“I was working in a historical library in Milan when I jumped to a fantastic one-year civil-service project in Melbourne. I never planned to permanently move Down Under, but it was December 2008 by the time I finished the project, and the Global Financial Crisis was in full effect. I didn’t have a job waiting for me in Italy, so a few months spent travelling around Australia seemed like a good plan, and here I am 13 years later!
Things changed during my trip, and I decided to come back to Sydney with a working holiday visa. That meant applying for jobs left, right and centre. Luckily, I got a job just two days before I could’ve gone completely broke. I was employed as a receptionist & admin coordinator in a small Aged Care facility. Deep down I was terrified of answering the phone, as it is much more difficult to understand people over the phone than face to face, especially with their strange Australian accent. I was to stay six months in this job but soon after they realised my potential, I was promoted to a managerial role and was offered a sponsorship. I stayed with the company for eight years.
The sponsorship process wasn’t smooth at all. The agent the company hired messed up my paperwork. Had I not been brave enough to take the matter into my own hands, they would have sent me packing immediately. I filed a case against the agent and won as it was proven she had no idea of what she was doing. I reapplied for the visa myself and had it granted without trouble. I have personally applied for all my visas since. The day I received my official citizenship, a feeling of immense relief and pride filled me.
Living in Australia feels fantastic for a lot of reasons, but sometimes I miss home. I get through these moments thanks to the solid group of friends I have met on the way.
I have proved to myself I can be the hero of my own story when the situation arises, I moved to the other side of the world and went from being a receptionist to managing an Aged Care home.”