Ola Tawose immigrated to Australia with his family in 2017 but has dreamed of living here for decades. He lives in regional NSW and works for a mining company as a graphic and elearning designer. He hopes to inspire other immigrants to Australia through his new website www.herodownunder.com sharing his own and other's stories.
This is his story.
When i was 18 years old and a freshman in university, I spent half of my days in the art studio and the other half in the school library. I’m bit of a knowledge geek, reading seems to be the addiction I’ve chosen. Eventually, I stumbled upon what seemed to me at the time to be a lost continent. It was a National Geographic edition about Australia and New Zealand. I was intrigued by the beauty, the discovery of a vibrant multidimensional culture and Australia's sad history. 10 years later while at a mall in Lagos, I met a New Zealand Photo Journalist for the same magazine. I guess that's how my fascination with Australasia was rekindled. It grew into infatuation for a nation and people I'd yet to see but felt destined to know.
It took me almost 19 years to finally come here but dreams come true if you feed them and my dreams are my children.
Leaving the safety of what i knew and coming to a place 16,000 kilometers from what I'd always known was a big leap of faith. Like most immigrants I feel home sick not for the place but for my parents, siblings and old friends. As I've been privileged to live with and grow along with the people's of this country, I find great value in the way i see people here and the way they perceive me.
I didn't flee a country at war or a nation in economic crisis. Although I came through the skilled migrant scheme, it doesn't diminish the value of my dreams. Everyday I wake up and see the sunrise, I’m reminded that I'm Australia's luckiest immigrant.
Luckily for me, The work I get paid to do is also the work I choose to do. Professionally, I am a Graphic and elearning designer with PYBAR Mining Services. I spend most of my days keeping up to date about the Mining Industry and creating online courses that help to reduce the risk of injuries while maximising efficiency across all our locations.
For me because I’m doing what I love everyday, the job is always rewarding but what was difficult and still amazes me is how tenacious I’ve become as a person. I arrived in Sydney on Nov. 11, 2017 with a 4 year old son and a wife who was already 32 weeks pregnant. After selling everything we owned in Lagos, paying through every stage of the migration process including tickets, all we had left was AU $3,284.20
My need for a job was beyond urgent. While working for 3 months across Sydney primarily as a Labour hire within the construction industry, it took applying for exactly 274 jobs in my profession for me to score two job offers. I received at least 190 rejection emails. At the time, It was a painful, disheartening experience but those who can persevere through short term pain will always find a lifetime of gain.
I believe in having a vision, following your instincts, taking small steps, acknowledging failure and doing it all better until nothing is left but success. I’ve had lots of failures but they’ve always been overshadowed by multiple small successes.
Integrating well into Australian society, adopting its culture (particularly life in regional Australia) and using my story to inspire others is my biggest success and passion. I’ve since met many immigrants whose lives echo mine and who are a testament to how lucky a country Australia really is to have embraced immigrants. That why i’m launching a website which chronicles stories and experiences of unsung immigrant successes across Australia. www.herodownunder.com will be going live in May, 2019.
I hope the stories and experiences there will inspire other migrants to see Australia in its full colours and also help immigrants embrace Australian culture and its diversity.
My wife - Shola, our son - Midola and myself were all born in Lagos, Nigeria. Our daughter Hazel was born in January 2018 at Westmead Hospital in Sydney.
Since moving to Regional NSW my wife and children have been the happiest they've ever being. Living in Australia can be transformative and empowering. We are all very happy here and our dream is to go from being immigrants to Australians.
Two of my favourite sayings are “ A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step - in the right direction” and “You’re not yet a failure until you blame someone else”. So, in a nutshell, don't be afraid of what you think you can’t do. Instead be aware of your own limitations and seek to expand your horizons by just starting. Horizon is just another name for limitations. They aren't imposed by anyone else but you.