English-speaking Australian Required to Take English Test To Work as a Nurse

On the surface, new Australian regulations requiring all foreign nurses to pass an English proficiency test before they begin working sound like a great idea. After all, communication breakdowns between nurses and doctors or nurses and patients can have devastating consequences. However, for Gerard Kellett, the testing requirement has proved to be an unnecessary burden.

According to this article, Kellett is a native English speaker who was born in Singapore to English-speaking parents. He is an Australian citizen and has lived in the country for 17 years. However, when Mr. Kellett tried to become a registered nurse after graduating, he received a letter from Australia’s Health Practitioner Regulation Agency which read in part:

“As you have not completed both your secondary education and nursing/midwifery education program in Australia, you are required to demonstrate English language competence. If you are unable to meet AHPRA’s English language requirements within three months . . . your application will be withdrawn.”

Mr. Kellett went to high school in Northern Ireland, which would explain the letter and the testing requirement except for the fact that English is also spoken in Northern Ireland.  Of course, there are differences in the way the language is spoken in each country, but given that Mr. Kellett has been living in Australia for the better part of two decades, surely he’s picked up on those.

Ultimately, Mr. Kellett had to fork over $535 to take the test. Results are not expected in for another 2 months, and until then he can’t work.

Still, his situation is better than that of many newly graduated nurses because he does have Australian citizenship.  According to this article on The Courier website,  foreign nurses who just graduated were not informed of the new requirements in time to allow them to take the test before they graduated. Now, they are stuck in Australia on tourist visas, unable to work at all.

Wild Australian Parrots Learn to Squawk in English

Walking around a park in Australia these days, you might be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stumbled into a Disney movie, as wild birds fly down and greet you with a perfectly intelligible “Hello.”

Don’t worry…you haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole! There’s actually a perfectly reasonable explanation. It seems that escaped pet parrots have been teaching their wild cousins scraps of English they picked up while in captivity. Read more

Speak Aussie!

I remember the first time I went to Australia, i couldn’t understand a word of what people were saying… I studied English for 9 years at school, lived in England for 2 years and I felt like i was landing on another planet. Aussies definitely have a unique accent when they speak, very different from the American or British one, it’s like learning a completely new language!  Few Bondi Rescue watchings, many barbecues with my friends Scotty, Danny, Luke, Lori-Rae and some Delta Goodrem listenings later, I’ve finally got the hang of this “bloody” accent.

If right now you feel lost like i was, check this video out…

or learn few typical expressions!

Barrack for. Cheer. as in barrack for the Blues (a sports team).

Battler. Someone who tries hard despite money problems.

Bitumen. Paved road, asphalt.

Bludger. One who won’t work and usually relies only on Social Security payments.

Bonnet. Hood (of a car)

Boot. Trunk (of a car)

Bottle shop. Liquor store. Read more

Crude Translation on Australian Vanity Plates

Kristen Perry, an Australian woman, has gone by the nickname “Kiki” since she was a baby.  One day about 5 years ago, her thoughtful husband surprised her with vanity plates featuring the nickname. They seemed like a perfect accessory for her Porsche.

Unfortunately, the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority disagreed, after it received a complaint from another motorist advising that the word “Kiki” translates into “vagina” in the Tagalog language of the Philippines.

The RTA responded to the complaint by sending a “please explain” letter, threatening to take Mrs. Perry’s plates away if she couldn’t show she had a good reason for choosing them. She told the Telegraph:

“At first I thought it was a joke, but then I realised it was actually quite serious and that my number plates would be taken off me if I didn’t respond appropriately.”

Read more