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A Tongan worker packing mangoes in Katherine, Northern Territory

Malo e lelei!


The Kingdom of Tonga is the sole constitutional monarchy in the Pacific.  

It is a Polynesian country made up of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited by a population of approximately 106,000 people.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Tonga

Tonga country fact sheet

Why recruit workers from Tonga?

Workers from Tonga are experienced in aged care, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, hospitality and meat processing work, as well as a range of other industries.

Tongans are known for being physically strong and have an excellent reputation for high productivity in labour mobility programs both in Australia and New Zealand.

How to recruit workers from Tonga

To recruit workers from Tonga under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, an Australian employer must be approved as a PALM scheme employer.

Alternatively, an employer may wish to engage workers through a PALM scheme approved labour hire company

Find out more about becoming a PALM scheme employer.

PALM scheme employers can recruit Tongan workers through the Ministry for Internal Affairs Overseas Employment Division work-ready pool or via direct recruitment. For more information please phone (+ 676 26820) or email (

How to join the PALM scheme as a worker 

Worker from Tonga packing mangoes

Citizens of participating countries must apply to join the PALM scheme through the labour sending unit in their country.

Citizens of Tonga should contact the Overseas Employment Division by phone on (+ 67626820) or email (

You do not need to pay or give gifts to anyone to join the PALM scheme. If you have been offered a job in the PALM scheme, your employer will pay for your flights and some other costs up front so you can travel to Australia. You will need to gradually repay your employer for these costs once you start earning a wage.