I am Emelita Woodley, a Pilipino, married to Laurie 47, and we have a son, Adam, 10.

I left the Philippines when I was 30 and worked in the Sheraton International Hotel in Iraq for 5 years, as Executive Assistant to the General manager and as Training Manager. Then I worked in Geneva as Executive Director of Hotel Raula.

I came to Australia for a holiday, and met my husband on the Gold Coast. We got married in the Philippines, and I gave up my businesses there, one in entertainment and the other in retail, and moved to Sydney.
In NSW I had senior positions in the Department of Corrective Services. Laurie was a foreman in the building industry. Five years ago we moved to the Gold Coast, Laurie worked as a carpenter.

For myself I could not get a decent job. With a little bit of savings I bought a business in Pacific Fair with mini shopping carts.

Currently I am a bi cultural bi lingual support worker, employed by the Multicultural Community Council. I provide aged care and domestic support to the multicultural community. I don’t have an Aged Care Certificate so I only get domestic duties.

For many months I have tried looking for office administration/secretarial work, but I can’t get back to the work I like and am good at. I have been feeling sorry for myself and always whinging, and my resources are just going down. I have been short listed in some positions but still unsuccessful, despite my knowledge, experience and abilities. I feel discriminated against, maybe because of my age, because I am overqualified, or because I am Asian.

I feel like I am falling apart, there are lots of things I’d like to do but cannot. I am very goal oriented, very productive, energetic, and high spirited, but all these don’t seem to work. When I am alone I feel helpless and frustrated. My morale is low.

I would like to start my own business but I don’t have the finance. Because I am a people person I like selling and customer relations. I am looking at retraining, but right now I don’t have time, all my time is spent earning a living. I do extra cleaning work to earn extra dollars, which is why time is a concern.
Right now I feel like crying, all my frustrations are coming out.