In our last issue we shared carpenter Nicolas Osborne’s journey from South Africa to Dunedin.
In this edition, we’ve got another similar story – about Mohammed Ali, a painter originally from Iraq, now working for Performance Based Maintenance Contractor Dunedin Housing Maintenance Contractors.
Operations Manager Gerry O’Connell says there continue to be trade shortages in the south and so they have to think outside the square to find tradesmen.
Gerry says they feel like they’ve struck the jackpot again, this time securing the painting services of Mohammed Ali, a young man with a real passion for using a paintbrush.
Mohammed is 33 years old and lived most of his life in Iraq, where he studied administration and management. From there, he ventured into factory farming, building and painting.
Mohammed then moved to Thailand, where he worked for three years as a chef but always yearned to pick up his paintbrush again. Eventually, Mohammed says, his travels took him, his three brothers and his sister to New Zealand.
Before working at DHMC, Mohammed worked for Silver Fern Farms but says he still had his heart set on painting again.
With support from the Red Cross, he was successful in obtaining a job with DHMC, where he has been working for five months now with a paintbrush firmly back in his hand.
Gerry says Mohammed is really enjoying working with the DHMC team and, although he enjoyed being a chef, he still prefers his painting job, even all the prep work.
Mohammed has recently settled back into his job after returning from a trip to the Middle East to get married. Gerry says that hopefully it won’t be too long before Mohammed’s new wife will join him in his new life in Dunedin.