489 visa case study: Shelley's Asian Supermarket


489 visa case study: Shelley's Asian Supermarket

489 visa case study – Orana region

Peter (Peng) Gao, John (Wenlei) Han and Shelley (Shirong) Deng – Shelley’s Asian House

Tell me about the steps you took between leaving China and settling in Dubbo?

John: I had a full-time job in China as a clerk for a travel agent, but I had previously lived in Australia for 7 years so I decided I wanted to get permanent residency. I applied for a 489 visa offshore and waited 6 months until I got it – I was very excited when I got it! Then I moved to Dubbo and found a share house on Gumtree.

Peter: I have been in Australia for eight years – seven in Sydney and one year in Dubbo. I also live in share accommodation. My visa was approved in January this year but I moved to Dubbo early last August so that I could research the area before setting up the business. I found the Baptist Church and I attend it regularly. During this time I worked at Fletchers and I also worked for a short time at Quest Apartments. I have a few years’ experience in the food and hospitality industry so it is a good background for the Asian supermarket.

Shelley: I arrived in Australia 4 years ago through a student visa. I studied in Melbourne and found jobs there in an Asian supermarket and also a fruit markets, so I have knowledge of this industry.

Why did you choose Orana to live, work and invest in?

Dubbo services the whole Orana region, especially the smaller towns around it like Narromine, Wellington, Geurie and so on. I realised that there was no Asian supermarket here and so I saw an opportunity and I asked John and Shelley to be my partners. We all have different skills and experience that we bring to the business.  In Dubbo, there is less pressure than in metropolitan areas like Sydney and Melbourne because there is less competition and it is much more affordable in this region.

Tell me about your business.

So far we have been open for 10 weeks. We are located in Talbragar St, Dubbo opposite Darrell Wheeler Cycles.

We have products from all Asian countries such as Chinese products, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and more. We stock dried products, hot pot mixes, rice and noodles, curries, frozen products and many other goods. We have just started to offer fresh vegies and we can also supply tea and coffee for offices.

We have attended markets in places like Geurie to raise awareness of our business. Soon we will be attending SpringFest in Wellington in September.

What has been the response from customers so far?

We have had good feedback from the majority of customers. When customers ask us for a new product that we don’t have, usually we can order it in for them and this makes them very happy!

There are now more people who want to cook their own Asian food, so we supply weekly recipes and give cooking advice to our customers.

Our regular customers keep supporting our business which is really good. However, we need more new customers to increase our sales.

We have tried to let more people know that we are here, so we have dropped some flyers around and we have a Facebook page. We will keep letting people know that we are here.

Have you experienced any challenges so far with living and working here?

The lack of public transport is sometimes an issue, however the airport here is really good – you can fly to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne.

We find it hard to get financial support, because often banks will not give business loans unless you are a permanent resident or Australian citizen. This is because the 489 visa is a temporary visa. So we think that we would like to expand the business once we have completed our 4 year 489 visa and got our permanent residency, as it will be easier then.

What are your favourite things about living and working in the Orana region?

There is a strong retail sector, good schools and plenty of things to do for entertainment. There are very friendly people here. There is not much competition in our industry.

Would you recommend Orana as a destination for other 489 visa applicants? Why/why not?

We want to stay here in the Orana region. Self-employment through the 489 visa in a regional area is a good pathway to permanent residency. The region has great opportunities to open your own business.

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