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A change of environment can change your life and create the drive to help others.

“I like to find peace, and there’s always been something inside me that wants to help others find it too. I think a change of environment can change your life, and create the drive to help others.”

Janet is talking about her experiences since moving to Tasmania last year, leaving a “hectic life in a busy place”. COVID-19 restrictions left her feeling isolated, unable to attend classes in-person, and anxious about the wellbeing of the world, her family, and her friends.

Janet thought engaging with her new environment would help, and she found an outlet in art. She says painting is her way of making a real connection to Tasmania’s nature, which has helped her immensely.

“I found out that I had the blue sky, the mountains, and the ocean,” says Janet.

“I could capture them with my camera, taking [in] the fresh air and peacefulness. I'd return home and paint. I love to see the nature around me, and spent a lot of time painting at home.

“I just head out whenever I [need] a break, and to find myself again.”

In Korea, Janet was an English teacher. This experience, along with her history of volunteering since childhood, helped influence her decision to pursue a career in counselling and support services.

“I often found that engaging with people and hearing their story was the aspect I most enjoyed about [working as a teacher].”

Janet chose to study in Australia as she says it is “a great place to learn and understand the principles of community support and services”.

“Here, my current studies in Tasmania have given me the chance to do a placement in child and youth services, which involves support for children, young people, and their families who are facing multiple challenges.

“And at the moment, I'm a volunteer for the Red Cross. I engage with migrant families who have experienced domestic violence, and I work in aged care facilities with those who need company and support.”

Janet’s advice to people migrating to Tasmania? It’s simple: be involved with as much as you can.

“I think it is really important to find things that you love to do, to engage with your environment in every way, from communities to nature. 

“So for me, this is the chance to help others, and to spend time in nature. I think I'm quite lucky that I have found... all that in Tasmania.”