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  1. Hi, I wondered if anyone could help me. I am on a 187 sponsored regional migration visa, I’m currently on the bridging visa and my application was logged January 2019. I am being sponsored as a duty manager and prior to my sponsorship I was working for the employer for 9 months. I have now been there for 16 months. Since getting sponsored my boss has completely changed his demeanour. His family has joined him in running the business and they daughter gets away with doing nothing but gets paid the same as me. Despite the fact that my role is duty manager, she has been put in this position. After a few months into my sponsorship I went off sick for 2 days (first time since being employed there that I wasn’t off sick) and when I returned I had heard that they thought I was lying and that I’m not reliable etc. This really annoyed me and I chatted with my boss and said I wasn’t happy. I said I can’t work with the daughter as whatever decision I make gets over ruled by her decision. After this they put me in the kitchen, and ever since I have been working as a kitchen hand which is not my job role. I have mentioned this many times and he seems to think it is fine and won’t move me out of there. I’ve been extremely stressed and absolutely hate going to work. I’ve lost a lot of weightdue to the stress and it is a horrible environment to work in. It is very bitchy and the bitching comes from management. I am over worked and get only one day off per week, work split shifts everyday despite living 60 k away. I don’t get to spend time with my boyfriend which is making me more stressed. I was off sick for 2 days again last month and I received abusive text messages from my boss saying I was lying and that I have to come into work with my medical certificates. I sent him my certificates and he still sent me nasty messages. This really upset me. He also took money out of my wages when I first got the sponsorship to pay for the $3000 business tax. I think I’m right in saying that this is wrong however I haven’t questioned it because I’m so scared that my life will be made hell there again. I also do not want him to have this over me that he has invested in me. There is another lady also on Sponsorship visa and she too is in the same situation as me. Her life has been made hell and I know she is very stresssed. The boss’ daughter does not like her and they are just hoping that she is going to mess up so they can get rid of her. They have given her a formal warning when she has done nothing wrong. Please help us and let us know what we can do in this situation. I really just want to walk out the door and be happy again, but after investing all this money I do not want to lose it. We are so stressed and it’s affecting our health, surely with two of us there is something we can do? Thanks!
  2. When regional Australia is calling out for migrants to fill jobs and boost dwindling populations, and most new arrivals stay in the cities, how can they be enticed to settle in the regions? In the last financial year, 101,255 migrants arrived in Australia and of these, only 6,637 settled in regional Australia, according to the Department of Home Affairs. Rockhampton-based Central Queensland University academic Ataus Samad has put forward a solution. Dr Samad said a holistic approach needed to start before migrants arrived, along with more support to get them directly to regional areas. "We found that the current process of resettling people from metropolitan cities to regional areas is difficult because once people settle in big cities, they are reluctant to move," he said. Often their children have started school, and even if migrants do not have jobs, they have their local community to support them. "If we place migrants straight away in metropolitan areas within their own comfort zone, people don't have the motivation to go out and talk to others," Dr Samad said. When migrants settled into regional areas, they were motivated out of necessity to talk to their neighbours or school teachers and to better integrate, he said. This is an issue the Federal Government has grappled with, and figures from the Department of Home Affairs show about 6 per cent of skilled migrants settle in regional areas. Data from its Continuous Survey of Australia's Migrants found that of those skilled migrants who settled in regional areas, 10 per cent moved to a major city between six and 18 months after settling. Meanwhile, agribusiness employers across regional Australia face the challenge of attracting skilled labour. Dr Samad recently presented research at a Developing Northern Australia conference outlining these challenges. He found that most of the labour shortage in regional areas was met by seasonal workers under different visa conditions, but this was not necessarily good for the local economy. "They earn here and spend somewhere else because they are seasonal workers or backpackers and their motivation is different," Dr Samad said. "They work here to earn their day-to-day living and make enough money to go around Australia and visit different places but not to invest in the local community." Employers take on temporary migrants or seasonal workers because they are unable to get permanent migrants or people from their local community to employ in their industries, he said. "The solution is to utilise the migrants we already have in Australia, whether they are refugees or skilled migrants, and get them to regional areas and get them to fill the skill gap," Dr Samad said. Dr Samad said he had seen this work. He was involved in a successful program piloted by the Federal Government seven years ago, where refugees from Myanmar were resettled into the small central Queensland town of Biloela, 200km west of Rockhampton. It was part of the Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP), which relocated newly arrived migrants and refugees from Logan, south of Brisbane, where there were high levels of unemployment. Dr Samad said one of the program's successes was the fact a number of families from the same ethnic background moved to the town. He is working with CQ University and Charles Sturt University to identify the minimum of number of people needed to settle in a regional area to meet that critical mass. "There are successful resettlement programs in regional areas, not only in Queensland, but in NSW, Victoria and other places in Australia," Dr Samad said. Dr Samad said any resettlement also had to be led locally. "They know their area best, and my personal view is that we need to give the entire process of resettlement to local community and local government," he said. Dr Samad also noted there was a general perception that regional communities were not welcoming to migrants, and that some communities had not been exposed to migrants. "Although we have some shocking statistics that our regional areas are not supportive of migrants in their community, my experience living in a regional area is people are very welcoming and supportive, provided we consult them," he said. "We need people to bridge this fear and as soon as this fear is bridged, regional communities are really welcoming." On the other hand, many migrants had misconceptions of what life in regional Australia was like and many had the perception it was a wild area. Dr Samad said although there was a lot of encouragement from the Federal Government with visa categories for settlement in regional areas, there was a mismatch between the regional settlement of skilled migrants and the actual employment of skilled migrants. "We need to start the process from the very beginning — the moment we select which refugees we accept into Australia, where do we resettle them has to come under a holistic plan," he said. Full article @ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-30/enticing-migrants-to-the-regions-and-out-of-cities/10040146