From India to regional Victoria...

By Johnson Mathew

Johnson is a Social Worker. He recently moved from India to Camperdown in regional Victoria. He has a Masters in Social Work, specialising in community development and Psychiatry, and a Post Graduate diploma in Women and Child development.

Before I came to Australia, I was working with different conditions, like de-addiction, psychiatry, child labour, Counselling etc. I got my registration done with the Australian Association of Social Workers and came to Australia and started working in regional Victoria.

In terms of my experience in the rural setting I must say that I love the place so much. It is really beautiful, pleasant, relaxing and less crowded than home. It has got something in it which refresh you every time. The locals in my Camperdown are really great people. You get to know everyone in town and everyone knows you as well. Small groups, sports clubs, recreational activities makes it lively in its own ways. Rural setting is the best to learn a lot more about the real culture and taste of Australia, we get time to talk to people more and to learn more in many ways.

It is not always easy. The hard side of life in rural setting can be concluded in one word which has many meaning “Social Life”. When I say about social life, it includes your friends, contacts, fun, entertainment, social well being, and social support. Anything to do with life outside work. I am the only Indian in this area, and that can be really hard in many ways. Many of the local groups and people have their own network of people and friends, there own group of friends and it is really hard to be one among that group or to be part of that network. Many relationships are really professional or ‘hi-bye’.

This can lead to a situation where you start missing your friends back in your country, your family, all the good things and relationships which you left behind to work in this country. But to conclude I should say that “this is life”, and I thank all the good people who find time for me, support me and make me feel that I am not alone.