THROUGH THE WAVES

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March 07, 2019

Celebrating remarkable Pullman Women on International Women's Day

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort by recognising and learning more about some of our inspirational women. 

International Women's Day 2019

Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there's still more to be achieved.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter - we hope you will join us in recognising the achievements of our talented female team members at Pullman Bunker Bay as we work together towards gender balance.

Learn more about International Women's Day at internationalwomensday.com

Michelle Cremen

FOOD & BEVERAGE ATTENDANT

Q: For those who don’t know you as well as we do, tell us a little about yourself…
A: I have lived in Dunsborough 23 years and brought up family of three here. I love the outdoor lifestyle that is camping, fishing, bushwalking and my gardening.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Start the morning with yoga, then to work, possibly a walk or cycle, beach, then cook read and sleep.

Q: This year’s International Women's Day theme is #BalanceforBetter which is all about working together to build a gender-balanced world. What does this mean to you?
A: That we work together with shared responsibilities and workload.

Q: What are the most challenging aspects of your job? How do you overcome these challenges and what motivates you?
A: Ensuring staff have a good attitude. Overcome this by giving staff time, asking them how they are, keeping workplace talk positive. What motivates me is working in a happy workplace.

Q: We would love to see more mature age women taking up roles in our business. What do you think would help more women achieve their career goals or overcome age-based misconceptions?
A: We need to take away judgement and misconceptions of age and give them a go.

Q: International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women throughout history. Is there a woman (or women!) who have influenced or inspired you to be the amazing woman you are today?
A:
Firstly my mum, bringing up ten children in inner city Sydney. Then when I left school I met and stayed with Alexandra Seddon who ran a hobby farm. She never ceased to amaze me with her endless energy to work and give to others around her and within the community. Both women were always sharing and giving.

Q: We know that gender parity can only be achieved when men and women work together. What advice would you give men in the workplace or the home so that they can become champions of change?
A: Treat everyone equally. Know there are differences but that each person has unique skills and strengths to bring to the team.

Q: Have achieved what you wanted to this year? What goals have you set for yourself in 2019?
A: I pride myself creating a balance between work and home life. By walking, camping etc my home life and wellbeing is supported and this reflects on my work. I’ll strive to continue this balance in 2019.

Q: What advice would you give to other women on International Women’s Day?
A: Believe in yourself. Do everything to the best of your abilities and enjoy the moment - it’s precious.

________________________

Bhagya Muhandiramge

HOUSEKEEPING SUPERVISOR

Q: Congratulations on your International Women’s Day nomination Bhagya! How does it feel to be one of Pullman’s aspirational women for 2019?
A: I am so happy to be chosen as one of Pullman’s aspirational women for 2019, and proud to be a member of our friendly and amazing team.

Q: For those who don’t know you as well as we do, tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from…
A: I was born in Sri Lanka. I have only one brother. I was attached to the Ministry of Health as a Management Assistant, and worked there for 8 years. While working there I did my higher education in Sri Lanka Law College and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in 2010. I am a mother of two daughters and migrated to Western Australia in 2013 with my family. I joined the Pullman family in 2014 as a Housekeeping Attendant. I love reading, doing crafts.

Q: We know you’re bilingual – what languages do you speak?
A: My mother language is Sinhalese and I speak English well. I can understand Hindi too

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: I get up around 5.45am in the morning. Get ready to go to work, worship Lord Buddha and leave for work at 6.40am. I start my usual working day at 7am by checking my e-mails. Do opening paper work, rostering, ordering, checking rooms. I leave office at about 4.30pm to spend some time with my children and family, talk about how they spent their time while I was at work. Then I do some activities, like go for a walk, go to park with the children and help with their homework. Then we have our dinner together. I then clean up the house get everything ready and organised for the next day. Then I Worship Buddha and go to bed around 11pm.

