Occupation: trainee finance manager
Country of origin: Nepal
Here with: self
Length of time in region: since 2015 (Sydney 2008)
After moving to the Orana region four years ago, Nepalese-born Rupak Adhikari has found his feet with a job that suits both his ability and aspirations.
Employed by Dubbo RSL Club as a trainee finance manager, Mr Adhikari assists with accounts, bookkeeping and payroll duties. It’s a role that he loves but it wasn’t his first job in his adopted country.
“I started as a cook when I came to Australia,” he said. “I had to find a source of income. I went from a kitchen assistant to bistro manager.”
“It has been really good. I have been mentored in the knowledge of financial matters.
Mr Adhikari says ‘finding work is easy but finding a good job is harder.’
“It’s more important to keep a job than get a job. It takes time to work your way into a good position. That is the way around the world.”
He moved to Australia at the age of 20, with the desire to do something with his life.
“I wanted to go somewhere else and do something different,” he explained.
“Australia is a great country and I love it.”
“Coming here, life became more serious – going to university and starting work.
Mr Adhikari made his base in Sydney and studied a Bachelor of Accounting. Already fluent in Nepalese and Indian languages and basic Italian, Mr Adhikari found that Australian speech was the most difficult aspect of learning English.
“In terms of language, English is different everywhere you go. The slang was the hardest!”
In 2015, he decided to move to Dubbo. There were other options such as Albury and Wagga Wagga, but Mr Adhikari decided that Dubbo had everything in terms of career opportunities and lifestyle.
“Dubbo is a country town that doesn’t feel like a country town,” he said.
“I like Dubbo more than Sydney. It’s slower here but you don’t have to sit in traffic, it’s only 10 minutes between home and work and everything is so close to everywhere.”
“My living expenses are cheaper, accommodation is less than half what it was. “Finding work, you can’t compare. There are more jobs advertised in Sydney but I prefer living in Dubbo. The worst part about coming from Sydney to Dubbo is that I miss the beach. But there’s always something when you downsize your town.”
Mr Adhikari says many people mistake his heritage for one of Nepal’s neighbouring countries.
“People think I am from India or Pakistan. They remember Mt Everest but they don’t know it’s in Nepal,” he said. “I don’t know how to describe my life in Nepal – it’s so different here.”
Mr Adhikari describes himself as flexible and a fast learner which has helped him greatly in Australia.
“I can adapt quite well to new environments. I have learned a lot of things. There’s good and bad everywhere. In every country, you take it as you find it. It’s up to you how you think of it.”
His advice to other migrants and potential employers is to familiarise themselves with what’s needed and do lots of research.
“They need to spend time gathering information. If you don’t know anything about it, you can’t go through it.
“Most immigrants have done it quite well,” he said.
“My guidance is to follow the steps you need to take. It’s a process. There are a lot of steps involved. Immigration is a big thing, there are many forms and visas. It’s very vast.”
Mr Adhikari said the local job market offers a wealth of opportunity.
“Dubbo has a lot more jobs being generated than when I arrived. There’s not enough skilled workforce to supply jobs.”
With interests in tennis, snooker and go-carting, Mr Adhikari even likes Vegemite now.
“I didn’t like it at first but now I don’t mind it,” he laughed.
He is keen to build a future in the Orana region.
“Before I moved here, I didn’t know anyone. Now I have a girlfriend in Dubbo and friends. I am a permanent resident applying for citizenship. I want to stay here. Why would you want to go back to Sydney?”