Celebrating diversity on International Migrant Day

​​My name is Dr Muhammad Umar and I am an Agriculture Scientist working as a Senior Technical Officer at NRE Tas in the Molecular Laboratory, Plant Biosecurity and Diagnostics Unit of Biosecurity Tasmania. 

I am from a city named Vehari in the Punjab province of Pakistan where I completed my early education before heading to Faisalabad to complete a degree at the University of Agriculture. 

In 2018, I was awarded a Graduate Research Scholarship to pursue my PhD at the University of Tasmania.

I come from a family of educated people. My father owns a small business, and my mother is a retired government teacher. Both of my parents have always given their utmost priority to the education of their children. I am the second of four siblings—two sisters and two brothers—that make up our family. Every one of my siblings has earned a higher education and is leading a fulfilling life.

Moving to Tasmania brought up a mixture of emotions, evoking both excitement and anxiety/sadness. Nonetheless, relocating to Tasmania remains one of the most difficult decisions of my life, given that I had already established myself at my job in Saudi Arabia and was in close proximity to my native country. It felt like a fresh start, a new life, but it was also quite challenging. I initially missed my family, friends, and previous workplace, and the initial few months were unbearable.

Like any other immigrant, the main challenge for me was adjusting to a new country, culture, and environment. To be a non-native English speaker, the Australian accent was a little difficult to understand at first, but I did manage to figure it out thanks to an English language background!

I have been working in my current position as Senior Technical Officer with NRE Tas since November 2022 and I also worked as a Biosecurity Inspector at the Hobart Airport for four months in 2021-2022.

Working as a Senior Technical Officer at NRE Tas is fulfilling. The role provides me with the opportunity to utilise my skill set and educational expertise. The emphasis on leadership development makes NRE Tas ideal for professional growth in a supportive environment.

The organisation is committed to safety, diversity, and ongoing learning in the workplace and values employees' diverse backgrounds, fostering mutual respect. NRE Tas' zero-tolerance policy against discrimination, harassment and bullying ensures an inclusive workplace. 

NRE Tas supports and employs people from an array of different backgrounds and nationalities, as is evident in the Belonging at NRE Tas Action Plan to “build an inclusive workplace culture that embraces, supports and encourages diversity and values individual differences.”