Fleeing one’s home country to the safety of another presents many challenges, and language barriers often add another layer of complexity when settling in a new home.
This is the reality for many Ukrainians who came to Australia in 2022 on the emergency visa, including Oksana.
When Oksana first arrived in Tasmania, her English skills were minimal despite having taught Maths and Science in high school in Ukraine.
She, along with ten other Ukrainians, enrolled in online English classes as part of the Australian Migrant English Program (AMEP) delivered by MAX and funded by the Australian Government of Home Affairs.
Once she developed confidence, Oksana began to attend classes in-person in Launceston.
Over the next six months, MAX Business Manager Suzanne Reszke noticed that Oksana had progressed very quickly in her grasp of the English language.
Her ability to pick up language quickly opened the opportunity for her to be accepted into an Introduction to Aged Care course while maintaining part time study in her English course with MAX in early 2023.
On successful completion of the introductory course, Oksana was then offered a place in the Certificate III in Aged Care course.
Her dedication to study was recognised by ZONTA International, an organisation empowering women worldwide.
Oksana became a recipient of the ZONTA grant which allowed her to invest in a computer to help with her studies and continue to maintain her digital skills.
Suzanne also reported that Oksana’s ability to engage with the community was due to her increased confidence with the English language.
MAX is thrilled to be able to be part of Oksana’s journey of improving her English which has been instrumental in opening doors to a new career in a new country for her.