2024 MWC Summer Newsletter - Migrant Workers Centre Skip navigation

2024 MWC Summer Newsletter

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2024. In this edition:

  • Changes to Migration Act
  • Ambassador sessions
  • Resources
  • Ambassador profile

Changes to Migration Act

The Migrant Workers Centre celebrates a significant milestone with the recent amendments to the Migration Act, marking a pivotal moment in the fight for migrant workers' rights and against exploitation by dodgy employers.

The Bill introduces several new protections for the rights of migrant workers, including:

  • Repealing the criminalisation of working in breach of visa conditions or after visa expiry.
  • Confirming that all workplace protections apply to every worker in Australia, irrespective of their documentation status.
  • Introducing new penalties for employers who coerce migrant workers into exploitation using immigration-related threats.
  • Establishing a new Prohibited Employer List to prevent certain businesses with exploitation records from hiring new migrant workers temporarily.

These changes in this act were initially designed and advocated by unions, advocates and civil-society allies. A special thanks to Unions NSW, Immigration Advice and Rights (IARC), Migrant Justice Institute and Human Rights Law Centre for there continuous efforts in migration reform.

Despite everyone's right to fair treatment at work, migrant workers often face obstacles that prevent them from speaking out against abuse. They fear losing their job or their right to stay in Australia.

These amendments will make it easier for migrant workers to report wrongdoing without worrying about their immigration status and fear of cancellation when taking action.

These changes will make our migration system fairer and give all workers in Australia a better chance at safe, decent jobs with fair pay.

Click here to read the MEDIA RELEASE

Ambassador sessions

We’ve started 2024 with a bang! 

We recently organised two "Know Your Rights" sessions for gig workers in Victoria, held at the Iraqi Cultural Group in Point Cook and the Glenroy Community Hub. 

These sessions helped gig workers understand their rights while working in Australia. A big thank you to Zainab and Wickrama for making these sessions happen.

But that's not all – our new ambassadors have been doing great work too. Emily, who joined our ambassador program in 2023, has already given five sessions to the Fijian community, talking about the importance of understanding payslips and entitlements, especially for PALM scheme workers.

We also want to thank Suzan for her session with the Turkish community, done in partnership with the Turkish BIZ Network in Australia, and Faiza for her first session with the Pakistani community. Thanks to everyone for their hard work! 



Meet our ambassador, Faiza

Hi! I’m Faiza. 

Originally from Pakistan, I arrived in Australia four years ago with my husband and kids. Alongside managing my catering business, I have been actively involved in organizing several events for multicultural communities in Geelong. Additionally, I am part of the Multicultural Consultative Group by WorkSafe Victoria, where I advocate for multicultural communities about creating safe work environments. 

I joined the Migrant Workers Centre as an ambassador because I am passionate about advocating for the rights and well-being of migrant workers international students. Having experienced the challenges firsthand, I believe in the importance of supporting and empowering fellow migrants to navigate and thrive in their new environment. 

Some highlights from the 5-day BWRAP training program included gaining a deeper understanding of workers' rights, learning effective advocacy strategies, and connecting with like-minded individuals dedicated to creating positive change in the migrant worker community. The interactive workshops and practical skills training were particularly valuable, equipping me with the tools and knowledge needed to make a meaningful impact as a bicultural ambassador. 


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