Opinions on Melbourne from a Son of an Immigrant Family



Mzeiya, at the risk of sounding redundant, thank you very much for reminding me the type of articles I started up this blog to write in the first place.

And so I begin a series known as:

What is the Best City to Immigrate to?

The way I will answer that question is by going city by city and talking to immigrants in as many socioeconomic and age groups as possible and asking them their opinions on:

a) Employment

b) Racism

c) The culture of the land

e) Facilities that allow someone to maintain a healthy lifestyle (if there is something I may have missed that you think is important, leave a comment below and I will add it to the list of questions).

Today’s Interviewee: Me

Considering I am an immigrant and I am the most available guest I will start with me. Below are my stats:

Age group: Early 20s

Socioeconomic status: Minimum wage employment. Old enough to be a college graduate; college dropout

Any feedback on how to improve this series and make it more useful to you is much appreciated. Enjoy

The Interview

icon for podpress  Introduction and Employment/Unemployment [2:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Nursing and Healthcare Industry [2:05m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Racism [1:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Culture and Education [5:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Facilities that Encourage Health [4:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


To further illustrate just how ridiculously low unemployment is in Victoria (the federal state that Melbourne is in), check out the article below:


Some articles on the nursing shortage in Australia:

From the Australian Newspaper

From News Website

From Express India Website

If anyone has any more articles to submit to prove my point, please feel free to submit them. I thank you for bearing with me as I stumble through this whole podcasting thing, I think at some point I have to attend classes to learn how to slow down.

To receive the latest interviews on the various immigrant cities throughout the world, make sure you stay tuned via RSS or email.

No Comments

  • By acolyte, May 27, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

    Sigh, I’m going to have to find time to listen to this. I’m more of a reader than a listener but I’m sure you have some interesting stuff in store for us.

  • By Kelly, May 27, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

    I have used my newfound knowledge to download all the posts. Will listen and give feedback.
    At the risk of starting a debate, whats with the ‘early 20s’? Ok, why are people hesitant to give their true ages?(I’m not referring to you!)

  • By Mwangi, May 27, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

    @acolyte: Apologies man….it looked like typing out all the interviews would end up being way too much text and typing and I thought I would shorten it by getting 1400 words into 10 minutes of audio.

  • By Mwangi, May 27, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    @Kelly: Cool, let me know what you think. My age is not really that difficult to calculate based on the posts I have written so far BUT the reason I don’t like to speak about it explicitly is the moment I do it comes with its own expectations of what I should or shouldn’t say or do……in fact one can easily make the argument that me saying anything about my age in the first place has been a mistake because it’s clouded people’s expectations when they come here.

  • By Kelly, May 27, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

    I’m glad you gave this answer, cos it in a way justifies my I want to be 30 rant that I did earlier. http://pinkmemoirs.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/i-want-to-be-30/
    People have certain expectations on how one should speak, think, dress, and so when you don’t…
    Yeah, I knew your age from your earlier posts.

  • By Mwangi, May 27, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

    @Kelly: It is certainly easier to do certain things at certain ages. Personally I have gotten to a point where I never want to be restricted by my age and want to defy every stereotype of every age group I’ll ever join, beginning with mine. You know I have never dreamt of my middle ages, my retirement years (I want to be a lecturer) and how I’ll parent, yup, but I’ve never thought of what I’ll do between the ages of 30-50.
    But you best believe if I do something spectacular for my age, I will milk the fact that it’s not something that my peers typically do in a very quick hurry.

  • By Kelly, May 27, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

    I hear you on the aiming to ‘outdo’ your peers! It’s my daily mantra, I believe my goals should be waaaay beyond what my peers are thinking about.

    I’m suprised you haven’t thought of the 30 – 50 period. I think I have it charted out more than the 25 – 30 period. For some reason, I know where I’m headed, but the path keeps changing, so my short term keeps shifting.

    Lecturer! Thats really good. Teaching is often very rewarding especially if it’s at the point where you don’t really need the money.

  • By Mwangi, May 27, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    @Kelly: I tend to think more in terms of core underlying goals as opposed to the means to get there or the specifics of it….life living here has taught me that there are many roads to the same socioeconomic state or feeling or result and so I just hold on to whatever I want my goal to be as a parent or what I want to achieve over the next couple of years and just go out and do stuff.
    I think I’d be fooling myself if I mapped out my middle ages beyond my personal principles and parenting principles, I’ll probably be so changed that my values will have changed.
    As you can tell, I love to talk and educate and so I think it’ll be cool if every day I can walk into a hall, brain dump into some fresh young minds and watch them bloom.

  • By Nakeel, May 27, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

    Am seated on a very old computer today which cant play your audio will check it out laters. All the best with your interviews and cant wait for more. Lool Kelly I thought I was the only one thinking about it.

