15 February 2018

First Kiribati Workers Graduate

An award ceremony was held on Hayman Island on 15 January to celebrate the success of thirteen I-Kiribati workers completing their Certificate III in Hospitality.

Mulpha Hotel Pty Ltd (Mulpha), who manage the resort on Hayman Island in the Whitsundays, was the first employer to take part in the Australian Government’s Pacific Microstates – Northern Australia Worker Program. They currently employ 25 I-Kiribati in a range of roles and, with DFAT support, provide formal training opportunities to all.

While many of the graduating workers had prior experience in the hospitality sector, the Certificate III in Hospitality provides the workers with a widely-recognised formal qualification. The certificate level training was provided by Mulpha Education Group’s Registered Training Organisation, Transcend.ED. This enabled the workers to access an Australian nationally accredited qualification that provides practical, competency based on-the-job training and exposure/experience.

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Graduate Kitchen Stewards with their manager David Shay (Head Chef). Image: Holly Lawton, Palladium.

Liniane and Teremita are two I-Kiribati women who have been with Mulpha in Housekeeping roles on the island since late October 2016 and received their Certificate III in Hospitality certificates at the ceremony. Their time in Australia is much more than just a job. The opportunity to gain valuable new, transferable skills and experience in Australia can be life changing, setting workers up for the future.

The value of having an Australian-recognised qualification is clearly not lost on the workers. Asked what value they saw in the training, the workers replied “We were so happy when they gave us the opportunity to get training that is officially recognised… Receiving the certificate gives us opportunities. It was something we dreamt about and now it has happened.”

The training is a win-win for employer and employees. Liniane reports that the Certificate III in Hospitality training has “given us more knowledge about the jobs we have and [has] helped us to do our jobs better.”

Mulpha’s Executive General Manager, Human Resources, Allan Renkema reports “we are so proud of these employees achieving the recognition that they so richly deserve. They have settled in well into Hayman and are working very hard in their designated roles. It is a pleasure each time I arrive at Hayman to see their smiling faces and they themselves recognising the opportunity they have in that they are able to learn new skills and to provide financially for themselves and for their families.”

Lead Trainer for the group’s Certificate III in Hospitality, Elissa Cattana, transcend.ED reports “they are such engaging individuals and were an absolute privilege to work with. Completing them all was probably one of my career highlights.”

A big congratulations to the recent graduates! We look forward to the current workers on both Hamilton and Hayman islands completing their certificate-level training in 2018.

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Recent Kiribati Certificate III in Hospitality graduates recognised on Hayman Island with Allan Renkema (Executive General Manager, HR), Scott Williams (General Manager, Hayman Island), Tracey Tipping (Executive Housekeeper) and David Shay (Head Chef). Image: Holly Lawton, Palladium.

Pastoral Care Support for the Pacific Microstates – Northern Australia Worker Pilot Program is provided by Palladium International on behalf of the Australian Government. 

On 8 September 2017, Prime Minister Turnbull announced a raft of new measures to support rural and regional Australian businesses wishing to employ semi-skilled workers from the Pacific. Further information on the existing Pacific Labour Mobility programs or the new Pacific Labour Scheme are available here [PDF] or please direct any queries to PacificLabourMobility@dfat.gov.au

Find out more about how we are Stepping-up Australia’s Pacific engagement.

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Communications and Parliamentary Branch at the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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