Skip to main content


Pacific worker picking strawberries header 2
'They've done a fantastic job'

Maria and Bela from Timor-Leste are seasonal workers in Tasmania, Australia. Their employers at Burlington Berries couldn't be happier with their work. 

Three people stand together smiling at the camera wearing warm winter clothing. Two are older with grey hair and dark coats, while the man in the foreground has a brown collared shirt and a baseball cap.
Building a community of care in Smithton

There are more than 60 Pacific Labour Scheme workers in Smithton, Tasmania, from Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa. They are filling ongoing labour shortages in the area, and are also playing sport, making connections and becoming "like family" to many locals in the community.

A group of Pacific islanders in colourful clothing stand on a stage singing and playing guitar.
Victorian Adventist Wantok Church - Mildura

The Victorian Adventist Wantok Church hosted their first church partnership event in May 2021. The event provided the opportunity for Pacific island workers from Robinvale, Mildura and Stawell to connect through prayer, song and stories, as well as sharing a delicious meal.

Three Kiribati workers in blue and turquoise uniforms stand smiling in front of a Bolton Clarke pioneers banner
These former tourism workers are helping fill aged care sector labour gaps during COVID-19

When Australia’s COVID-19 travel restrictions kicked in, Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) workers Teremita Loeru, Tiein Taite and Maatai Tamaiti were stood down from their roles in the tourism industry.

A man in a high-visibility long sleeved yellow shirt and navy baseball cap crouches in front of a planted row of berries in a berry-growing tunnel.
'We can build our country's economy too'

Joe, James and Junior started working at Queensland Berries in Australia through the Pacific Labour Scheme in early 2021. After only 2 months, they already had clear goals for how they plan to use the money they earn and the skills they learn in Australia when they return home to Solomon Islands.

These workers are learning new skills in Australia – and starting new businesses in Timor-Leste

At Mossmont Nurseries in Griffith, New South Wales, seasonal workers from Timor-Leste are not only learning valuable tree-growing skills, they are also cultivating the future health and wealth of their families back home. 

A woman in a light blue shirt flashing a big smile.
From Brisbane, Queensland to Kiribati

The COVID-19 pandemic forced I-Kiribati tourism workers Retati 'Rita' Tekaai, Maatai Tamaiti and Tereimita Ioeru into new industries that had labour shortages. In a message home to family and friends, Retati says they are staying positive in true I-Kiribati style, being happy, confident and laughing all the time.

A group of men inside a house. Four are sitting on a couch looking at the camera and smiling, one is standing at the back of the couch smiling.
These Solomon Islanders are being supported by their employer and community in Australia

In March 2020, Stephen Tani joined the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) with 9 other men from Solomon Islands, and was soon recruited by RWM to work in an abattoir in Ararat, Victoria. Not long after the group had settled in, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and changed everything.

A man wearing a scarf on his head and sunglasses smiling.
'It's not often you don't see them smiling'

Rocky Ponds Produce in Gumlu, North Queensland, relies on workers from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to ensure its capsicum and melon products reach the customer. Operations Manager Evan Chapman says the workers are diligent and thorough, and it's not often you don't see them smiling.

A woman wearing black gloves and a grey tshirt with her brown hair tied back smiles at the camera. She is standing in a packing shed with boxes behind her, filling out paperwork as she leans against a box.
How this group of Tongan workers has found a home away from home on a Queensland banana plantation

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Kesaia Helu, Valeti Kolo and Viliami Kolo from Tonga are enjoying their time in Australia picking and packing fruit thanks to great workmates and a supportive employer.