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Stories from the PALM scheme

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme is helping Australian businesses address workforce shortages, while supporting the economic growth of Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.

Here you can find a range of stories showing how Pacific Australia labour mobility is benefiting employers and workers.

Aussie Orchards

PNG workers helped protect this northern NSW farm during the bushfire crisis

A group of Papua New Guinean (PNG) workers employed at Aussie Orchards in northern NSW have not only helped the farm address its ongoing labour problems, they also stepped up to protect the farm during the bushfire crisis in late 2019.


‘Best picking season ever’: How recruiting Pacific workers has helped Simfresh grow

Simfresh is a family-owned business with farms in New South Wales and Queensland. The company supplies around 1.8 million boxes of citrus each year to the domestic and export markets. After expanding its growing operations, Simfresh found it difficult to source enough workers to meet increased needs.

K&S Contracting

Saving money, making connections and developing new skills

K&S Contracting specialises in forestry and weed control. The business signed up to the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) in 2018 after struggling to find reliable local labour for forestry work. It currently employs 5 Tuvaluans who are now active members of the local community.

Cowra Meat Processing

Recruiting workers from Samoa has 'been a tremendous saving' for this business

Cowra Meat Processing employs around 200 workers but has struggled to find staff. In 2018, general manager, Peter Browne, visited Samoa to interview workers through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS). In early 2019, 7 men from Samoa started work at the processing facility.

Ironbark Citrus

Each of these women has a goal to start a business or improve their farm

Five women from a remote village in the highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been recruited to pick mandarins at Ironbark Citrus in outback Queensland. Ironbark Citrus joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2012 and also recruits workers from Timor-Leste and Tonga. Working in Australia has been life-changing for the workers.

Nutrano Produce Group

These workers from Solomon Islands have built new houses and a church in their village

The Nutrano Produce Group struggled to find workers for its citrus farm in Victoria's Sunraysia district until it joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2017. It now employs a large group of workers from Solomon Islands, some of whom have used their savings to build new houses and a church for their village.

Skybury Farms

Workers from PNG have impressed this Queensland coffee and tropical fruit farming business

Skybury Tropical Plantation in Mareeba in Queensland joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2018, recruiting workers from Papua New Guinea (PNG). The managers were so impressed with the workers that they joined the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), so they could employ them for longer.  

GraceKate Farms

How a returning Pacific workforce is helping this farm to grow and plan ahead

GraceKate Farms joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2012 and has been employing workers from the Pacific islands ever since. The business has now joined the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), which will allow it to access workers for up to 3 years. Having a returning workforce allows the owners to grow their farm and plan for the future.

Russell McCrystal Farms

How this farm has reduced training costs and supervision requirements

Russell McCrystal Farms joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2015, initially trialling 6 workers. By 2019, the farm had employed 18 men and 6 women from Vanuatu. The business has now joined the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), which will allow it to access workers for up to 3 years.

Hillwood Berries

This farm's productivity has increased because of its returning workforce

Hillwood Berries joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2013. The returning workforce has helped to increase the farm’s productivity, and the business now employs workers from 2 different countries.