When Noah Musoke Ssekinalya first arrived in Australia two years ago, he had an ambition to one day own his own business again.
The 30-year-old asylum seeker had run a successful restaurant and bar in Uganda before fleeing the political unrest for a new life in Australia. The first step towards his goal is Melbourne Polytechnic’s Advanced Diploma of Hospitality which he will finish later this year.
For a businessman like Noah, the course is a perfect fit, covering everything from dealing with employees to financial management. “I’m correcting all the mistakes I made before. I’m seeing where I went wrong and where I should change.” Noah says the teachers are very good at explaining the information but his biggest challenge is getting his head around the finance subjects. “I need time to absorb it …”.
Now based in Brunswick, Noah left Uganda two years ago amid ethnic rivalry and ongoing fighting between rebels and government forces. His wife and two daughters are still living there, but they will soon join him in Melbourne.
In the meantime, Noah is concentrating on his future business venture. “I need to do more research on where I can open my restaurant and bar in Melbourne. I will probably work for someone else first before I start the process.” He is also hoping to pursue some form of public office or volunteer work. “I want to give back whatever I can in return for being given sanctuary here,” he says.
Working in the hospitality industry is like getting a new education every day, he says. “I like it because you always meet new faces with different ideas and opinions to your own. You’re always learning along the way. But you’re dealing with people so it’s always challenging too.”
Advanced Diploma of Hospitality