Learning ambassador Sunil Abbott
Sunil Abbott, aged 69, migrated to Australia from India in 2011 with the equivalent of a Year 12 education. He struggled to adapt and had little or no knowledge of computers and technology or how systems and services worked. He had never encountered an EFTPOS machine for example and had to go about learning basic skills that others take for granted.
Sunil now runs two busy restaurants, yet, despite his demanding work, he makes time for learning and has undertaken many courses at his local community education centre. He has completed a Certificate 3 in Commercial Cookery and has begun Certificate 4 with a view to becoming a professional chef.
Now a prominent leader in his community, he helped establish a local platform that promotes learning and social connections for older people.
His commitment to lifelong learning has earned him numerous awards and positions on various councils and representative bodies. He says that he has learned more in the past 12 years here in Australia than in his entire time in India and he feels happy to be in an environment that encourages learning at any age.