Case study: Retati Tekaai
'Every time you achieve your dream, you don't stop.'
Pacific Islander Retati is working in Australia to achieve her dreams in her home country of Kiribati.
Retati is the eldest of six children. As the main source of income for her family, she is responsible for caring for her parents and ensuring her younger siblings are able to access education.
To achieve this she has sought out opportunities to improve her own education and skills. Retati studied hospitality at the Australia-Pacific Technical College in Fiji, and has continued to develop her skills by participating in the Australian Government's Pacific labour mobility program.
Through the program, Retati is working on Hayman Island to restore the resort after it was devastated by Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
In the short time that she has been on the island, her employers have recognised her skills and potential, promoting her to front-of-house in the workers' accommodation. Retati is also using her enthusiasm to encourage other Pacific workers on the island to be more confident in their roles.
Retati is most proud of the impact her work in Australia is having on her family and community back in Kiribati.
Thanks to pastoral support in Australia, Retati developed a seven-point plan for her future. Not only is she supporting her family, she is also contributing to her community. When she returns home, she mentors her old boss in best practice for managing a hotel, and passes on her Australian hospitality training to the hotel staff.
To ensure financial security, Retati has used her budget planning training provided by the Program to embark on a savings program, in addition to the remittances she regularly sends home. She has recently bought a car in Kiribati and is renting it out through the hotel. She continues to work towards her ultimate goal of running an event planning business in Kiribati.
Retati dreams of improving her family's circumstances. By working hard in Australia to learn new skills and financially plan for the future, she is able to take steps to making a real difference to their lives.