Australiance Team: Could you give us a quick summary of your path?
Karine: I’m French born Vietnamese. I grew up in the suburbs of Paris. I came to Sydney in 2007 because I got transferred from the Paris office to the Sydney one.
A.T: What is your professional background?
Karine: I graduated from a Bachelor of Electronics and a Master of Management. I am currently working full-time in IT helpdesk while specializing in application support and functional analysis and studying at CPA Australia
A.T: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Karine: Like any other Frenchies, I enjoy wine and cheese in my free time, But I have to admit that my Australian adventure would have never been possible without the support of my fellow expats. Since then, I always felt that I wanted to give back in my own scale while engaging with organizations like French Business School Alumni in Australia, and previously Newcomers Network.
A.T: Why did you choose to come to Australia?
Karine: It was my dad’s dream to come to Australia. After the Vietnam War, my mother’s family came to France and my father’s relatives went to Australia. He missed the family reunions and the sense of community belonging. Getting a new experience down under was his idea. Back in 2000’s, he felt that Europe was saturated and reached a plateau. He told me the cold truth that I was born female and foreigner, that I would never have the chance to get a career the same way the local people would have it, that I should try my luck in countries like Canada and Australia where there are programs for educated immigrants as there is a shortage of qualified people. He was hoping for a better life than his as he had to drop everything because of the war.
A.T: What is your best memory in Australia?
Karine: Obtaining my permanent residency and my citizenship ceremony with my family and best friend.
A.T: Why did you decide to write a guide for the expats in Australia?
Karine: Through my previous Newcomers Network roundtables and expat meetups, I realized that the same questions were always raised. I knew there were a lot of very detailed and impressive expat guides out there. I wanted some cheat sheets that I could distribute when hosting. If you had done your homework, you would have known what was written in these pages. And some people just want to double check if they have covered all the basics. That was what it was all about: Have you done the minimum research required when it comes to settling here? Sometimes, you don’t want to read 300 pages, but just something short and sweet.