Ah . . this week it's an entire department. The Department of Immigration (round of applause please!)
She was born in Birmingham, educated in Bristol, speaks fluent English and holds a British passport – but Julie Dutton has been told she will have to sit an English language test if she wants to work in Australia.Shame she doesn't have to do a test in stryne . . .she'd be able to understand what these two are on about:
Three weeks ago the registered nurse, who moved from London to Sydney with her Australian husband Dale Mervin last year, applied to transfer her British nursing qualifications to New South Wales so that she could work in Australian hospitals.
Ms Dutton, 33, who specialises in cardiothoracic intensive care, was told that she would have to sit an English language test for her application to be processed – the standard procedure for any immigrant applying to be registered or enrolled with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Board, according to a new policy introduced on January 1.
The written and spoken tests will cost £131 ($280), and Ms Dutton was told that she will have to wait until June to sit them because there are no available places before then.
She was told that despite her obvious proficiency in the English language there were no exemptions.
“I think it’s just ridiculous,” Ms Dutton told The Times. “I am English, I was born in England, I speak English, I have a British passport, I was educated in Britain and I got my nursing degree in Britain, so I just couldn’t believe it when they told me. I think it’s just a joke – this is just a mad, stupid policy.”
Ms Dutton is desperate to go back to work to support her husband and four-month old son, because Mr Mervin works in finance and has been unable to get a job due to the economic downturn.
The plight of the British nurse caught the attention of Nathan Rees, the Premier of New South Wales, who said today that her situation was absurd. John Della Bosca, the state Health Minister, said that he would review the Nurses and Midwives Board policy and help to streamline Ms Dutton’s case so that she could undergo the test and start work sooner.