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Addressing New England migration matters

Wednesday 30th of June 2010
At UNE… were RDANI Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings; Indian PhD student, Hinal Pandya; DIAC Regional Outreach Officer (NSW), Philomena Leong; Nigerian Masters student, Emmanuel Chinaka; and DIAC’s Migration Advisor for the Engineering Industry, Svetlana McNeil.
At UNE… were RDANI Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings; Indian PhD student, Hinal Pandya; DIAC Regional Outreach Officer (NSW), Philomena Leong; Nigerian Masters student, Emmanuel Chinaka; and DIAC’s Migration Advisor for the Engineering Industry, Svetlana McNeil.

Northern Inland NSW employers, migrants and those aspiring to become new, permanent residents in local communities were given the opportunity to meet and discuss their cases with immigration officials in their own region last week.


A representative of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) and representatives from the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) met with North West stakeholders in Tamworth, and New England stakeholders in Armidale on consecutive days.


RDANI is the Northern region’s certifying body for employer sponsored visa applications. RDANI Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings said that the Immigration visit was important to the region. “There are many different industries across northern inland NSW that are affected by the current regional labour shortage. Many businesses simply cannot meet their human resource needs with local labour. For them, employer sponsored and skilled migration visas are vital. Local businesses need these options in order to function or expand. With ongoing labour shortages, the economic growth and development of the region is linked to Government contacts, like DIAC Regional Outreach Officer for NSW, Philomena Leong.”


In Armidale, they met with a number of employers, as well as an employment services provider, which is dealing with employers in the area that have been unable to fill positions and sought to explore the employer sponsored and skilled migration options on their behalf.


At the University of New England, Ms Hastings and Ms Leong were joined by DIAC’s Outreach Officer for the Engineering Industry, Svetlana McNeil. The two Immigration Department representatives delivered a comprehensive presentation to a group of almost 50 international students. Post-graduate students are often interested in being eligible for ‘permanent residency’ and remaining in Australia at the conclusion of their studies. The rules and regulations are complex, particularly with recent policy changes. So, the international students at UNE greatly appreciated the opportunity to hear from DIAC staff at their campus.


Emmanuel Chinaka is in his final year of a Masters degree in Economics at UNE. “I come from Nigeria originally, but I consider Armidale my home now. I reckon I belong here,” he said. “I went to the immigration presentation to hear what the latest policies actually involve. I wanted to find out what is on the new skilled migration list, if my current course of study is on the list, and if there is a possibility that I could apply for permanent residency here in Australia.”


Hinal Pandya is from India. In her first year of a PhD in Peace Studies at UNE, she also wanted to get an immigration policy update and to see if she might qualify for permanent residency at the conclusion of her studies. She voiced her appreciation that the DIAC officials had made the effort to come and see international students at UNE personally. “It would be good if they keep coming up here regularly to give advice about recent changes and developments in immigration policy. This way people living in a regional area like Armidale will not need to go to Sydney,” she said.


Parliamentary and Ministerial Liaison Officer with DIAC, Ralph Harwood also visited the region last week. Linking in with, Northern Settlement Services, he was on hand to discuss family migration, citizenship and general

migration questions in Tamworth, Armidale, and Inverell. High demand meant full days of back-to-back meetings.

 

Contact: RDANI Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings: 6771 2790 (for visa certification inquiries)





http://www.rdani.org.au/news-events/addressing-new-england-migration-matters-30-06-2010.php