Sotheary came from Cambodia, but her dream was to make something of her life in her new country, Australia.
She began studying a Certificate II English as a Second Language (ESL) course at Melbourne Polytechnic, Collingwood, and she worked hard. "I knew I would like to study further and get some skills."
When she successfully completed Certificate II (ESL), she was promoted to Certificate III (ESL). She thinks that course was good for her. "It helped me improve my writing. And my speaking. It made me feel more confident to speak. I don’t feel so scared to do things, now. We learnt that we really can do things."
Sotheary went on to study Certificate II in commercial cookery, but she realised that was not really what she wanted to do. She worked in a restaurant for six months, travelled back to Cambodia for another six months, and on return to Australia she began Certificate III in Aged Care.
"I did the work experience, and later I got a job at the place where I did the work experience." She now works on call, but she is usually getting five days work a week. "I don’t say ‘no’ when they ring me to work," she says.
Sotheary has achieved some of her goals, but her bigger dream is to study beauty therapy at a private college. "It takes time, so I have to work to save the money," she says.
Interview conducted August 2009 By Michele Gierck.
Certificate II in English as a second language (ESL)