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Aussie retailer feels like home for Marifi

Aussie retailer feels like home for Marifi

Published:03 July 2018

Marifi Alenain's friendship and support networks have flourished since enrolling in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at CQUniversity and she has landed a new role with R.M. Williams.

Marifi Alenain’s passion for customer service and desire to challenge herself shone through in her role as Operations Supervisor of a chain of supermalls in her native Philippines.

After tying the knot with husband Mark and relocating to Mackay in 2015, Marifi was keen to "learn a proper Aussie accent" and continue her pursuit of excellence in the retail industry.

Not only have Marifi’s friendship and support networks flourished since enrolling in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at CQUniversity, but she has also landed a new role with iconic Australian retailer R.M. Williams.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, the AMEP provides up to 510 hours of free English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants, to help them learn English and assist with their settlement in Australia.

“I have a thirst for learning, and R.M. Williams has an excellent training program,” says Marifi, who has enjoyed on-the-job training in their Mackay store, and through the company’s national professional development held in Brisbane."

There is somewhat of a downside to her role, though.

“I can’t stop buying their jeans and shirts – they have such great clothing,” Marifi shares.

To further improve her communication skills, Marifi is undertaking a Certificate III in Spoken and Written English at CQUni, and speaks very highly of her experience.

“I’ve got a wonderful teacher who helps me every week and I’ve made lots of new friends, including some who are from the Philippines, just like me.

“I feel very much at home in Mackay now,” Marifi says.

Not content with an already busy workload of work and study, Marifi also volunteers one day a week in the office at the George Street Neighbourhood Centre – the place where she discovered the AMEP and was supported by staff to gain her Australian driver’s licence.

“When I first came to Mackay, I started going to workshops at George Street Neighbourhood Centre and they have helped me so much since the beginning,” Marifi said, her sentiments echoed by General Manager Nicolette Ffrost.

“George Street Neighbourhood Centre values the contribution by our volunteers and it is great to see Marifi excel and be a part of our organisation,” Ms Ffrost said.

The AMEP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. In Queensland, the AMEP is delivered through TAFE Queensland and provided by CQUniversity on behalf of TAFE Queensland in the locations of Mackay and Fitzroy.

The AMEP provides up to 510 hours of free English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants, to help them learn English to assist with their settlement in Australia.

For more information please visit tafeqld.edu.au/tells or www.education.gov.au/adult-migrant-english-program.