Name: Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Imran Ahmad. I call myself an amateur sociologist who have a crave for learning new things to keep up with with the present days fast life and technology, that is changing our society and human values with a fast pace.
Location: Where in Sydney are you currently residing?
I reside in Bankstown, a suburb of Sydney that is geographically located roughly at the centre of Sydney with easy access to all social and civil amenities.
Origin: Where are you originally from, and what brought you to Sydney?
I am originally from Patna India. I came to Australia 26 years ago as an student to complete my education initially in Information Technology then ended up doing International Business and Migration Law from University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
Motivation: What inspired you to embark on your journey to Australia?
As mentioned earlier, I have a crave for learning so I decided to come to Australia to complete my education, to understand different culture and to see the world.
Challenges & Triumphs: Could you share a challenge you’ve faced since arriving in Sydney, and how you overcame it?
As an student life was full of challenges during those days. Attending classes, managing between work and the university was not easy. International students were not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week and on the top there were lots of Immigration raids on work places at that time. Been to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC) couple of times when I was found working more than 20 hours a week. In a nutshell, those were tough days.
Dedication, hard work with proper planning is the only solution, that I did to overcome those challenges. Now I am citizen of Australia running my own business and trying to get into some better business venture.
Positive Perspective: How do you maintain a positive outlook in the face of challenges?
I try to look towards better future, try to help people as much as I can. This gives me satisfaction and pleasure. I believe if I am good to others, others will be good to me too. But always there are some rotten potatoes in the bag, its same with us humans. We need to be very careful whom we make our friends.
During my life in Australia, not only I accumulated experiences in variety of fields but I got a complete new perspective to see life. I have been connected to some asylum seekers activism. During that time I prepared a submission to the Australian Senate Legal Affairs and Reference Committee regarding asylum seeker’s issues who were locked in Australian Detention Centres and issues related to border protection of Australia that I did in response to a public invitation for submission from Australian Government. That I did in association with a journalist. It was highly appreciated and the Committee of seven senators visited us to interview. That was really encouraging.
In addition to that, I started my professional career as a Sales Representative with Telstra, worked with Amnesty International with Des Hogan who was its CEO at that time, worked as a training Instructor, as an Operations Manager of a security firm, as a corporate consultant of payment gateways with Westpac Banking Corporation, worked with Marcus Evans, a Business Intelligence provider company as a sales manager for Asia Pacific region.
These variety of experiences gave me lots of knowledge and built up my confidence to overcome any challenges in the profession or in real life.
Favorite Spot: Do you have a favorite place in Sydney that you enjoy spending time at?
There is no specific place as such. Although, I like nature a lot. I like spending time with my family. I like driving to blue mountains with my family during free times, specially during weekends or school holidays. I like taking them out to water sport such as Raging Waters, Zoos, travelling to different cities, traveling overseas etc. There is lot to learn from this world and from people.
Cultural Connection: Are there any specific cultural traditions or practices you’ve brought with you to Sydney?
Being an Indian Muslim, I celebrate all Indian festivals with my Indian countrymen of all religions. Whether it is Eid, Holi or Diwali we get together with family friends time to time. Its good for us and our kids if we teach them our culture and install in them our Indian traditional values.
Fun & Leisure: What’s your go-to way to unwind and have fun in the city?
I take my kids out for a drive to city time to time and look around whatever is going on around us. I like Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour, driving over harbour bridge. Have not been to bridge climb yet, its on my future list.
Message to Newcomers: If you could give one piece of advice to someone new to Sydney, what would it be?
My advice to new comers would be to have patience while working for their better future. Make future plans with proper strategy in place, work hard with sincerity and honesty, make good friends or mentor who could provide with proper guidance. This word is full of nice people, we should be able and intelligent enough to recognize the difference between real well wishers and people who pretend to be the well wishers.
Whatever you do, put your family at the center of your life. Family comes first. Stick to your cultural values and don’t let others deflect you from your values, this is very important from my point of view. Australia is a multicultural country and everyone should spread positive things about their culture and have respect for other cultures, that’s the beauty of Australia.