Capecare welcomed four new Pacific Island carers to its team last month, thanks to its partnership with HealthX and the Federal Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
Tabeta Itioa (Beta), Akineti Tiotaake (Aggie), Kaekotaake Natibu (Kaeko) and Tuane Neemia (Tuane) have joined Capecare from Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas), a group of 33 small coral islands in the central Pacific.
For the first 10 weeks at Capecare they will continue to complete their Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and then join the team as fully fledged carers.
This is Capecare’s second intake of carers under the PALM scheme. An initial group of carers from Fiji arrived in 2022, and with the latest additions brings the total to 13 carers. The initial intake were the first Pacific Island healthcare workers HealthX helped move to WA post-COVID.
Capecare Acting CEO Philippa Ayre said the program had been extremely successful and made a significant difference to Capecare’s ability to source a sustainable workforce.
“We have been so fortunate to have Beta, Aggie, Kaeko and Tuane join Capecare, they have seamlessly become part of the team and our residents already love them.”
The Pacific Island carers are placed with Capecare for four years (with annual visits home) which means the program provides a reliable and consistent workforce to supplement local workers.
“Having the Pacific Island team with us for four years means our residents interact with familiar faces each day, which allows us to provide consistent and quality care,”Philippa continued.
“We recognise that our Pacific Island staff are a long way from home, and we have worked hard to ensure that as much as possible they feel they have found a second home with us here.”
For the Pacific Island workers, benefits lie in being able to further develop their skills and knowledge in aged care and will be able to utilise and transfer these skills when they return home, providing a benefit to their communities.
HealthX is an approved employer of the PALM scheme for aged care and sources, interviews, sponsors and employs suitable Pacific Island workers to support aged care facilities across Australia.
HealthX Director of People and Welfare Naomi Dunne said the organisation was excited to be part of this wonderful initiative.
“As a people, Pacific islanders exude warmth and compassion, making them the ideal candidates for roles in aged care,” Naomi said.
“HealthX recognises that this is a life changing move, and we spend significant time preparing our employees for the change of culture and life in Australia.
Capecare staff welcomed the new team members on the first day at their Busselton aged care facility with a traditional Aussie BBQ lunch.
Capecare is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.
For more than 60 years Capecare has served the needs of our older people in the Capes Region and is the largest regional based independent aged care provider in Western Australia.
For more information on Capecare’s independent living, community and home care, respite, and residential care services visit www.capecare.com.au