Christina Knorr and her husband
German couple Christina Knorr and Johann Kloster, came to Australia in 2008 initially to learn English somewhere not too cold. They fell in love with Australia, decided to stay for longer and enrolled into university courses.
Christina completed her degree in mechanical engineering at the Victoria University in Melbourne. Being one of the best students in her course, she won a scholarship and went to Western Australia, where she worked on her final year project for three months.
When Sydney company, Resource Risk Management (RRM), interviewed Christina 18 months ago, they knew at once they had found their perfect Project Engineer.
'Our commercial success and reputation are built on organisational skills, attention to detail and consistently meeting tight deadlines. Christina performs at a very high level on all of these criteria,' says Managing Director, Steven Jeffs.
He explains Christina is such a can-do person, that a week after she was offered the job, she had packed up and moved from Melbourne, finding the perfect apartment in the inner Sydney suburb of Ultimo—opposite her new office!
Christina also adeptly handles a wide range of sensitive business relationships as part of her role, which she enjoys very much.
Again her boss is full of praise. 'Christina is articulate, pragmatic and has the right mix of interpersonal qualities, so she knows when to apply some gentle pressure to get a project done well. We interviewed at least 15 engineers, but none of them came close to Christina's skill set.'
After six months of unsuccessful job hunting in Sydney, Christina's husband, Johann, who holds a postgraduate degree in commerce, did a relieving stint at RRM in a role as Project Co-ordinator. The company soon discovered he was a bright spark too, so Johann has also become a full time member of their team.
'Although it's not quite what I expected to do, I'm very happy for the opportunity and can see how my career may progress in the direction of project management now,' says Johann.
Christina says getting her permanent residency through the SkillSelect visa program was really easy.
'We were able to find out everything we needed to do from the Immigration website and submitted the application without any problem. The visa came through within three months,' she said.
'A lot of friends thought they had to pay expensive migration agents to assist them to speed up the process, but it actually took them much longer. My advice is that there is really no need to pay a migration agent for this kind of visa, because it's so simple and straight forward.'
Christina chuckles when asked how her family felt about her settling on the other side of the world. 'My parents were quite concerned for sure at first, but when they came for a visit, they saw how good things were and they are now happy we made the right decision.'
Christina and Johann have both accomplished their original goal of speaking very good English and are happy to call Sydney home for the foreseeable future. They feel very well integrated into the Australian community and enjoy participating in diverse charity and sports activities.
What do they like most about their inner Sydney lifestyle? 'Being in walking distance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the New Year's Eve fireworks.'
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