On International Migrant (18 December 2023), we celebrate the diversity of the staff members at NRE Tas by sharing just some of their amazing stories.
My name is Jason Suixin Zhang, I am a Visitor Services Administration Assistant with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and I’d like to share my story with you.
In January 2020, my partner and I set out for Australia, not as migrants but as tourists, seeking to explore the country's breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture. Little did we know that our journey would take an unexpected turn. Just a week after our arrival, the world was plunged into the global COVID-19 pandemic.
My partner and I found ourselves locked down in Queensland, far from our home in China. We patiently waited for borders to reopen and for the situation to improve, hoping for a safe return home. However, as months passed, it became apparent that the path back to China was uncertain.
During this challenging period, we decided to consider a different path. We contemplated making Australia our temporary home while the world grappled with the pandemic. With my background as a hiking club founder and as a host ranger in China, I saw an opportunity in Tasmania, which I had long known as a paradise for hiking and an area renowned for its conservation efforts, particularly in combating the Devil Facial Tumor Disease.
In 2021, I took a significant step towards building my new life in Tasmania. I successfully secured a role as a Visitor Reception Officer at Mount Field National Park, where I could combine my passion for hiking with my work and, incredibly, get paid for it. The prospect of sharing my love for Tasmania's natural beauty with visitors from around the world filled me with excitement.
My dedication and hard work led me to expand my horizons further by finding work at Freycinet National Park and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. With the guidance of my experienced colleagues, I evolved into a fully-fledged Tassie Tourism Ambassador and Specialist.
Not content with just personal growth, my family is now on the path to becoming permanent residents in Tasmania. We have already been nominated by the Tasmanian Government to successfully get a Skilled Work Regional Visa.
Today, I am a member of the Tourism Experience and Visitor Services team at PWS and alongside my wife, who works in Aboriginal Education Services, we continue to explore Tasmania's natural wonders, many of which are now part of my workplace.
On International Migrants Day this year, I want to share my story to inform and educate others of the enriching experiences and valuable contributions that migrants can provide when they come to a new land seeking new opportunities. It's a story that exemplifies the spirit of diversity and the strength that comes from embracing different paths in life.
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.”