Q: What inspired you to migrate to Western Australia and eventually seek permanent residence status?
A: To be honest I didn’t want to migrate anywhere, it was one of my husband’s dreams though. Finally I agreed as I wanted to ensure a better future for my daughters. After few months when we migrated here I realised the environment in Western Australia, especially in Dunsborough, is really good for a peaceful and enjoyable life, even though I miss my relatives and friends in Sri Lanka. Therefore ended up obtaining the Permanent Residency.

Q: Unfortunately many skilled women who migrate to Australia face barriers to employment including lower proficiency in English, lack of local work experience, limited understanding of Australian workplace culture and limited recognition of their existing skills/qualifications. What challenges did you face along your journey? What would have made the process easier for you?
A: The very first thing was to find the time for seek and apply for jobs. My youngest daughter was only two and a half years old when we migrated here and she was so attached to me as she was missing all her relatives, especially her grand-parents. But finally I was fortunate enough to get a job as a cashier at Target. Secondly I had no one to look after my daughters when I went to work. My husband and I chose to work on shift basis - night and day. Also my parents visited us from time to time. 

If I wanted to continue my career as an Attorney-at-Law I had to study further in Australia, but I gave up this option as studying again would mean giving up time with my family. Then I joined Pullman as a housekeeping attendant. Hospitality is totally a different career for me. It required more physical hard work. Finally I was promoted to Pullman's Senior Housekeeping Supervisor.

I am thankful to my husband who always supports me to overcome any challenges, my lovely girls who understand me, all of my leaders at work starting from my manager up to resort General Manager Leighton Yates for the faith they have in me, and all my work mates and staff

Q: What did it feel like when you got your permanent residence approved?
A: I was happy when we were granted permanent residency, as we had fulfil some requirements prior to that, like stay in a regional area for two years and work in the capacity of full time for one year. It was hard with two young children without any benefits such as Medicare.

Q: This year’s International Women's Day theme is #BalanceforBetter which is all about working together to build a gender-balanced world. What does this mean to you?
A: For me, that means people should get recognised based on their talents, ability of working hard and skills but not based on what gender they are. I believe in equal and appropriate work rights and opportunities when it comes to career for people of all genders.

Q: International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women throughout history. Is there a woman (or women!) who have influenced or inspired you to be the amazing woman you are today?
A: My mother who set me an example of how to tolerate all the difficulties that you face and be calm and gentle as much as possible. Katharine Graham for teaching us to love what we do and feel that it matters. Maya Angelou for teaching us that people will forget what you said and did but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Q: We know that gender parity can only be achieved when men and women work together. What advice would you give men in the workplace or the home so that they can become champions of change?
A: If you have a female partner/family member who works, always be supportive by understanding her difficulties and motivate her to overcome the problems. Also appreciate her hard work towards the financial status of the household. If you have a female co-worker be respectful as she is a mother/sister/daughter of someone else just like you. Admit that women play a huge role of modern society and lead by example.

Q: Have achieved what you wanted to this year? What goals have you set for yourself in 2019?
A: I got the chance to look after housekeeping department for two months when my Manager was on winter holidays. This was really a good experience for me. I am currently covering the position of Housekeeping Manager, which is quite a challenge to manage the department in summer, as our resort is occupied most in this period. I am so happy that I got these opportunities to learn new skills and face new challenges and I am satisfied about what I have gained this year. My goal is always to find a “better me” in myself every day and lead a balanced work-family and social life.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Always put your heart, mind and soul even in to smallest action you do. That is the secret to success.

Q: What advice would you give to other women thinking about migrating to Western Australia?
A: Be prepared to face a difficult time at the beginning, you might have to switch your career path, usual routines. Be dedicated, patient most importantly never give up.

________________________

Chloe Kim

HOTEL ACCOUNTANT

Q: Congratulations on your International Women’s Day nomination Chloe! How does it feel to be one of Pullman’s aspirational women for 2019?
A: It is such a great honour to be nominated as a Pullman aspirational woman. I have not really thought that I could be someone who represents Pullman, so this is quite surprising and very exciting at the same time.

