Visa application process
Name: Beverly Wambui Kabuya Muito
Occupation nominated for: Hospital Pharmacist
How did you find out about and why did you choose State Nomination visa?
I found out about it as I was researching visa options for skilled migrants on the DIBP website. As a pharmacist at that time, it was the best visa option open to me that also seemed to have the fewest restrictions and that didn’t require me to have secured a job prior to arriving.
What was your experience with the application process?
It was a very detailed but fairly straightforward process. The whole process took about 18 months. That said, the majority of that time was for preparation that included professional exams and getting all the paperwork together. The actual visa application process took about 4 months.
Do you have any advice for people considering State Nomination?
I always say that before starting the process, one must have decided that this is the path they wish to follow. There can be a lot of back and forth with documentation and potential professional exams and this can be discouraging along the way. My advice is not to give up. It is worth it in the end.
Did you use a migration agent or seek advice from a migration agent? If so, how was this experience?
I did not use a migration agent and chose to go it alone but from time to time sought advice from them. I found it useful as they helped clarify queries I had along the way. I generally found the information on the DIBP website sufficient and one simply needs to take their time going through it and follow the instructions provided.
First steps and experiences in building a new life
What were you doing before you moved to Australia?
I was working as a hospital pharmacist in a Government Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Why did you decide to come to Queensland?
To pursue better opportunities for my daughter and I, and of course, the weather!! I was born and raised in a country with a tropical climate but also lived in England for over 8 years. I would pick sunshine any day!
How long since you have been in Australia?
It has been just over 2 years since our arrival.
What were the biggest challenges/successes?
The biggest challenge was not having the family support system in place that one could easily call upon. The biggest success has been how well we have settled in and feel ‘at home’ here. Kuni especially is really thriving here. It really is a wonderful place for children.
What do you wish you would have known before you migrated to Queensland?
Some Australian slang such as where ‘Woop Woop’ was. I heard this phrase used several times in my first few months here. I thought, this Woop Woop place must really be something if so many people seem to live there. Perhaps we should consider moving!
What advice would you give people who are considering a move to Australia?
Just do it but to be consistent in their efforts and open minded once you get here.
Current living situation
Where and why did you choose the location you are currently living in?
Sunshine Coast. I chose it initially due to it’s close proximity to Brisbane and still being a regional area that my visa required.
Do you have any advice for migrants who have newly arrived?
To be open minded and adventurous. Try new things, have new experiences, talk to anyone and everyone. Maintain your sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself. You will have hiccups here and there but then you’ll know better, so you’ll do better next time!
Have you been involved in any community based/multicultural activities?
Yes I have. I was a member of the working group that was involved in developing the first Sunshine Coast Multicultural Action Plan. I am now a member of the Advisory Group that will advise the council on community multicultural affairs. In addition, I have had the privilege to share my life and migration experience in several public speaking engagements.
What do you like about living in Queensland compared to your home country?
That the beach is just a short drive from home and the feeling of safety as well as the light traffic!
What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss my family and close friends.
Current work situation
What was your experience in finding employment in your occupation?
I was very lucky in that I managed to secure a job within a month of arrival. However, I am aware that finding employment can be very challenging especially due to the lack of local experience which the majority of employers are looking for but which is naturally absent in a newly arriving migrant.
Do you have any advice for migrants looking for employment in Queensland and the challenges they may face?
Start where you are and work your way from there. It is very difficult to find a job when you are not currently working, so start where there is an opening. Also keep your eyes peeled and ear on the ground for opportunities that you might find in the unlikeliest of places and talk, talk, talk to people around you.
What do you enjoy most about working in Queensland?
I enjoy meeting a diverse range of people in my day to day work and I also like the overall relaxed atmosphere at work that is not overly highly pressured and stressful.
What is the greatest difference working in Queensland within your career/industry compared with your home country?
The laws surrounding the supply of medications and the Medicare system.
What are your future plans (personal and professional) in Queensland?
We are happy where we are now and with the progress made since our arrival 2 years ago. So we will keep doing what we are doing.