Allison Hinckson – notable West Indian by Jamaican Products

Allison Hinckson is featured as the notable West Indian for May 2016. The stories of those featured will be told in the form of an interview.

Allison Hickson
Allison Hickson

Allison is a ‘go getter’, so in this month of International Nurses Day let’s hear the story of this nursing sister.

When did you arrive in Australia and where were you born?
I arrived in Australia in June 1990, I was born and raised in Agricola on the East Bank Demerara in Guyana.

What influenced your decision to live in Australia?
I came here to join my Dad, Step-Mother and siblings who had migrated here sooner. I had left my two daughters, aged 6 and 8, in Guyana with family, as I was yet to decide if Australia was home. I realised there were opportunities here for me to progress personally and professionally. Then 2 years later I sponsored my two daughters by then aged 8 and 10.

Allison, Tekeisha, Jada, Kekeli, Renee
Allison, Tekeisha, Jada, Kekeli, Renee

How did you get involved in the West Indian community?
Coming to Australia was a culture shock, so when I learned about the West Indian Association (now Cariboz) it was one way to keep up with some social / cultural activities. About two years ago I joined the Cariboz Roundtable (as the organising committee is called) to assist with planning cultural events.

What feature of West Indian life do you think Australia could adopt?
I believe Australians could adopt a more gender integrated approach to social functions. In Guyana men and women mingle together during social gatherings (I’m not sure if this is the same in other parts of the West Indies). Whereas I observe in social gatherings here it’s very common to see men and women in separate groups.

The Swinger
The Swinger

What features of Australian life do you think the West Indies could adopt?
As West Indians we’re known for keeping ‘West Indian / African time’. I believe we can improve on our punctuality and not assume ‘our time’ is universally accepted.

Tell us about a funny cross cultural experience you had in Australia
When I arrived in Sydney in Junie I brought my Dad a Father’s Day present. My Dad started to laugh. He explained that I was 3 months early as Father’s Day here is celebrated in September, not June as in the Caribbean.

The Graduate
The Graduate

What has been your career path in Australia?
When I arrived in Australia I attended Bankstown skills share, a free office skills program for migrants. Although I excelled at the course I realised this was not what I wanted to do after all. So my Dad suggested I try nursing. I kept an open mind and volunteered at a nursing home in order to gain come Australian experience. Then I realised this profession was for me. I commenced paid employment in 1991 as an Assistant in Nursing. After 7 years and with a 2 year old son I commenced the undergraduate nursing program. I was a full time student while working part time to support the family. I completed my Bachelor of Nursing in 2000 and commenced my New Graduate Program in 2001 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

My Nursing career has gone full circle as I am currently employed in the Aged Care Industry, right back to where I started.

Tell me about a funny experience as a Nurse.
One day at work the phone rings. A colleague answers the phone, informing me that a patient on the line was asking “What time is his autopsy?” We started laughing but had to compose ourselves before responding “Surely you are not dead so it cannot be your autopsy, did you mean your biopsy?” He too started laughing and replied “I am still alive, so YES, my biopsy.”

How has your family contributed to your success?
The support of my family has assisted me to succeed despite many obstacles along the way and I’m forever thankful and appreciative to them.


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