Francis Milamila has had an exciting journey after he joined the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme in January 2020.
Francis is married with two children, at the time he was earning an irregular income as a security guard in the Solomon Islands and could not afford a home for his family.
Now, two years and four months after joining the program, his immediate family has a steady income, he has built his own home and is also helping others in his extended family to build their homes.
Francis was initially contracted to work in Australia for six months. The closure of international borders due to COVID-19 enabled him to extend his time working in Australia. Francis set himself a goal, and was careful with the money he was earning. He sent money home to help his family and saved as much as he could.
Within his first seven months in Australia, Francis had saved enough to pay for the construction of his own home in Honiara. His first goal completed, he then commenced work on his parents’ house, then supported his sister to build her own home as well as his in-laws.
Francis will be returning to Solomon Islands this week, and is planning to spend time with his wife and kids.
Solomon Islands joined the Seasonal Workers Program in 2012. Since then, Solomon Islands has enjoyed unprecedented success in sending workers to Australia and now leads the Pacific in the number of workers currently in Australia. We congratulate on its ongoing success.
Australia and Solomon Islands will continue to work in partnership to provide opportunities for Solomon Islanders to gain valuable skills and experience, and achieve their personal goals.