Project Engineer and Swinburne alum Hiba Mansour is the embodiment of resilience and tenacity in her journey to become a qualified engineer in Australia.
In 2017, Mansour fled conflict in Syria, arriving in Australia with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
Successfully established as a working civil engineer in her home country, Mansour had to” start again” in Australia – an all-too-common challenge for people who have had to leave their home countries under the most difficult circumstances.
She wasted no time expanding her engineering knowledge and skills in Australia, earning a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from RMIT, with distinction.
It was after gaining her master’s that she learned about the Engineering Pathway Industry Cadetship (EPIC) as part of Victoria’s Big Build, which introduced her to the world of infrastructure engineering.
EPIC is an 18-month program where cadets receive on-the-job training, support, mentoring and a qualification from Swinburne.
As part of Swinburne’s partnership with EPIC and its commitment that every Swinburne learner gets a work experience and a job, Hiba Mansour earned a post graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Engineering Management through Swinburne, while being employed with the North East Link Program.
Constructing new beginnings
“While employed with the North East Link Program I was assigned a mentor who helped me for 18 months with all work-related inquiries and concerns. It was great to have a buddy who was supportive in that period,” Mansour said.
“What I appreciated most though was that I was able to gain exposure to large infrastructure projects and transportation operations as part of the program. That took me through a series of site visits, trainings and certifications for working safely on the job.
“All of the support and direction I received from the program's leaders with the other participants exceeded my expectations and was quite heart-warming.”
Reflecting on how she feels about living in Australia now, Mansour has no reservations.
“I adore this country. It’s beautiful and multicultural. I always feel safe here and most Australians are relaxed and friendly people who make me feel welcome. I am happy to now call Australia home.”
EPIC partnerships and results
Swinburne is proud to be a partner of EPIC and recognises the strength and courage it takes for new Australians to restart their lives and careers in a new country. Especially when facing the challenge of having international qualifications and past professional experience recognised.
Swinburne has supported 29 participants in this industry-first program aiming to bridge the gap faced by new Australians in matching their international qualifications to Australian workforce requirements. Past participants now work on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the state as fully qualified engineers.
In honour of World Refugee Day today, Swinburne acknowledges the achievements and contributions new residents are making to our community while experiencing new chapters in their lives.
Find out about applying for the 2023 Engineering Pathway Industry Cadetship (EPIC) at https://bigbuild.vic.gov.au/jobs/employment-and-training-programs/epic-program