Over 100 Samoan seasonal workers depart for Australia

A group of 181 Samoan seasonal workers left the country this week to take up seasonal work in Australia.

The flight QF6063 which arrived empty from Australia on Tuesday afternoon departed Faleolo International Airport for Sydney with an emotional farewell.

Hundreds of families of the selected seasonal workers filled the airport to bid farewell to their loved ones.

Most of the workers said they have waited for up to three years to get this opportunity.

Usufono Taupule, a 31-year-old from the big island of Savai’i is one of them – He applied for the seasonal work opportunity in 2019.

“I thought I had missed this chance because I applied in 2019 but to my surprise, I got in and it’s a quite an emotional opportunity for majority of us because obviously, right now with the Covid-19, we need all the help we can get for our families,” he said.

Taupule, a father of two had been temporarily laid off from his previous job due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

His goal is to provide for his two daughters and wife and build his mother a new house on the big island.

Another seasonal worker, Faapoi Apisaloma said he lives alone with his mother who is unemployed – They had been living off from blessings of the land especially the ocean for survival.

For Apisaloma, the ambition is for his mother have a taste of a bit of luxury such as a television and a vehicle before his mother gets older.

“I left my phone with her so I can call her everyday from Australia because she has no one with her now and it would’ve been better if she had come to the airport but obviously she can’t,” he said while trying to fight back tears.


 Photo supplied Faleolo International Airport     

Talaia Mika