Despite having more than 12 years' experience in the engineering field' Doaa Ibrahim has struggled to find permanent employment in her new home – the industrial city of Gladstone' but CQUniversity is offering support.
Doaa' who moved to Gladstone from Egypt six years ago' has been gaining valuable local experience at CQU Gladstone's Australia Pacific LNG STEM Central in a bid to improve her chances of finding a job.
The opportunity for Doaa to undertake work experience at STEM Central came about through an arrangement with Integreat Queensland – an organisation that supports people from different countries' backgrounds and parts of Australia to confidently settle in' share their skills and culture in their newly adopted communities.
"I have been living in Gladstone for six years now. It's a very nice place to live in'" Doaa said.
"I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to work here in Gladstone' this is something I'm very keen to get. So' if any opportunities were to arise regarding this matter and help me join the Australian workforce' I would certainly want to take advantage of that."
STEM Central Lead Dr Linda Pfeiffer said Doaa started last week by attending an excursion on the Curtis Coast Ferry (Harbour Tour) as part of the Buraligim Weiber program for Year 3 and Year 4 First Nations school students.
"Doaa has been welcomed by the team and the campus and is a valuable asset to the delivery of our programs and resources'" Dr Pfeiffer said.
Doaa said she was very impressed by STEM Central and its various activities.
"They offer a lot of facilities which will help me to learn' develop' and get the most benefits of my work placement'" she said.
"It means a lot to me. STEM Central is a place where I can develop my engineering skills' which I have spent 12 years of my life studying' working and publish papers in this field.
"STEM is the discipline I'm very passionate about' so it's a great opportunity to give and take."
Dr Pfeiffer said she was liaising with industry contacts to help find Doaa employment.
"I will be providing Doaa with contacts throughout her time at STEM Central and hope to include some time at other areas at CQU Gladstone' including at our Coastal Marine Ecosytems Research Centre (CMERC)' in our vocational education and training space and of course in engineering'" she said.
"Doaa will be given the opportunity to utilise her skill set and I will be providing her with a detailed reference letter outlining how she has demonstrated these skills during her placement.
"With a chronic teacher shortage and Doaa living locally with high level skills' it would be great for her to consider teaching as a career' or at least to be able to utilise her expertise in the manufacturing industry."
Doaa has a Master of Engineering Science and a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from Menoufia University in Egypt and has had three journal articles published.
She said she was determined to secure a career and a livelihood in Gladstone.
"I recently became an Australian citizen. I'm looking forward to getting a job in Australia'" she said.
"If you hire me' I'll hit the ground running and you will quickly see a positive return on your investment."
Doaa is a participant in Integreat Queensland's Get Work Ready Program - an employability program for migrant women who want to transition to work in Gladstone.