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Fijian workers complete social media self-defence training

A group of Fijian Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme workers in Queensland have completed social media self-defence training, helping them recognise and respond to online scams and abuse so they can make the most of the platforms they use to communicate with family and friends back home.

When staff at HealthX heard about the increasing prevalence of online violence and scams on social media platforms, they organised for their PALM scheme workers to undergo interactive training workshops with the Australian Government’s eSafety Commissioner.

“With social media and online presence being a big part of people’s lives these days, we felt it was important to promote safer, more positive online experiences to our staff,” said HealthX People & Welfare Director Naomi Dunne.

Participants were taught how to enable 2-factor authentication, change privacy settings, report pages and abuse, mute pages, turn off comments on posts, and understand Australian online safety legislation.

“Some of us have received messages from other parts of the world, later to find out that it was a scam and we were not sure what to do. The workshop taught us how to use our phone when dealing with cyber-crime. I found it interesting and educational,” said Elizabeth from Fiji.

Global increase in online scams

The Global Anti-Scam Alliance recently reported an estimated 293 million scams and $55.3 billion lost in scams in 2021 worldwide. Tactics used by scammers ranged from fake pre-orders of coronavirus vaccinations in the beginning of 2021 to ‘supporting’ victims of the Australian bushfires.

The PALM scheme has also been targeted by scammers, who have taken to WhatsApp and Facebook pretending to represent either the official PALM scheme page or an approved employer, offering interested workers jobs in return for money.

However, there are ways to spot these scams: no payment or gifts are ever required to join the PALM scheme, and the official PALM scheme Facebook page has a blue verification tick beside its name.

To apply for the PALM scheme as a worker, you should contact a labour sending unit in the Pacific islands or Timor-Leste. Their contact details can be found on the official PALM scheme website How to apply page.

Rolling out the training program in 2023

With the success of this initial training, the social media self-defence program will be offered to other PALM scheme employers and workers in 2023.

“Everyone who attended found the workshop to be incredibly informative and easy to understand with some very good take-home messages. We look forward to the opportunity to participate in future training initiatives,” said Naomi. 

To learn more please contact the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) at (