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COTA

Story 2

I arrived in Australia March 2013 from Singapore.

I have qualifications and experience in management. I created my own company in event management in Singapore. I didn't want to stay in Singapore because it is not stable so I came to Australia to build a permanent life for me and my husband.

I didn't get a chance to apply for jobs even though I am well qualified. I took management courses but could not get into vocational courses because I was told I was too old. It is very hard for migrants.

Story 2I have started an events company but I had to pay for my course at TAFE. Even at TAFE I was told that events Work was for younger people. It was age discrimination, rather than because I am Iranian. This was my third migration and it was my worst experience.

I was told my name was too difficult so I changed it; I changed my email. It didn't help. I took a leadership course. It refreshed my industrial management knowledge. I thought I could create a centre for women to help them. But I am still working on finding a job. I keep getting told I have to know someone on the inside. I am looking for a project coordination job. I hide everything on my CV relating to my age but still have not got a job.

Skilled migrant women just need help to get into something and then we can prove our worth. Within the centre here at Multicultural Communities Council of SA we are trying to empower women.

Jobs SA ask for age. You have to give it. So the SA government is supporting discrimination. The website will not let you continue unless you put in your age.

I have been told that people discriminate when they see a foreign name on a CV and reject it without reading it. It is not good enough that we have to change our name to get a job. It is expensive for the government if we can't work because they have to pay for our mental health which deteriorates when we can't get a job.

I am also a professional translator but didn't get those jobs and people who didn't have qualifications did get the jobs. I have good computer skills.

Employers are very specific about what they want which includes the relevant certificate. Experience does not count and you don't get the chance to show that you can do the job.

If the state government funds us we can work with our community. Or it could be a loan so some in our community can start a business. Most of the available jobs go to family and friends. That is another problem. The job gets advertised but just as a formality. If we have some powerful women on our side it would be valuable and useful.