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East Timor delegates visit workers, bosses
Nicola Kalmar East Timor delegates visit workers, bosses

Timor-Leste delegates were welcomed by Shire of Broome, business and tourism representatives last week, when they arrived in Broome to meet east Timor workers and their employers.

The delegates met with Timorese seasonal workers who arrived in Broome earlier this year to join the hospitality industry as part of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme.

Members of the delegation included Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment Bendito Freitas, Timor-Leste Ambassador to Australia Abel Gutteres and labour inspection director Aniceto Leto Soro.

During the week, the delegates met with traditional owners, Broome Shire president Graeme Campbell and Broome Chamber of Commerce Tony Proctor, and Bishop Christopher Saunders before visiting employers and Timor-Leste staff at Mercure Inn.

Mr Freitas said the purpose of the visit was to thank employers for providing important employment opportunities for Timor-Leste people to gain skills and employment.

Mr Freitas said the trainees were motivated and enthusiastic about working and living in Australia, and had adjusted well to the lifestyle.

He said Timor-Leste and Australia shared a strong relationship and the pilot scheme was an effective way to close the gap on skilled workers, while supporting Broome’s tourism industry.

Nuno Guterres arrived in Broome in May and works in housekeeping at the Mercure.

Mr Guterres said he had acquired new skills through his job and hoped to take his skills back home and encourage people to take part in the program.