Fin24

SA man top earner in Australia

2007-12-17 18:02

Cape Town - South Africa-born Allan Moss, who heads up Macquarie Bank - is now Australia's highest paid CEO, having earned more than A$33m (R195m) in 2007. Moss is widely credited with having turned Macquarie Bank from a minor player into an international powerhouse (www.moneyweek.com).

Such is the respect Moss has accrued over the years that he has acquired the title "Sage of Sydney", some labeling him an Australian Warren Buffet.

He is known for his humility and "bumbling professor" image, but underneath all this is a business genius who has managed to outwit many an international competitor (www.theage.com.au).

Another success story is South African born Gail Kelly, who has now become the most highly paid businesswomen in Australia and is ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 most powerful women in the world. She is also the first woman to head a top-ten listed Australian company.

Kelly immigrated to Australia in 1997 to join the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and worked her way through the ranks to the point where she will be taking over as CEO of Westpac Bank in February next year.

According to Oz-LifeStyle.com agency head, Mike Stowe, individuals such as Allan Moss and Gail Kelly represent the pinnacle of South African immigrant achievements, but they are not alone.

"In fact, the average 457 Visa skilled migrant's salary of A$70 000 (R413 000) indicates that the typical South African immigrant is likely to be an above average performer when it comes to earnings. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian salary is A$57 000."

Faced with growing skills shortages - combined with an unemployment rate of approximately four percent - Australian businesses have increasingly sought qualified South Africans. Australia's robust economy, high GDP growth and low inflation and public debt, have meant that there are simply not enough Australians to fill job vacancies.

"South Africans are sought after by Australian firms because they possess a high standard of education along with a good work ethic, proficiency in English, and excellent industry or corporate training.

"Australian employees also know that South Africans adapt well to the Ozzie lifestyle and culture. Our warm climate, geographic beauty and diversity, suburbs, shopping centres, world class education and medical standards - are very similar." says Stowe.

Employment agencies throughout Australia offer countless job opportunities for South Africans, especially in "priority" fields.

"These 'priority' jobs are identified in Australia's immigration program. At present, there is an urgent need for people in IT (project and design programmers), retail (management and supervisors), the medical field, mining (engineers and surveyors), defence, industry (abattoir supervisors and workers, project and electrical engineers) and all trades." says Stowe.

The Australian Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC), announced earlier this year that people with trade skills were needed most, but also listed chartered accountants, medical professionals, welders and hairdressers as other skills that were in short supply. DIAC provides a constantly updated NSNL (Skills in Demand) List which can be viewed on the Oz-LifeStyle.com website.

The revamped "457 Visa", sponsored in part by prospective employers (who are responsible for return trip costs and medical expenses), allows employees and their families to stay in Australia on a temporary basis for four years. Permanent residence may be applied for after two years.

- SAPA

SAPA