Home | Top Stories | Townsville welcomes new Fijian workers
Under the ACE program, 98 PALM workers will be welcomed to 17 regional and rural homes. Picture: Supplied/Bolton Clarke.

Townsville welcomes new Fijian workers

Residents and staff at Bolton Clarke have welcomed a group of Fijian aged care workers at its Rowes Bay and Glendale homes in Townsville, Queensland.

Under the Australian Government's Aged Care Expansion Program (ACE), and as part of the PALM Scheme (the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme) the group will be employed across 17 regional Queensland and NSW homes.

ACE aims to help providers secure qualified, long-term staff from the Pacific and Timor-Leste to help the sector's staffing shortages and allowed them to complete Australian standard qualification.

The sector's staff shortage has especially impacted rural and regional homes, with Bolton Clarke's international sourcing manager Sara Allotta saying the recruitment was a "win-win" situation.

"Finding long-term employees is one of the greatest challenges we face in our regional homes,” Ms Allotta said.

"Welcoming these new team members is a win-win, supporting continuity of care for residents and offering training and employment opportunities that can be life-changing for PALM workers."

Before heading into the Townsville homes, the workers undertook 16 weeks of training in Fiji at the Alphacrucis University College – the first international provider to be recognised and registered to deliver Australian standard qualifications in Fiji.

The group will complete their six-week practicum at Rowes Bay and Glendale to attain their Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and will work at the homes for the next four years.

Sainaz Bano worked in aged care in Fiji for a year before being picked to take the four-month Alphacrucis course in September of last year.

"After arriving we did a week of orientation in Brisbane – it’s been a bit challenging in a totally new environment, but it has been really great to recap on all the knowledge we have learnt so far,” Ms Bano said.

"I have always loved working with older people.

"I’m so excited to meet new people with different backgrounds and cultures – I’m very happy to have been given this opportunity."

The workers were welcomed at a celebration event at Bolton Clarke's Rowes Bay with traditional Fijian singing.

Video: Supplied/Bolton Clarke
Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *