Everything for success
We Are Ballarat celebrates all of us – the people who define our city – and aims to empower us to work towards the strengthening of Ballarat’s social fabric.
GOOD education, good family life, good community connection, and the opportunity to thrive.
These are all the elements that combine to create a fulfilling lifestyle, according to We Are Ballarat Ambassador Dr Michael Akindeju.
Having moved to Ballarat in 2013, Dr Akindeju said the city offered all he could want in a hometown, not only for himself but for his entire family.
“Ballarat to me… it’s an environment where you can raise your family, where you can thrive and you can be proud of the future,” he said.
As well as being an active member of the community, Dr Akindeju is the Director and Principal Consulting Process Engineer at MKPro Group.
Originally from Nigeria, he said he drew many similarities between Ballarat and his country of birth.
“I came from Nigeria where Ubuntu philosophy is very important to us,” the president of the Ballarat African Association said.
“That sense of community is very, very vital.
“The smallness of (Ballarat), of the environment, make it feel more like home, like I would feel if I was in Nigeria.
“The harmony the community has brought forth has improved over the years, the population of Africans in Ballarat has improved, and with that has also come the acceptance that we have seen and the connectedness we have seen within the grassroot community and the wider community in general.”
Having previously lived in Perth, Dr Akindeju said Ballarat’s tranquil environment and inviting atmosphere were amongst the biggest drawcards when his family decided to make the move eight years ago.
“When my family visited me, they said ‘we will stay here’, and since then we have been in Ballarat,” he proudly exclaimed.
“Ballarat is special. It has an appeal – the tranquillity, the community lifestyle and the growth that is possible.
“I have thrived in Ballarat and that in itself is an appeal for my children and for myself.”
While Dr Akindeju couldn’t talk highly enough of his hometown, he said it was important for residents to cast their differences aside and work together, regardless of their background, in order to continue witnessing growth within the region.
Dr Akindeju said he hoped to see a city that recognised and celebrated everyone’s contributions as equal and valid.
“I’d love to see a Ballarat in the future where everybody will coexist, where everybody is accepted, where businesses thrive, and where we have more employment opportunities,” he said.
“I’d love to see a Ballarat where most of our people reside and work, and where we have people coming in for work.
“In essence, a Ballarat that is more cosmopolitan, that is more diverse, and has a lot of industry and businesses.
“I feel very, very welcome in Ballarat, and these are the values I want to see into the future.”
Find out more at weareballarat.com.au.