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Home visit reveals positive impact of PALM Scheme

A FIP Group manager has hit pause on an international holiday to visit a former worker in the PALM Scheme and see firsthand how it changed his life and benefited his community.


Onsite Account Manager Rebecca Fataga has helped hundreds of workers from Pacific Island nations to create new futures under the PALM Scheme. It’s not always an easy job but she’s made some great friendships with workers, none more so than with Pattson Tutu from the Solomon Islands.


Rebecca says Pattson was one of the very first group of workers who arrived from the Solomon Islands under the PALM Scheme and his dedication to work and humble approach stood out from the beginning.


After completing three years under the PALM Scheme, Pattson returned home to his family in 2023. Late last year Rebecca had the chance to visit the Solomon Islands and decided to look up her old friend.


“I visited an island called Salvo where Pattson lives,” Rebecca said.


“With money saved working in Australia he’s built three houses, for himself and his siblings, and what they call the ‘canteen’ which sells groceries and essentials to village locals. He also owns boats which are used for transport to the main island.”

Rebecca says it was an incredible experience to see how working in the PALM scheme has changed, not just Pattson’s life, but others in his community too.


“His wife was pregnant with their first child while I was there and having a new, well-built home is so important for them,” she said.


“But his whole island has also benefited with better access to groceries and to transport. His church has made him their youth coordinator where he talks to his community about what he achieved through working hard and having goals while he was in Australia.


“It was wonderful to know him for three years in Australia, and then for me to visit and see what he’s been able to achieve.”

Rebecca says it’s stories like Pattson’s which highlight how the PALM Scheme can have lasting impact on the lives of participants. She and her fellow onsite managers highlight the opportunity to new workers when they arrive and impress on them how their attitude to work determines opportunities for future participants.


“We tell them they’re representing their country and their attitude and commitment to work creates a reputation which determines the opportunity for others from their country,” she said.


“Pattson and others from his group created a positive reputation for workers from the Solomon Islands and the site where he worked continues to ask for workers from their country today.”

FIP Group currently employs approximately 6,000 workers in Australia under the PALM Scheme from Solomon Islands, Fiji, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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