Tommy Adebayo’s story begins like that of so many migrants in Australia. In this case, Tommy and his wife Bola were born in Oyo State, Nigeria. They both lived and practiced their profession in Nigeria before migrating to Australia to seek a better life. Like many migrants, Tommy had many questions during his adjustment period. However, finding the answers was not always easy, Tommy laughs wryly as he remember, “I had to go to 20 different places sometimes just to get information. There was no one stop shop. It was really frustrating”.
In making sense out of the chaos, Tommy kept writing down information, tips he received from friends, mentors and even his personal experiences. Today he smiles at some of these experiences. In 2003, a significant event took place that dramatically changed the course of Tommy’s life and led him to become hungrier for success even when it seemed to him that he was going to forever be doing survival jobs. To make things worse, he was labelled as a loser and good for nothing migrant by a work colleague and these comments affected him quite deeply inside.
Tommy and Bola did pay their dues financially and with time and effort they came to build more confidence and realise how Australia was such a great land of opportunities and how it has been good to them. In 2005, Tommy was using his notes to advice friends and friends of friends who were moving to Australia, or who were new to Australia. The feedback was incredible and it didn’t take Tommy long to realise that there was a real need to be met. With his people, networking skills and leadership traits, he began to compile the ad hoc notes and Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine was born.
The Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine was launched in 2014 in Perth Western Australia by the honorary consul for South Africa, Mr Bill Repard. The magazine is the first and only national multi-platform brand for all migrants to Australia. The digital online version of the magazine is subscribed to by over 35,000 members and increasing daily. 10,000 hard print copies are distributed nationally every quarter, and have over 3,000 mobile app download.
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Posted by AMA on Sunday, July 10, 2016
Despite all the negatives, the problems, the hardship, migrants need to know that others are successful in their field. That other people from their country are making it and need to know that they can do it too.
Tommy’s passion was basically centered on helping other migrants avoid some of the pitfalls he experienced. Accessing the job market is a source of stress for many migrants, even highly credentialed foreign trained migrants. “Migrants get enough rejection. They hear they don’t have enough experience or that they’re too qualified”, says Tommy.
From personal experience and from information I have gathered from people that have migrated to Australia before me, it will take a migrant minimum of 5 years to settle in their chosen profession. “my goal is to speed up that process by giving them information, education and motivation”.
Tommy says it is cruel to offer migrants an opportunity to come to Australia on the basis of their credentials without having coordinated systems to allow them to practice in their chosen professions.
He likens the experience of foreign trained professionals to “being sold a Bugatti and then told that you can only drive it at 10 km/hr.
“With the Skilled Migrant Professionals’ magazine, Tommy’s mission is to be a catalyst that provides migrants with the tools and resources to be successful. Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine can be accessed through this link http://www.smpmagazine.com.au . Tommy says that he wishes all his migrant mates success and he hopes to see them all at the top.
Nyembo Olondo (AMA Business editor)