My name is Nima Fard. I am from Iran, where I worked as an electrical engineer in a telecommunications company for six years. I came to Australia in 2012. I still cannot find a job in my field.
However, I do believe that moving to Australia was my destiny. Adjusting to this country was not easy at first, though. Both speaking and writing English was very difficult. In my mother tongue, Persian, we write from right to left. In English, of course it is the opposite—left to right. I also have a painting diploma from my country. (I have done volunteer art teaching in Iran.)
Making crafts in Australia was a natural thing to do: I scanned the paintings I had done, and designed cards from them.
I also make hand-knitted toys, and conduct art workshops for children. Until I came to Australia, I did not crochet or knit that much. I did a lot of research to find good patterns for my toys.
Zi Ma, a friend of mine, had met Luz at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Zi Ma showed me the SisterWorks website and Facebook page. I joined SisterWorks in January 2014, and I feel that SisterWorks is my second home. The people there have helped me improve my English, gain self-confidence, learn about Australian culture, and improve my time management skills!
Most importantly, SisterWorks has helped me extend my social network, where I’ve made new friends. SisterWorks showed me how to print cards from my paintings.
They have also helped me find markets to sell my products, as well as schools, where I have conducted art workshops. I have a few goals: to find more markets to sell my products, and to have my own gallery where I can display my paintings. When I came here, I had no friends, no family—I left them all behind. SisterWorks has helped me understand the importance of networking. One must have a good social network in order to get ahead in this country. SisterWorks is helping me find that.