Building connections in the face of adversity 

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The panel featured guest speakers from organisations such as Study NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, South Eastern Local Health District, Sydney Alliance, and the Redfern Legal Centre.

Supporting the city’s bustling international student community, the two-hour event on June 26 aimed at helping international students in Sydney put their foot through the door with networking tips and tricks and career advice from a network of alumni.

The event drove deep into the various organisations in New South Wales that provide support for international students away from home.

From the Redfern Legal Centre creating a dedicated state-wide legal service for international students to the South Eastern Local Health District’s strive towards educating students on healthcare services available to them, the panel was an eye-opener to the various services offered specifically to international students that often go unheard.

During the panel, Erika Katalbas from the Sydney Alliance, spoke up about the hardships faced by international students saying, “There is often a lot of concerns and struggles with overseas skills not being recognised.

“We have heard many stories about racism, and discrimination in the workplace and even outside the workplace.

“International students are smart, they know where to go for help, they know who to talk to but the barrier is that they’re afraid to take action.

“There is a very layered fear due to our temporary statuses here,” she elaborated, highlighting that despite the amount of talent that continues to arrive onshore, it is the discrimination experienced by international students that instils this fearfulness when reaching out for help.

This was touched upon during the Q&A session when a participant expressed difficulty finding employment due to her status as a temporary resident. In response to this, Study NSW’s senior associate, Advocacy and Engagement Katie Hanna responded by emphasising on creating connections with the people involved in the hiring process, and being persistent throughout the process.

“Talk to your networks, talk to the people in your immediate bubble”

“Talk to your networks, talk to the people in your immediate bubble. It might be that you can get some work through your campus, university, or college.

“You might have an idea of where you want to be, your ideal job, but don’t be afraid to move across sectors, and use that opportunity to network and connect with others,” she said.

“There are jobs out there. Keep looking and keep being persistent. All you need is one door and the rest will follow.”

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Originally Appeared Here