EDITORIAL- Job offers that cannot be turned down

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ANOTHER group of Solomon Islanders left yesterday to work in Australia.

They are the latest to travel under the Australian Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).

Again, public reaction to this latest travel was mixed.

While the majority are happy to see friends ands loved ones go, a few expressed scepticism and negativity.

They described the SWP as another “blackbirding”.

They felt instead of sending our people to go and work overseas, the Government should create more jobs at home to keep our people here.

Others assert our people should be creative and engage in other economic activities than seeking work overseas.

These critics may have a point.

But here’s the thing.

No matter how hard the Government tries to create more jobs at this time, not everyone will get a job.

It is just not possible at this time.

This is why we must not turn away possible job opportunities that are offered on our plates.

Working on a farm in Australia at this time is better than roaming the street of Honiara daily doing nothing.

One gets to earn an income and support his or her family back home.

The fact is the current SWP scheme has filled up an urgent void in our local labour market.

Those involved are earning an income that they would not have earned had it not been for such a scheme.

Besides experiencing a new way of life, they are also learning valuable skills and new attitude to work in a developed country like Australia.

Those who have previously participated in the scheme have a lot to say about it in terms of the lessons learned and the experiences gained.

Of course our participation in the scheme does not take away the Government’s obligation to facilitate and or create new job opportunities for our people.

The role will remain as long as we have a government and an economy.

This however, should not stop our people from participating in the work schemes Australia or New Zealand.

Those who say we shouldn’t be taking part in the work program need to think again!



  1. We need to have the enabling environment so that these kinds of farms can be set up.

    People are going out to look for good paying jobs because they cannot find such opportunities in their countries.

  2. My name is Jon and I lead a ministry in Australia called BRADA. We travel around visiting the Pacific Islander workers here. This weekend we will be returning to the men at Kingaroy and Nanango. We support and encourage the workers in any way we can in ways that are consistent with Biblical teaching. We have given out hundreds of blankets and warm coats as well as pushbikes and kitchen appliances and other things that will help these guys be more successful. We also run interactive devotional times. We are prepared to do anything we can to bless and support these wonderful people.
    If you hear of somebody who is actually working in Australia right now and who feels like they have been blackbirded or struggling in any other way, I would plead with you right now to get them to contact me so that we can do everything in our power to help them make the most of their time in Australia – to live life in all it’s fullness here.
    One last thing, please encourage your men who are here to do two things: Firstly not to drink. There are better ways to relax at the end of a week’s work and there are more constructive ways to deal with stress and loneliness. Alcohol is expensive and can be very dangerous with some loved ones already passing on. Get involved in church and sport communities and have fun instead! Secondly, if your family members here are driving, please encourage them to do an online learner driver course for the state that they are staying in. It will teach them the many rules that don’t exist in Solo and will also teach them about things like how being tired or speeding or not wearing a seatbelt can kill you. Driving is completely different in Australia. The fastest I’ve ever driven in Honiara is 60km/hr but in Australia, speed limits of 110km/hr are not uncommon and you are in there with all types of big trucks and other dangerous obstacles.
    We want their time here to be pleasurable and productive and very profitable. We want them to return home having been a blessing to their family and carrying enough savings to start and business to continue to generate more income and eventually employ more young people in that business.
    If you want to talk to me, my email address is [email protected]

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