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Esmeralda’s Odyssey: New Horizons in Australia 

By Emma Prineas | January 11, 2024

Esmeralda, an ambitious lawyer from Ecuador, embarked on a life-changing journey to Sydney following her marriage to an Australian resident. Her transition was not only a big move geographically, but also a brave leap into a new culture. 

“In Ecuador, I studied for six years to obtain my law degree. I developed excellent communication and computer skills, time management and problem-solving skills, and strong analytical skills.”  

Esmeralda’s career was on a promising trajectory. She began working in the juvenile justice system supporting young offenders, followed by a stint in private law practice. In 2015, she secured a position in the Ecuadorian family law court, a role she held until her departure for Australia in May 2022. 

Despite the impressive skills and experience she earned in her home country, Esmeralda faced a daunting reality after arriving in Australia. “My abilities are recognised, but my law degree is not,” she explained.

This lack of recognition initially left her feeling undervalued and lacking confidence. “Having migrated to Australia after occupying an important role within the law system in Ecuador, l felt un-useful and l lacked confidence. l felt unrecognised within the community, however, these same feelings made me more determined to learn and integrate into the Australian system.” 

Esmeralda knew that learning English was her first step toward getting her skills recognised. When she decided to seek assistance, she sought help from Navitas Skilled Futures (NSF) and enrolled in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)

“My primary focus of joining Navitas was to learn English. I had never studied English in Ecuador”, she said. “My favourite part of the program was the teachers and staff that encouraged me as they were always so helpful. l particularly enjoyed the CANVAS system which allowed me to continue learning from home.” 

Following time spent in the AMEP, Esmeralda continued her studies in the Pathways to Work Program, a sub-program of the AMEP, with a view to finding work.  

“Navitas guided me through the Australian workforce system. I learned valuable skills including how to prepare my resume, how to express myself in job interviews, the importance of self-confidence, and not being afraid to communicate with the general community.” 

Esmeralda – AMEP, Pathways to Work

While Esmeralda is confidently progressing with her English language skills, she has her sights set on bigger goals. “l have aspirations to succeed and continue learning the different business aspects at Navitas. I also have hopes of continuing to study law in Australia.”  

Esmeralda sees the recognition of international skills and qualifications as a significant advantage for Australia, contributing to the nation’s multicultural and developmental progress. 

“I feel that Australia stands to gain immensely from having such a multicultural society with various international skills to form part of the Australian way of life. This can only be seen as a forward step to development of this great nation.” 

Her advice to new arrivals in Australia is clear and encouraging. 

“Learn the English language by enrolling in the AMEP program. Australia offers you a diverse range of opportunities so don’t be afraid to explore and use these opportunities to achieve your success story.” 

Looking back, Esmeralda has no regrets about choosing Australia, and the AMEP, for her retraining and growth.  

“Undoubtedly yes, I would choose Australia to retrain and explore my full potential,” she affirms. Esmeralda is now working at NSF, as a Data Administration Officer, supporting learners as part of the AMEP. 

Esmeralda’s journey reflects resilience and adaptability, characteristics that are essential for anyone navigating the complexities of settling in a new country and pursuing professional fulfilment.

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