice English language and develop further vocabulary. Without Meg’s direction and encouragement, Kaw might not have considered a career change into the dairy industry.
SYC sourced a dairy hand position with Telford Sharefarming Trust, a small dairy farm south of Mt Gambier with 20 employees. Meg prepared Kaw to attend the interview, at which he was successful, and assisted him with PPE clothing for his commencement. Telford Sharefarming provided Kaw with on-job training. Both Kaw and the employer were really happy with the ‘fit’. Kaw actually liked the early 3am shifts because he can finish work at 10.30am.
He was employed successfully and no longer receiving Centrelink benefits. This was instrumental in him reaching his goals of securing a bank loan, affording to visit his family back in Thailand and around Australia. He enjoys his new found independence in Australia, supporting the local industry. He also adores the farm life where he loves to ride his motor bike!