BY JOY OFASIA
MELVINA Tango is among the first female Solomon Islanders to be recruited under the Pacific Labour Scheme to work in Australia’s aged care sector this year.
It is a major milestone for her since an Australian employer has recruited her through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) to undertake aged care roles in Mercy Services residential care facility in Singleton, New South Wales in Australia.
Before leaving the country, she has participated in pre-departure training, which included detailed information about worker contracts, and general information about Australian culture, laws, and customs. Melvina is now in her final stages of preparations before she travels to Australia to start work.
In 2013 Melvina studied a Diploma in Nursing at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and continued later on undertaking Bachelor in Primary Health Care in 2017. After going back into the field of nursing, she undertook a six-month course training on the aged care studies under APTC Programme 2019 and recently graduated with a Certificate III in “Individual Support Aging Home and Community.
The young mother said that being among the first-ever Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme Aged Workers made her proud and she is ready to play her role as an aged Care Worker in Australia.
“As a nurse, I wanted to study ‘Age Care’ because of the passion I have to know more about this specific field and getting to know more about it motivated me to seek this job,” she said.
Melvina is also a registered nurse and has served six years at the Rove Clinic in Honiara. She came to love the work of Aged Care after going through six months of aged care studies in Fiji in 2019.
She is also very excited and looking forward to joining the workforce in Australia and experience this new field that she passionate most.
“I am happy because after undertaking the Aged Care certificate from the APTC Programme, I knew that I would be continuing with my career as a nurse in the country’s clinics due to no ‘Home Cares’ for aged care workers to find jobs to work in our country like in some other countries.
“Being among the first-ever Pacific Labour Scheme Aged Care workers is an opportunity to utilize the skills gained from her studies,” she expressed with excitement.
Four female aged care workers in the country, which includes Melvina will undertake age care roles in Australia this year.
The PLS commenced on 1 July 2018 and enables citizens from selected Pacific countries to take up low and semi-skilled work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years. The Solomon Islands joined the scheme in September 2018. The Scheme is focused on sectors with projected employment growth in Australia and contains protections to safeguard against worker exploitation.