I am pleased to announce the start of the Women in Agriculture (WiA) program with five women from Papua New Guinea participating in Australia. The pilot will support women's economic empowerment in PNG and help Australian producers meet seasonal labour demand.

The group of women will spend six months working at Ironbark Citrus in Queensland, a producer of premium Australian mandarins. The women will earn money that will benefit their rural PNG communities as well as gain skills and knowledge to develop new ventures upon their return home.

Sue Jenkin, CEO of Ironbark Citrus, said they were excited to be a part of the Women in Agriculture pilot. They looked forward to the support of the group during the harvest season.

One of the pilot participants, Rosa David, of Kurumul, said that she hoped to earn money to improve her family's life. Rosa said that working on the land was her life, and she had experience growing many crops, such as capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, pineapples, bananas and coffee.

The pilot sits within the Seasonal Worker Programme and will boost the participation of women from rural PNG in the Programme. Recruiting women with agricultural experience into the program is a win for Seasonal Worker Programme employers and for participating women. I look forward to hearing of more horticultural and agricultural businesses participating in the pilot.

Producers who are interested in employing PNG women as a part of the pilot are encouraged to contact seasonalworker@jobs.gov.au.  

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