"My main goal working in Australia was to buy a home for my family. That's why I came here in the first place."
Joachim was raised in the Buma Parish West Kwaio Malaita province in the Solomon Islands and is the eldest of five children. Joachim’s family wasn’t well off and despite securing work in the Solomon Islands to help cover family bills and school fees, it wasn’t enough. But when he came across the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme, Joachim experienced a life-changing positive transformation.
The PALM Scheme: a ticket to work in Australia
Two years ago, when Joachim approached foreign affairs to enquire about the PALM program, there was only one week left until the vacancies closed. It became a rush for him to gather all his documentation. "They kept calling me, asking me to attend interviews and bring documentation. It was a very fast process," Joachim said.
At one point, Joachim questioned whether he would be able to get everything organised within just one week. He reflected, "It made me think maybe I should move to Australia in a few months' time... I tried my best, and I finally made it. I'm very fortunate that I was selected to come to work in Australia."
A determined pursuit and dream to build
Knowing just how lucky he was to be heading to work in Australia, Joachim had a big goal in mind even before stepping foot here. He was determined to keep that goal in focus through thick and thin. Joachim explained, "My main goal in Australia was to buy a home for my family. That's why I came here in the first place."
Before arriving in Australia, Joachim explained, “I heard some people say that Australia isn’t an easy place to go, especially because the jobs are hard work.”
However, during the hard times and early 3:30am starts as a meat industry worker, Joachim told himself, “I have to give all my effort, even though it's hard because it gives me good money to bring back home.”
This dream of helping his family came true in just 18 months. He shared, “I used to live in a traditional two-bedroom house that fit five of us. The new house has three bedrooms, a living room, and an extension... it’s very, very big and has a lot of space for my family – they really enjoy the new house."
Joachim visited his new house for the first-time at Christmas in 2022 and described the overwhelming emotion of seeing it in reality, "I went to sleep in my new house and had tears of joy.”
Inspiring his community
Joachim's experience working in Australia through the PALM scheme has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for his community in the Solomon Islands. As he fondly recalled, "The community back home looks to the house I built as a reflection of me, and say, ‘this is what can happen when people go to work in Australia.’"
In his community, Joachim’s house represents the hopes and dreams that many others have. He said, “I’ve painted a picture for people in my province.” His accomplishment resonates deeply, especially with the Elders in the community who are filled with gratitude and proudly acknowledge it. “The elders see me as the man in the community who went to Australia. They’ve seen what I’ve done and are grateful,” said Joachim.
Joachim's journey isn't just his own; it's a source of inspiration for his community, reminding them that with determination and opportunity, they too can achieve their dreams. Joachim remains incredibly appreciative of his opportunity to work with FIP Group via the PALM Scheme and wants to thank his family and partner, Doris Jones, for their support.
To find out more about how FIP can support PALM workers, visit > fipgroup.com.au/disciplines/fipgroup-palm-scheme or contact firstname.lastname@example.org