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08 Jun 2023


Mohammad’s journey from medicine to public servant

But despite an impressive 15-year career in medicine, experience leading Afghanistan’s first HIV treatment centre, and a Master of Public Health at James Cook University, Mohammad faced an upward battle to find employment in the Australian medical sector.

Instead, with the support of the Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP), he has embarked on a new career path with Transport NSW, while undertaking the lengthy process of getting his overseas qualifications recognised.

“I eventually want to get back into the medical field. RESP helped me to get recognition of the documents and has also offered to support me with the fees for the AMC exam.”

While Mohammad works towards an Australian medical license, he collaborated with RESP to overcome some of the additional barriers refugees often face in finding employment in Australia. This includes gaining an understanding of local recruitment practices and work culture, building a network, and gaining practical skills and qualifications, such as an Australian driver’s licence.

“Most of the jobs when I was applying required me to have an Australian driver’s licence. So, RESP also supported me to get some classes, doing my learner’s test and getting my full licence.”

In July 2022, after seven months in Australia, Mohammad gained a Humanitarian Cadet position at Transport NSW. Mohammad excelled in his role with the Infrastructure and Place division and has since gained both a promotion and a permanent position in the team.

“In the beginning, it was a bit challenging but each day I learn new things and skills, so I just go with it. I am defiantly enjoying the role because I always enjoy challenges. Easy jobs can be done any time, but the good thing is I really enjoy challenging work like this,” Mohammad said.

“Importantly, my role with Transport NSW allows me to work from both home and the office, which has enabled me to encourage and support my wife to complete her studies as I have extra time to look after our kids and family.”

While Mohammad is making meaningful contributions to Transport NSW and enjoying his work, he remains determined to utilise his medical skills and experience to positively impact people’s lives in Australia.

“I have aspirations to get back into the medical field but first I have to get some background in Australia and working with government,” Mohammad says.

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