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English & lobsters the focus for TAFE NSW student

TAFE NSW Kingscliff

English & lobsters the focus for TAFE NSW student

Now known as the first scientist in the world to successfully breed a lobster species – Moreton Bay bugs no less – Japanese immigrant Dr Satoshi Mikami arrived in Australia 25 years ago with no job, no money and no English skills.

Today the Terranora resident is the Scientific Manager of a world-leading lobster farm near Kingscliff, Australian Bay Lobster Producers Ltd, and he is providing employment opportunities to those with similar backgrounds. One of the lucky recipients is Solomon Islands-born Arnold Pada.

Arnold, who lives in Merrimac QLD, moved to Australia in 2017 to be with his Australian wife and quickly realised he needed to improve his written and spoken English skills to enjoy a successful career. So, he began studying the Adult Migrant English Program at TAFE NSW Kingscliff.

Arnold has now worked at Australian Bay Lobster Producers for six months, since Dr Mikami interviewed him for a role split across food processing and animal husbandry. He was recently offered this role full-time.

He said his studies have helped greatly in his workplace, “We speak pigeon English in the Solomon Islands, which is very different. I really appreciate my TAFE NSW studies, I’ve truly enjoyed it and know I’ve improved greatly. All my fears have gone and now I can communicate much better I feel really at home at work and in Australia.”

“Everyone is lovely and friendly at TAFE NSW. It’s so enjoyable because it’s really helped me personally – with my confidence and for my future career. I am also very thankful to Dr Mikami, who I work closely with sometimes to prepare food for the animals. He’s really involved in the process and it’s great to be by his side, working on animals from the ocean because that’s my background. I find it very interesting. I lived near the coast in the Solomon Islands – and by that I mean one inch away!”

Dr Mikami feels like his career journey has come full circle, saying, “It gives me great pleasure to support and encourage people like Arnold, as I too arrived in Australia with little prospects but plentiful determination and drive. Just as I was helped all those years ago, now I am happy to be in a position where I can help others in providing career opportunities.”

“I am delighted with Arnold’s progress and can see all he is learning at TAFE NSW being put to good use in his role at Australian Bay Lobster Producers. I look forward to working with Arnold for many years to come and seeing his skills and expertise improve further.”

Arnold’s manager Lisa Wales, Manager of Processing, praises Arnold for his work ethic and positivity.

“Arnold has brought a lot of joy to our company. He is a great worker, he brings a lot of good energy and is very enthusiastic and grateful. Arnold doesn't expect anything given to him, he works hard for it. What he's doing at work, it’s a lot of science to learn. He's coping with that, learning a lot and he’s opening up too. He was very shy when he came but his confidence and English have bloomed alongside each other,” she said.

Australian Bay Lobster Producers Ltd turns to TAFE NSW for customised employee training. For more detail on TAFE NSW courses, face-to-face or online with TAFE Digital, visit or call 131 601.