Hamid Iftikhar leans against a table in a brightly lit office space


Born Iran | Arrived Australia 2013 | Owner and Founder, AAA Quality Painting & Decorating

In his native Iran, Hamid was doing well. His two herbal businesses were profitable. But in 2011, things changed, so he decided to move to Australia by way of Indonesia to find a better life for his family. After a period of uncertainty in Indonesia, Hamid and his family were granted refugee status and provided the opportunity to start a new life in Australia.

Leaving an
 old career 

My family has a long background in herbal medicine, and I had been working in the industry for 15 years. However, life in Iran was not getting better for my family, so we decided to move to Australia.

When we arrived, I didn’t speak any English at all and had had to learn by speaking to people. One of the biggest differences between Iran and Australia is the rules and regulations. In Iran, it’s all about experience, but here I needed a qualification to practice herbal medicine so I needed a new job.

Hamid, smiling and holding an iPad.
I chose to move to Australia because it is a land of freedom and opportunity.Hamid

I’ve had a lot of different jobs since arriving four years ago. I’ve been a labourer on construction sites, a panel beater and worked as a security guard. However, I had heard that Iranians have a reputation for quality painting work, so I decided to start my own painting business.

Hamid at a worksite

Success and opportunity in Australia

I have had so much support in Australia. Lots of people have helped me get my business up and running and I have never felt like I am in another country, I feel like I am in my country.

I now employ fifteen people and have many painting projects coming up, which means I might be able to hire more painters too.

For me, success is seeing the result of your hard work. I also want to give back to Australia by employing people, growing my business and paying my taxes, because it has given my family a new life.

47% of migrant business owners moved to Australia to find a better quality of life

52% started their business to gain ‘greater independence’

47% of migrant business owners plan on generating higher revenue

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