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Wardsperson Lobsang Tenkyong

Lobsang Tenkyong, Wardsperson at Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital

Employment initiative helps refugee community thrive

21 Jun 2021


A bold local initiative is helping refugees in the Blue Mountains gain valuable skills and get jobs, including at Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital.

One of many Tibetan refugees who have settled in the Blue Mountains in recent years, Lobsang Tenkyong, recently got a job as a wardsperson at Blue Mountains Hospital.

Mr Tenkyong attended workshops for the Tibetan community, hosted by TAFE NSW and Nepean Multicultural Access, to provide job readiness and job application training.

Mr Tenkyong says the workshops helped improve his language skills prior to applying for work.

He’s pleased to be part of the team at Blue Mountains Hospital.

“I started two months ago and I’m very happy in this job,” says Mr Tenkyong.

“I love everyone here and get to meet new people every day.”

Luke O’Connell from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) Multicultural Health Service says over the past decade the Tibetan population within the Blue Mountains has grown.

“Many of the Tibetans in the Blue Mountains are refugees,” says Mr O’Connell.

“Many have arrived on humanitarian visas from refugee camps, or are the children of refugees who fled Tibet in the decades following Chinese occupation.”

Mr O’Connell says, “Our initial response was one of excitement that the Blue Mountains was becoming a suitable and desirable location for refugees to settle. Then we considered, what can we do to best support this community?”

The NBMLHD Multicultural Health Service partnered with many stakeholders to form the Blue Mountains Tibetan Coordination Committee which is delivering a number of initiatives to support local refugees. At the heart of this committee is the Tibetan community themselves.

Collectively, the group is helping the community to thrive.

The group’s refugee employment initiative has also included a collaboration with Blue Mountains Hospital.

Director of Nursing, Judith Walloscheck says the leadership team at Blue Mountains Hospital are proud to offer an inclusive and diverse workplace.

When advertising the wardsperson role, Ms Walloscheck reached out to the NBMLHD Multicultural Health Service to let them know an opportunity was available for interested applicants.

Lobsang Tenkyong eagerly applied.

“Lobsang was keen to learn, he received on-the-job training and he’s fitted in fantastically well. Lobsang is well-liked, hardworking, he’s good at his job and is embedded now as part of our team,” says Ms Walloscheck.

With the ongoing support of the District’s Multicultural Health Service, Ms Walloscheck hopes that Blue Mountains Hospital will soon be able to welcome many more refugees to their workforce. 

“We believe it’s important to have diversity in our workplace because it sets up a welcoming environment for people working at and attending our hospital,” Ms Walloscheck says.

If you would like to be involved in this initiative, please contact the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Multicultural Health Service on 4734 1600.

Refugee Week is celebrated Sunday 20 June – Saturday 26 June, 2021.