Nurse from Fiji fits quickly into the system

Tulia Nasolo
Tulia Nasolo

Immigration residency helps with finding work, although the job market has competitive hurdlesTulia Nasolo left her home country of Fiji in 2001 with the local degree equivalent, a three-year nursing diploma, and having completed a qualification conversion course and practice in New Zealand. She always had in mind an eventual move to Aústralia, where she had relatives.The unrest in Fiji, and the common hope of more opportunity, helped propel her towards Australia with her husband, a telecommunications technician, and young son.

Her story is one of the less troubled of migrant nurses in Australia. The system has worked for her in visa and employment terms, except that permanent work has been harder to obtain in recent years.

For Tulia, work in Australia as a registered nurse has mostly come through employment agencies and her own internet job searches.

She came to Australia in 2002 via Fiji after applying for permanent residency as a family and stayed with a younger sister living in Sydney for a month. She quickly obtained night work as a nurse at Westmead Hospital through an agency. The job, as a surgical nurse, became permanent.

Her husband had to return to Fiji to complete employment obligations and she was left with her son to care for. She worked at Westmead for about three years.

After the couple were reunited, Tulia and her husband moved to Brisbane in 2006 as he searched for a job that equated to his qualifications.

Tulia obtained work in hospitals through an agency during the 18 months or so they were in Brisbane, until both found work back in Sydney.

Tulia now lives in in Sydney’s outer west. She works at a private hospital as a casual.

The days vary, depending on the amount of surgery being done. Tulia has so far been unable to find another permanent job.

She has built wide experience along the way. ‘When something interests me, I want to explore it, I go for it,’ Tulia says. ‘I look out for job interviews, and for jobs with enough work.’

That attitude took her into community nursing at Mount Druitt for six months.