Samoan lawyer calls for compensation education for Australia’s seasonal workers

Brisbane-based Samoan lawyer, Leota Sinaumea Taufao believes there is a need for compensation education in Samoa for seasonal workers employed in Australia.

Leota raised the issue following reports of Samoans being injured in the workplace then being sent home without compensation.

He told Loop Samoa correspondent, Talaia Mika that the whole idea came about after consultations with the Consulate, Vaasatia Poloma.

“Because a lot of people who go over for seasonal work, they’re more inclined to get hurt more than any other worker in Australia so that’s why there was an issue because yes there is our liaison officer Aufai in Australia but there’s no one here in Samoa,” he said.

“There are a lot of Samoans that get hurt and get sent back to Samoa without any compensation or any claim of any sort so that’s the whole reason behind it.”

Leota is looking at liaising with families who have lost seasonal worker relatives in Australia or have injured members of the family.

In Australia, Leota runs workshops in churches and groups to educate Australian-based Samoans of this opportunity

“It’s these opportunities and rights that everyone is entitled to and that includes our people,” Leota said.

Personally, Leota works to give his people what they deserve as he’s one proud Samoan working to give Samoans their rights.

According to Leota, helping the people is also helping them as lawyers in helping build trust between them and the people.

“You’re a good lawyer if you can do the work and you’re a better lawyer if you can bring in the work,” he said.

While in Samoa, Leota plans to speak with the Minister of Labour and try and set up a little umbrella or department where he can find someone he can liaise with only for this opportunity.


Photo supplied 


Talaia Mika