Akram always dreamed of studying and living overseas. His dream became reality with a scholarship, followed by a prompt and successful visa application process.
"Now my family lives here…my family are very happy, and I am very happy." Akram exclaimed.
As an aspiring statistics student, a husband and father of a six month old baby boy, Akram's first thoughts of higher studies were in the direction of America and the United Kingdom. However, since arriving in Australia, Akram has not looked back. "It was a great decision. I love living in Melbourne and Victoria…the high standard of living and education…the people are very friendly….the weather is good….I really love it."
Akram likes the variety of sport and family entertainment on offer in Melbourne. From playing cricket with his local club and enjoying the parks and gardens, to fun-filled swimming lessons with his young family and visiting the local shopping centres; "You can do anything here….it is all very good," he says.
"I thought I would have to leave Australia after I finished my studies, however my friend told me of the Victorian Government's eligibility list (for state visa nomination) and my field of study was on it." Akram applied online through the Live in Victoria website and found the process of application very straight forward. He applied and was accepted within three months.
"My supervisor, Professor Rob Hyndman, was extremely supportive and encouraging of me and my application for permanent residency. He has helped me immensely right from the first day."
Akram first came to Australia alone, to settle in before his wife and baby son arrived. "Professor Hyndman was very helpful in getting my family to join me after only one year. My family is happy and so am I."
Akram started studying at Monash University in April 2001, and finished in 2005. He was then offered a post doctorate opportunity at Monash University's Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics. As a research fellow Akram's work is very computer intensive, however it also involves teaching, which he finds very rewarding. "I enjoy conveying the information I have to others."
"My current project involves developing a new set of testing procedures that can be applied to multiple testing of any statistical or econometric model. Such models are used in a wide range of disciplines."
"In the field of econometrics, my work should enable econometricians to build better models and to better understand the weaknesses of their models. This in turn leads to a better understanding of the economy, better forecasts and better policy decisions with possible gains in economic efficiency and growth."
"Better models of electricity, gas and water consumption can help better understand the true demand for these commodities and hence allow better planning with the potential to save millions of dollars in infrastructure."
"I love my work because I love learning... The project I am working on involves developing new procedures which is a challenging task and could lead to benefits for Australia and its economy. So far the results of the project are very encouraging."
Akram and his family have recently moved from an apartment into a house in Clayton, which is only 12kms from the university. Akram and his wife have just welcomed their third child and their new, larger home allows them to enjoy more space both inside and out, including a garden where Akram and his children can play.
Akram loves the accommodating, laid-back and friendly style of Australians and the family often spend weekends enjoying the many parks and gardens, barbeques and social occasions with colleagues or his fellow cricketers at the Clayton District Cricket Club.
"We have explored a lot of Victoria. We have a car and enjoy many attractions. We have been to the Phillip Island Nature Park, Puffing Billy steam train, the Great Ocean Road, Ballarat and many other great spots."