Fabian Alistair is featured as the notable West Indian for October 2016. The stories of those featured are recorded by Jamaican Products in the form of an interview. Fabian, a relatively new comer to Australia, is an engineer by profession and a born traveller. This is Fabian’s story.When did you arrive in Australia?
I arrived in 2010. I applied for an engineering visa while I was in Trinidad which took 1 year to get through because of the global financial crisis. Originally I intended to stay for 18 months and ended up becoming a permanent resident.
Where were you born?
I was born in the United Kingdom. My parents were agricultural professionals so I moved about a bit. I grew up in Ghana for a couple years, when I was too young to remember. Then I lived in Jamaica until adolescence. We had a large citrus farm in Clarendon and I went to St. Thomas Moore Preparatory School. My teenage years were spent between Trinidad and Guyana, where my parents were from. I would go to school in Trinidad (Arima) and spend the holidays in Guyana with my dad in Georgetown. I got to travel into the rainforest a lot when I was there which was a great experience.
What features of the West Indian life could benefit Australia?
I believe the food and music culture. Caribbean people miss the dancing culture of the Caribbean here in Australia especially in Brisbane. Also the few places that served Caribbean food have closed down so the closest we can get is Mexican, which is a good option. I tend to get a bit bored with the nightlife here so nowadays will more hang out with friends and just chill at home and play music.
What features of Australian life could benefit the West Indies?
That sense of pride in terms of taking care of the country and standing up against corruption. Australians are quite welcoming as long as you respect their rules it seems. They also seem to want everyone to have a fair shot and they don’t like anyone person having everything.
Any funny stories of cross cultural differences especially noticeable in your first years here?
I found that Aussies have many slang terms. I could not understand my first boss when I got a job. I had to keep asking my colleagues to explain what he said after meetings. I felt quite dumb but it was just hard to understand the slang at first. Now I find myself fitting in and I am using the slangs as good as everyone around me.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire Richard Branson. He is a successful entrepreneur that focuses on providing great customer services and community support. He is self-made and has many charities and tries to give back wherever he can and also open doors for people to offer them advancement.
The University of Idaho was my alma mater which I attended having won a tennis scholarship. Then I had hopes of winning Wimbledon.
I bought my first property here in Brisbane after only being here a short time. I think when you are not used the certain opportunities and then you have access to them you tend to take advantage more than the people who always had them.
How has your family contributed to your success?
From an early age they taught me responsibility and to keep an open mind. They also encouraged me to travel throughout my early years which gave me the confidence to try new things and go to new places. They sent me to a reputable institution, the University of Idaho in the USA. This allowed me to apply for a visa here, it made my application for residence much easier as well.