First Papua New Guinean aged care workers join QLD provider

Southern Cross Care QLD welcomes workers from Papua New Guinea

Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) have welcomed aged care workers from Papua New Guinea (PNG) who have arrived in Queensland to fill critical roles in aged care facilities.

These workers are the first to arrive from PNG under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, and they have been deployed to aged care homes in Chinchilla, Murgon, and Taroom after coming from various provinces in PNG including Western Highlands, New Ireland, and Morobe.

In a statement, CEO Jason Eldering expressed his gratitude for the arrival of the skilled and professional staff from PNG, stating that they will help address workforce shortages in the aged care sector. He emphasised the importance of this program expansion in rural and remote communities where accessing high-quality care and support is particularly challenging. The new workers are expected to greatly benefit residents, families, staff, and the communities they will be living in.

SCCQ commemorated this significant development by welcoming Joanne Waine, the Consulate-General of Papua New Guinea. Mr Eldering claims SCCQ is committed to making sure the new arrivals feel valued for their contribution, bringing their skills, vibrancy, and diversity to their homes. He also expressed gratitude for the support received from Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy and Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells in expanding the program.

The PALM scheme has already successfully brought more than 600 aged care workers from Pacific nations and Timor Leste to Australian facilities, where they have been well-received. SCCQ eagerly anticipates the expertise that the PNG workers will bring in caring for older generations.

With over 1,000 employees, SCCQ currently serves more than 2,000 people through its extensive network, which includes thirteen aged care facilities, five retirement villages, and home care services across Queensland.

This employment of PALM scheme workers from PNG marks the first time they have been employed in Australia’s aged care sector and aligns with the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting PNG’s participation in the PALM scheme. The total number of Pacific and Timorese workers under the PALM scheme in Australia has grown from over 24,400 a year ago to over 38,000 today.


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