Life as a migrant in the Wheatbelt

Maureen Guiloy, winner of the WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award 2015, migrated to Australia from the Philippines in 2013 as a secondary visa holder on her husband’s primary working visa.

Her husband – a welder/fabricator sought work in the Whealtbelt and this began a cultural journey into rural life in Western Australia that has bought with it both challenges and successes for Maureen and her young family.


“To finally decide to settle and have a life in Australia is like being offered a big piece of raw meat that you need to cook before you are able to eat it. Having a life with your family in a totally different environment and starting to build a career requires relevant skills and knowledge, patience and a whole lot of hard work,” Maureen said.

Maureen reflected that as a mother, this was difficult at first as her duties to her family came before her own advancement in her new country, but eventually her opportunity came when she enrolled in a Certificate II in Leadership Development at C.Y. O’Connor Institute in Northam.

“This course taught me not just literacy and numeracy but life skills that allowed me to explore for myself what I am interested in, what I can do and the various roles I can play in the community.”

Maureen now works as an administrative support officer at C.Y. O’Connor Institute and is studying a Certificate II in Business Administration. She aspires to become a lecturer and teach other migrants and students in the Wheatbelt area.

Since excelling in her studies and further integrating into her community, Maureen founded the FilipinOz Community in the Wheatbelt.

“I started the group to gain friends and reach out to those who seek training and employment in the Wheatbelt area and build more leaders that are able to confidently stand out and prove that being a migrant is not a deterrent to having a great life in Australia.”

The group now has more than 150 members and aims to unite Filipino-Australians in the Wheatbelt area and build a support network to assist them in achieving their work and career goals to be valuable members of the Wheatbelt community.

“FilipinOZ offers assistance in getting into training, prospective jobs in the local area and voluntary services for members who need help.”

Maureen hopes to expand the group further to include a more diverse range of the migrant community in the Wheatbelt in the future.


“Like me, many other migrants struggle on a daily basis, supporting themselves and their families in Australia and overseas; working while studying; trying to fit into a new culture; learning new skills; juggling studies and childcare commitments and getting associated with people that will help you grow in the field that you want to go into.”

“I love everything about living and working in Western Australia. Because of the great opportunities at hand for a migrant like me, you have proper training and knowledge and get acquainted with people that are able to help.”

“The best thing about winning the WA Training Awards is the recognition of your efforts and potential in a culturally and linguistically diverse community, the challenge to do more to achieve more wherein the opportunities are boundless.”

Today is Harmony Day, an opportunity to celebrate our vibrant multicultural State. At the WA Training Awards, we’re passionate about supporting the development of migrants through the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next winner of the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award, we’d love to hear your inspiring story. Apply today and put your career in the spotlight.


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