  • By Mwangi, May 27, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

    @Nakeel: Thanks for the warm wishes. He he he, is it really that different. My goodness so I guess there are some people who just don’t look like they sound….the only time that has happened to me is when I first saw Dead Prez live, I always switch their voices with their faces and it took me a long while to know who was who. Do I sound like a campus-aholic to you too?
    Hmm it looks like podcasts won’t be a regular thing, unless there’s a text component, too much domes for folks at work.

  • By Mzeiya, May 28, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

    Cheers Mwangi,
    I dont have my earphones with me so i ll have to wait till i reach home. Otherwise I hope I can get some titbits from your experience and see if it also applies to me.

  • By Kelly, May 28, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

    Finally I listened to all the podcasts. You make Australia sound so good, I’m tempted to change the direction of my radar from Canada/US to Australia. About education, I was looking at the Ausi MBAs, and they seem expensive compared to Canada / US, which is worrying considering the ‘International Recognition bit’. Why is that?

  • By Mwangi, May 28, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

    @Mzeiya: Give me feedback on it and how it weighs against the type of information you want and need.

  • By Mwangi, May 28, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

    @Kelly: I honestly think I am blessed to live in the greatest place on Earth, if you approach it from a consumer mindset, it’s simply so much better than the States and UK in my view on so many levels.
    Hmmm, I might not be able to answer your questions BUT I think the folks who can do it exceedingly well are the folks at http://www.mwalimu.com . Should you manage to obtain an answer from them please feel free to share it here.

  • By Mwangi, May 28, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

    I just thought I would attach a link to an mwalimu pages on studying in Oz:

  • By Kelly, May 28, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

    Thanks Mwangi for the Mwalimu resource. Their site seems to have some sort of a problem with the links, but I will try.

  • By Mwangi, May 28, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

    @Kelly: You noticed that too huh…I just wasn’t sure if it was my computer or what. If the folks at mwalimu.com read this comment….wassup with your page bwana? The information is great but browsing ability is severely limited at present.

  • By Mwangi, May 29, 2008 @ 4:50 am

    @Kelly: I just found this great site that might be of some use to you – I will definitely include it in my currently in progress newsletter – http://www.workpermit.com/

  • By Kelly, May 29, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

    Thanks! Will look it up.

  • By Mzeiya, May 30, 2008 @ 1:32 am

    I know I have not told you this but am in Melbourne too and I do agree with most of what you have said. I reckon for the English issue its just everywhere in Australia. They have a rather simplified strand of English perhaps due to the influx of immigrants. They generally do not fancy big words-lol- like Britons, Americans and not forgeting our Kenyan brothers, do. I noticed this in uni and I was quite amazed. However, their educational standards still remain top notch.

    Jobs, yes you are right- its hard to miss one,and like my economics lecturer once said maybe you might not like the job but you can still get one. As for instituitonal racism well i guess that one sucks a lot and I would rather spend my mid age years back home where I can land high positions or create one for myself.

    Melbourne and Oz in general is the sort of place that I would advise an African who is below 30 years to come and try out.Infact early 20 s is the best time but if you are a bit older but havent hit 30s it could still be worth a try. By this am referring to people starting out in life, so if you are over 30s and sort of secure you could come in as a skilled migrant and still make it big. All the same I know dudes who do not fall into my little box but were ready to defy odds and they seem to be doing a lot of progress, if not better. But I digress.

    Whatever the case I reckon you need to come here with a really clear objective. Like mine is to be here for 5 years. I ve already spent two, so I have 3 more which would be basically laying the foundation for my career. After that I may want to go home( but of course maintain ties with this beautiful country) but if something better crops up then I could just stay. Why do I say this?, its because some people find themselves in a foreign land and realize 10 years have elapsed since they came. If they are doing fine thats good but if you are still trying to chart your path all that time then you need to see exactly what went wrong and rectify. Only then will you achieve success. Again I know some of you must be thinking that this sounds so cliche but it may be important to some people, especially those starting out here or planning to come.

    Anyway as usual thanks Mwangi, this time for the trouble of having to interview yourself. lol. Keep up the good work mate.

  • By Mzeiya, May 30, 2008 @ 1:33 am

    that there was a long reply i made.I didnt even realize.lol

  • By Mwangi, May 30, 2008 @ 1:40 am

    @Mzeiya: You’re in Melbourne…two years? In that case you must know me, I have been too loud in the past to miss. I pretty much agree with everything you have said. I don’t know if you know this lady known as Susan who came here to get a Masters Degree but is about to go home $20 mil richer in Kenya shillings….so I think that in terms of accruing funds, there are very few barriers in that department.
    About the English thing, they do hate formality quite a bit especially in conversation but I’m talking about even in spoken word, a lot of folks here are barely literate.
    I don’t think it can be repeated enough times how important it is to know why you are here. Don’t worry, mini-posting is very highly encouraged and welcome on the Displaced African so don’t worry about length.

