Seasonal Workers Look To Make Most Of Opportunity

The 86 workers were selected last Friday, with many seeing this as an opportunity to improve life for themselves and their loved ones.
24 Mar 2022 12:40
Seasonal Workers Look To Make Most Of Opportunity
Seasonal workers with Employment Minister Parveen Bala after receiving their Pacific Labour Scheme seasonal worker certificate on March 18, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Eighty-six of Fijians are hoping to earn money and to help their families after they complete their work in Australia under the labour schemes.

The 86 workers were selected last Friday, with many seeing this as an opportunity to improve life for themselves and their loved ones.


Rice farmers

Two rice farmers from Vunivau, Bua hope to build a cyclone resilient home when they return to Fiji.

The duo had been farming rice for the past 20 years and would travel overseas for the first time.

Rajneel Kumar, 32, said: “We are currently living in a wooden house which is not very good. It has to be renovated so that we can be safe during cyclones.”

Mr Kumar’s uncle, Deo Bharat, 44, who is also a rice farmer, shared similar sentiments and said his goal was to fulfil his children’s dream.

“My income is not enough to support my three children’s education,” he said.

“My daughter received her Year 13 result and I am very happy that she has passed her exam.

“She will apply for Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) but if she does not get through, then I will have to support her education. She wants to become an accountant.”

The two said they would uphold Fiji’s good reputation by behaving the same as they did in their village.


Single mum’s mission

Single mother, Melaia Feccia of Macuata, Labasa, is on a quest to build a home for herself and her 10-year-old child.

The 46-year-old was selected under the Seasonal Worker Programme.

She was expected to have departed for Australia yesterday.

Her son has been living with his grandparents since he was three months old.

“My goal is to build a house for my child in a new place and live with him.”

Ms Feccia has been selling fish and vegetables in the market to sustain her livelihood.


Lakeshman’s aim to be a good ambassador

Among those Fijians who were selected under the Pacific Labour Scheme was Kristal Lakeshman.

The 27-year-old said she was aiming to be a good ambassador when she leaves for Australia.

She used to work at McDonalds as a shift assistant.

“My father is retired and my mum operates a small business. It is not enough to complete my house,” Ms Lakeshman said.

“My house was built in 2016 and there is a lot of work that has to be completed.

“It has been put on hold because we do not have the finances to complete it.

“Getting a chance to go to Australia is a huge relief.”

She thanked the Fijian and Australian Governments for the opportunity and said people should also apply for the programme to fulfil their dreams.



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