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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

Factsheet: Tonga at a glance [PDF 2.9 MB]

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 in Tonga. For more information contact the Overseas Employment Division by 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 (

No payments or gifts are required to join the PALM scheme. Costs may be incurred for flights and other expenses once successful applicants have been placed in jobs in Australia. These costs are paid up front by the employer and reimbursed later by the worker once they start earning a wage.