  • By Mzeiya, May 30, 2008 @ 2:02 am

    Well actually we know each other. Am new to the site- and so of course I was not going to scream that I know you, but since the spotlight is on Melbourne I thought I could contribute. In your new article you asked if you needed to go on with this topic, well I suggest keep going on. I would want to hear from you how people make such crazy amounts in Melbourne coz everything here seems to be too formal. I ve always thought the business environment here is hard to penetrate as compared to say in Kenya where we both come from.

    Maybe we can catch up sometime over a drink (i guess coffee will do for me in this winter).

  • By Mwangi, May 30, 2008 @ 2:14 am

    @Mzeiya: Aah! So we know each other. Hmm, I do have the lady’s email so it’s definitely worth a shot to see if she is able to be interviewed. I will muster up the courage over the next few hours to email her.
    My experience is the exact opposite, that this place is very lax and informal when you want to start a business (though of course the paperwork to keep going and maintain is just ridiculous sometimes). To put it in context, though I am in a nuclear family with two other adults – aka mum and dad – I am the only person who has ever been employed here, so I think.
    I am always down for a meetup, whichever day suits you, though please in the evening, me and mornings and middays are not very good friends.

  • By Corelda, August 7, 2008 @ 4:38 am

    Hey im moving to OZ next year March and i know this kinda has nothing to do with what you guys were talking about, BUT uhm…. by that time i will be in the middle of my matric year here in SA and i know your school terms are bifferent than ours.

    I was wondering if you can send me some info about how matric is on that side, im in an afrikaans school and i have toerism, and that will obviously not be the same there! im afraid that i might fail as its quite allot of work i have to “RE-DO”.

    I have considered staying here and then just going after matric BUT like all moms, my mom wouldn’t let me stay behind.

    Thanks for letting me bother you my mail is corelda@telkomsa.net
    Please reply asap as i need to talk to my mom again if it’ll be to hard

  • By Mwangi, August 7, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

    @Corelda: Hey, so I can best answer your questions, please clarify for me what two things mean:
    a) Matric year?
    b) Toerism?

    Once I know just what you mean by those two things I will advise you to the best of my ability.

  • By Corelda, August 9, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

    hey sorry!

    1) uhm… well toerism is a subject we have at school we learn about all kinds of places in SA like ‘cradle of human kind’ and ‘table mountain’ but when i move and i take that subject there it wont be stuff about SA it will obviously change and we will learn about places in OZ and i will have allot of catching up to do because i don’t know anything about OZ only that sydney is the capital city

    2) Matric year is like my GRADE 12 year, Like the year i finish school!
    YEAH!! cant wait!! BUT if i move i will struggle as i can’t speak or (as you ca probably see) write very well in english

  • By Mwangi, August 10, 2008 @ 11:53 am

    @Corelda: Speaking as someone who went to high school in Kenya and then came to Australia mid way through high school, I would recommend you stay back in South Africa and work hard to ensure you get a great grade for your matric exams and then come down here to do your University. The process of readjusting, especially considering how unprepared you currently are, would have to much of a negative impact on your grade.
    Are you referring to “tourism”? If so, I don’t remember that subject being taught here when I did Year 12, but I think the overall point is just to stay in SA where you understand the system and finish high school here, and come down for University.
    Very important: Before you come do a couple of things:
    1) Learn English: Learn not only proper English but begin watching Australian TV shows, neighbours, Steve and Bindi Irwin, Home and Away, interviews with Australians like Nicole Kidman etc etc so that you learn not only the proper English language but also how to talk to Australians when you come down: Too many people have been held back because of an inability to speak good English.
    2) Begin to read Australian newspapers and TV shows so you can understand the contemporary issues Australians face and understand the way they think a bit better.
    3) Figure out where members of the South African community are in whatever city you want to go to. Go to online forums and do Google searches for South Africans living in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth or wherever it is you are going and begin to form relationships online so these people can help you settle in when you arrive.
    4) If you can afford it, I found a classified ad for a South African company based in Australia that helps other South Africans settle into the country. I haven’t personally contacted them yet so I don’t know if they are still operating. You can find them by clicking on this address:

    Best of luck. Any other questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Other Links to this Post

  1. What Everybody Ought to Know About Immigration and Njeri’s Guest Post » The Displaced African — July 6, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  2. Tips from an African Woman Who Started and Sold a Business for Six Figures - The Displaced African — August 6, 2008 @ 3:06 am

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