SCCQ welcomes second cohort of PNG workers to our regional communities

19 February 2024

In January this year, SCCQ welcomed another 12 women from Papua New Guinea (PNG) through the federal Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Movement (PALM) scheme, who have commenced their new roles as Personal Carers across our aged care homes in Chinchilla, Taroom, Murgon, and Allora.

They join our nine other workers from PNG who arrived to these same communities in June 2023 and have since become valued members, providing compassionate care and forming deep connections with residents and locals alike.

SCCQ’s Learning & Organisation Development Manager, Somi Khani, was instrumental in coordinating the program within SCCQ, and is delighted that all the women have settled into their roles and been embraced with open arms.

“Their arrival was met with excitement, with the community in Chinchilla treating them as local celebrities, having already followed their story in local newspapers and media”, said Somi.

“In Murgon and Taroom, the PNG workers have quickly become beloved figures, embraced by the community. Locals even jumped in to assist them with shopping and invited them to the local gardening club, which has helped to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
“In Murgon, the workers have also been embraced by the sisters in the indigenous community, helping them find safety, support, and a sense of home”, added Somi.

The residents themselves have expressed deep appreciation already for the care provided by the new staff, noting their dedication.

“Residents were excited to hear we had a second cohort of staff coming over from PNG”, said Somi, a testament to the positive impact they’ve had.

Beyond their roles as carers, these remarkable women have formed strong bonds with other SCCQ staff and also each other, a demonstration of the supportive and inclusive workplace environment within these homes.

Supported by SCCQ’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO) partner, Arcadia, the workers are already close to completing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care) as part of the program, with a few already completed. It is a qualification that will benefit them
for life.

The initiative has not only addressed rostering issues for SCCQ, but has also fulfilled a critical shortage in aged care staff, making it a resounding success for all involved. As these dedicated workers continue their journey, they epitomise our values of service, courage and compassion, while helping us to create communities where best lives are lived.