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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

A Critical Feminist and Sustainable Development Perspective on Pacific Australia Mobility

By Harriet Renn, RMIT, CSW, 2021


Harriet studied at RMIT. Her Policy Paper focuses on A Critical Feminist and Sustainable Development Perspective on Pacific-Australia Mobility


Executive Summary


This paper highlights a gap in the Pacific-Australia Mobility Program (PALM) where women and gender-diverse individuals fall through the cracks (Ball, 2015; Taylor, 2015; World Bank Group, 2017). Although the number of women participating in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility programs has increased over the years, women still represent a minority. In 2015, women amounted to 13-14% of participants in the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) (Taylor, 2015; World Bank Group, 2017). Numbers are similarly low in the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) (McAdam, 2020), leading to some women and families being left behind for extended periods. The intersection of climate change plays a crucial role in this debate.


To address this gap, this paper recommends allowing family accompaniment (FA) in the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and introducing a new permanent visa pathway for PALM nations, along with an integration and pre-settlement plan for the development of a greater diaspora. These recommendations align with the ‘Plan for a Stronger Pacific Family’ announced by the Labour Party during their 2022 election campaign, which is gradually being implemented by the sitting parliament. This paper contributes a critical feminist and sustainable development perspective to bring gender equality, social well-being and strategic foresight into mobility policy design and implementation.





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