Mohammad embraces new life in Australia

Mohammad Naser Nabavi fled Afghanistan in 2021 during the Taliban takeover. After re-training as an electrical apprentice in Australia, he is now on the road to success.

Imagine this. The political situation in your home country is fast deteriorating and you must flee with your partner to a foreign land.

When you arrive in your new home, everything is different. The language. The setting. The food. The culture. Everything.

Even though you’ve been working in your field for eight years, you have to start afresh and get your qualification again.

That was the situation Mohammad Naser Nabavi found himself in when he arrived in Australia.

He had fled Afghanistan with his wife in August 2021 and arrived in Australia on a permanent humanitarian visa.

“My boss was in Kabul. They said if you come with us, we will provide you with a visa. So, I went with them,” Mohammad says.

In Afghanistan, Mohammad had completed a two-year Diploma in Electricity.

He had a strong work history, with more than eight years’ experience working as an electrician with the US and Australian Embassies in Kabul, as well as letters of recommendation from his employer.

But when he arrived in Melbourne, he had to start from scratch.

“The situation was very hard for me to find my way – how to start my study, how to find work here,” says Mohammad. “It was very hard for me.”

Mohammad enrolled in Chisholm’s Certificate III in EAL (Further Study) in February 2022.

He was adamant he wanted to continue working as an electrician and with support from Chisholm, he secured an apprenticeship with Macmor Electrical Contractors and began the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician Apprenticeship in July 2022.

“It was a bit painful for me because I’d already done my apprenticeship in Afghanistan and already had experience as an electrician,” says Mohammad.

“Still, learning is very good for me. Now I’m happy and busy.”

For his tenacity and determination, Mohammad was nominated as Foundation Student of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards.

He is enjoying his apprenticeship, which is due to finish in mid-2026.

On a typical day, Mohammad starts work at 7am and his employer sends him a schedule of jobs.

Tasks can range from wiring and installing power points to running data cables and doing light installations.

The great thing is given Mohammad’s previous experience, he feels very confident about the work he’s doing.

“It’s a very rewarding career,” says Mohammad.

Mohammad’s family is still in Afghanistan, and at the time of writing this article, they were planning to relocate to Pakistan or another Arab country.

And while Mohammad misses them terribly, he says he has settled into life here in Australia with his wife and son.