From engineer to a restaurant manager of one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Melbourne. This is the story of Silvio Stellavato, a civil engineer, born 1982 in Cilento and left Italy, almost three years ago with the idea of living abroad and learning English.
He always dreamt of Australia, because of its open spaces and the idea of a land so far away from home. However, he never imagined that Australia would be his new home, working in a very different field from his studies, and taking advantage all the opportunities that Melbourne has to offer to migrants.
Why did you decide to go to Australia?
I come from a family of migrants; hence, immigration for me was a natural path. In addition to that, the challenge in finding a job in Italy, made that choice easy for me, and was enough to guarantee me a financial independence.
What did you do in the past two years in Australia?
I arrived here in 2013 on a working holiday visa and with a very low level of English. After one week, I found a job as a dishwasher and that was my main occupation for almost one year. Finally, I found another job as manager of one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne, where I currently work. Personally, I deal with the administration and human resources aspects. Moreover, sometimes I like working as a bartender. I have to say that this was only possible thanks to my improved level of English and to my attitude of never giving up.
How did you get there?
After the first year on my working holiday visa, I realised that I wanted to stay in Australia at least another year and at the same time improve my English. Working and studying at the same time was difficult, but going back to school was like going back in time. As a result, I easily learnt English and I met a lot of amazing people.
What do you suggest to the people who want to move to Australia?
In the last 2 years, I realised that this land is full of opportunities, with a great sense of meritocracy, an unknown concept in Italy. The chances of success depends on your level of English, of your past experience and of course on your economic resources. It is also necessary to have a strong will power, to never give up and be ready to work very hard. With this attitude, the opportunities are endless.
How is your new life in Australia and in general how is life in Australia?
My life is made of sacrifices, but I have a job, that lets me live happily and look at the future with optimism. In Australia there is a good quality of life, the bureaucracy is not a problem and the public transports works very well, you feel safe, the economy is strong, and you can see that the respect for nature is innate in every Australian, such as the importance of practising a sport and travelling.
Do you ever think of going back?
I miss Italy, I miss the colours, the smells, the flavours, the landscapes, the medieval villages, the monuments, my people, my friends, my family, the football matches and the Sunday afternoons at the bar. However, I don’t think I will ever go back. My dream is to work as a site construction manager for an international company and have the opportunity to travel the world.