Karin Gellatly, Operations and M&E Manager Palladium providing support to Kaipati Rimatu, Kitchen Steward, Mulpha Australia Limited.

From today, up to 2,000 workers from Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu can earn an income and develop skills by accessing low and semi-skilled temporary work opportunities in Australia. This, in turn, benefits their families and communities.

Working together to ensure economic growth, security and stability in the Pacific is at the cornerstone of Australia’s strengthened engagement in the Pacific as highlighted in Australia’s new Foreign Policy White Paper.

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.”

One of the best parts of my job is meeting the workers from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru, involved in the Program. I particularly enjoy seeing them grow into their new jobs and life in Australia. They make an astonishing journey coming to Australia, leaving behind their families, children and community. They do this for the opportunity to gain skills and experience, and ensure that their families have money for education, health and household needs.

Each year more than 1,000 Australians donate their time and skills to volunteer in developing countries through the Government’s flagship Australian Volunteers program, helping to make our region more stable, secure and prosperous. On this International Volunteer Day I thank all Australian Volunteers – past and present – for their selfless contribution to regional growth and prosperity.

Aid for trade accounts for about 40 per cent of all aid funding to Asia and the Pacific and is integral to the region’s economic development. Aid for trade can benefit socially vulnerable groups, including women. Internet access can be transformative in providing opportunities for small firms, often owned by women, to tap into previously inaccessible markets.

Row of speakers standing on stage.

About 1,500 delegates gathered at the World Trade Organization in Geneva for the Sixth Global Aid for Trade Review. This event looks at progress that the world is making to improve the lives of poor people by helping them to trade.