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Humans of St John’s

Tue, 28/09/2021Posted by:

Welcome to the latest edition of Humans of St John’s featuring our College Bus Driver and Administration Officer, Mrs Marianela Nunez (Nela) as she shares with us her journey from Chile, South America to Australia and St John’s.

Born in the 60’s in Chile, South America, my parents made the courageous decision to migrate to Australia to offer our family a better way of life. At the time it was a dictatorship in Chile and the situation was very difficult however moving to Australia meant that they left their family to a country where they knew no one and didn’t speak English.

I was 5 yeas old when we arrived in Sydney before moving to a small town called Dimbulah in Far North Queensland, 144 kilometres from Cairns. It was in 1976 when my father had a vehicle accident and was taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital in Brisbane that the decision was made to relocate our family. My father liked Brisbane so much whilst recovering that he asked my mother to pack our bags and come to Brisbane! We have been here ever since.

During my working life I have had many different jobs from Receptionist to working in a Call Centre to Regional Service Manager at Telstra to driving buses for the city council to owning my own Transport Company. Each role has given me a different skill set and strength which has allowed me to grow into the versatile person that I believe I am today.

I came to St John’s about three years ago.  At that time, I was a dog groomer and as I was just starting out, I had to find something to help financially whilst I built up my business.  I applied for a casual Bus Operator position and was offered the role. I believe I am also the first female bus driver that the College has ever had!

A change in circumstances meant that I needed to give up on my dog grooming business however St John’s was also able to offer me more work in addition to driving the College bus. In an administrative capacity I have supported in the Finance department, Maintenance, Hospitality and currently with HR and Compliance.  I love working at St John’s interacting with the students on the daily commute to and from College. The staff are also very welcoming and friendly.

In my spare time I am currently learning to play the piano and continue to enjoy spending time with my dogs.