Q: For those who don’t know you as well as we do, tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from…
A: I am a Hotel Accountant at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort and it has clicked two years last January. Before I started this role I was based in Accor's Finance hub in Brisbane. I am originally from South Korea and it will be six years in coming March since I moved to Australia.

Q: We know you’re bilingual – what languages do you speak?
A: I am native in Korean and have studied Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese. Though at the moment I speak English the most.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A:  My days are quite routine. I spend the most of the time at work and spare some time for exercise. As my job means I am sitting in front of the monitor for long periods, I try to work out as much as I can. I mainly do Pilates and Yoga and I still love them, though these days I am also into swimming. It really helps with muscle tone and gives some welcome fresh air to my brain.

Q: What inspired you to migrate to Western Australia and eventually seek permanent residence status?
A: Back then when I started to think of moving, I was in this stage of life questioning myself and what to do next. Luckily my brother was studying in Australia back then, so it was logical that I thought of Australia. I spent some trial time period to see if I could get through in Australia and I could see I would get better quality of life if I worked hard and made the move. It was a long pathway to get permanent residency but very worthwhile.

Q: Unfortunately many skilled women who migrate to Australia face barriers to employment including lower proficiency in English, lack of local work experience, limited understanding of Australian workplace culture and limited recognition of their existing skills/qualifications. What challenges did you face along your journey? What would have made the process easier for you?
Language was the highest barrier for me and I am still working on it. English is a compulsory subject from middle school through to high school back in my country, though the curriculum mostly focused on reading and writing rather than listening and speaking. At the first time when I arrived, I could not speak at all and barely understood what people said to me. I found myself translating words in my head and obviously it took time and did not work out that smoothly. I started to practise thinking in English so I didn't need to go through this translating process and in time it became easier.

Q: What did it feel like when you got your permanent residence approved?
A: I was simply proud of myself with the fact that I achieved what I aimed for. I also appreciated all the help I have had from outside and around me including Accor and thanked the Universe as well. There must be some luck component as the government immigration policies keep changing.

Q: This year’s International Women's Day theme is #BalanceforBetter which is all about working together to build a gender-balanced world. What does this mean to you?
A: I graduated woman's university back in my country and this gender balance concept is a big part of the university's spirit. So yes I do appreciate the idea. It is inherently my world view.

Q: International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women throughout history. Is there a woman (or women!) who have influenced or inspired you to be the amazing woman you are today?
A: To be honest I have not thought about any particular woman as a role model of my life, though this lady just came to my mind speaking of university. Mary F. Scranton was a founder of the first girls school in Korea back in 1886, which became the university. There officially was no institute for girls in Korea back then before she started with one student. Unfortunately people thought there is no need of education for girls back then, so it was quite tough to get girls to school. Very hard to believe that this was only around 130 years ago. I admire her for her work in the early anti-girls education atmosphere. She was quite a pioneer who knew the importance of education.

Q: Have achieved what you wanted to this year? What goals have you set for yourself in 2019?
A: I wanted to get my permanent residency done in 2018 and it came true. Could not say everything was great in 2018, but permanent residency offset those challenges. In 2019, my focus will be more on my career and further study. I want to get more professional knowledge in accounting and build solid ground for the years to come.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - by Einstein. I say this out loud when I found myself doing something that I should not, or not doing something that I should be already. .

Q: What advice would you give to other women thinking about migrating to Western Australia?
A: Research the government requirements. Picture yourself where you are. Study how you can fill the gap between what you have and what the government needs. Once you have decided to go, it is worth it to carry on till the end. If you get there, compliment yourself for the efforts you made. If you could not get there, collect those experiences and persevere. You will find yourself growing through the journey and along the way meet people who will happily give you a hand. I wish the best for you!

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