Saba Nabi found a new life in Wagga but fears her idyllic lifestyle may come to an end if she cannot find work, following five years of study.
Doctor Nabi moved from New Delhi to Australia with her husband and two-year-old daughter, after the pair received student visas in 2011.
But despite a deeply entrenched love of the region, the recent graduate says she may not be able to stay if she cannot find employment.
“It’s ironic how places want experience but no one is willing to give it to you,” Dr Nabi said. “That’s been my only frustration.”
For five years, the 34-year-old juggled part-time work, study, family life and various volunteering roles, determined to embrace her new community.
On Tuesday the PHD recipient will join more than 890 Charles Sturt Univeristy students, donning caps and gowns at the Wagga campus, next week.
But she’s struggling to find a way to use her skills in the city.
The doctor of biomedical science, has thrown herself into the Wagga community.
She on the board of the Multicultural Council of Wagga, Steering Committee of Relationships Australia and Regional Advisory Board of Multicultural Council of NSW.
She is also an Australia Day Committee member, an AFL Multicultural ambassador and an MLHD advisory group member.
Ms Nabi said it would be sad to leave these roles and wanted to see more done to help international students – making up Australia’s third biggest export business – find work in regional areas.
She said it was the people of the Riverina that made it the ideal place to live.
“I know many people in Wagga and it’s really good,” Ms Nabi said. “It’s got me close to the Australian culture.”
As an international student, Ms Nabi said she took pride in being a cultural voice in the city.
“I love volunteering … I just went in deep,” Ms Nabi said.
“I always wanted to have my own voice and to not be called an outsider. “You can always benchmark and compare your view with others and contribute.”
The young doctorate recipient said she was now excited to spend more time with her daughter.
More than 2700 guests are expected to attend the five graduate ceremonies at CSU’s Joyes Hall from Monday to Wednesday.
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