Autumn Newsletter 2024 - Migrant Workers Centre Skip navigation

Autumn Newsletter 2024

Welcome to the Autumn edition of our e-newsletter.

We’re excited to share our upcoming research report “Pathways and Pitfalls: Migrant Workers’ Experience with the Migration Advice Sector, based on 959 survey responses and 24 in-depth interviews. It explores how migrant workers navigate services provided by agents and lawyers.

We welcome you to our annual Migrant Workers Conference on the 26th June, where we will launch this research report, we will also cover a range of migration topics.

Registration is now open, click here to secure your spot!

Our community organisers and ambassadors continue to do exceptional work through our “Know your Rights” sessions. These sessions, delivered across Victoria in collaboration with settlement organisations and education providers, aims to effectively inform newly arrived migrants about their work rights and safety in Australia. You can learn more about our outreach program and highlights below.

Connect with experts, explore new research, and engage in critical discussions on advancing rights and opportunities for migrant workers. 

Date: Wed 26 June 
Time: 6PM - 8PM 
Venue: Online (Register for Zoom link) 

Registration is now open, click here to secure your spot!

Learn about crucial changes to Australia's WorkCover scheme, including stricter eligibility for psychological claims and new requirements for weekly payments after 130 weeks

Join us to a special session on "Understanding WorkCover: Navigating Entitlements, Changes & Legal Support" featuring a guest presenter, Jenny Forti from Gordon Legal. 

We encourage all bicultural workers, community leaders and front-line support staff to attend this webinar. 
Date: Wed 12 June 
Time: 12PM - 1PM 
Venue: Online (Register for Zoom link)

The webinar will cover: 

  • What you’re entitled to 
  • Changes you need to know 
  • Getting help early for injuries, physical or mental 
  • Stading up when insurers terminate payment 
  • Understanding lump sum compensation 
  • When to ask a lawyer for support

Register today

Since March 2024, we have conducted 32 "Know Your Rights" sessions, with 18 delivered by our dedicated Ambassadors, reaching a total of 306 migrant workers. 

Alaa Azzam organised and delivered 4 sessions focusing on Arabic-speaking communities in northern Melbourne. Partnering with organisations like cohealth, Kangan Institute, and Drummond Street Services, Alaa reached 98 recently arrived migrants and refugees. 

We also want to highlight the efforts of other Ambassadors: 

  • Bahareh Irannejad: Organised and delivered 3 sessions. 
  • Emily Tokalau-Tabualevu: Delivered 2 sessions to workers on the PALM scheme. 
  • Adalbert Musubao: The first Ambassador to organise a session in Wodonga. 

Their dedication and hard work are making a significant impact in our community. 

Our Principal Lawyer, Elyane, recently joined our team and was invited as a guest speaker at the Young Workers Centre's Legal Networking Night.

The panel discussion focused on "Life as a Union Lawyer."

Elyane was joined by President of the Fair Work Commission, Justice Adam Hatcher, and Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Amanda Threlfall.


Volunteer applications are NOW OPEN to join our new project committee and reference group.

Project committee member - Click here to apply

Reference group member - Click here to apply

Positions available: 5-10 volunteers

Online meeting, once a month commitment

You will be involved in collaborating, developing and planning the project activities, materials and outreach program

Positions available: 10-20 volunteers 

Flexible online engagement 

You will be involved in co-designing the Right Start project, along with providing feedback throughout the project

My name is Emele Kalara Tokalau – Tabualevu, call me Emily, and I am from the main island of Fiji. My heritage is rich with deep roots, with my father hailing from Dratabu, Nadi, and my mother from Naqali, Naitasiri.

Beyond my role as a parent, I am a mental health professional with over 13 years of experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist. Throughout my career, I have been deeply intrigued by the diverse ways people from different cultural backgrounds communicate and interact. In 2013, I was honoured to be recognised as a Cross-Cultural Counsellor.

I run my private practice, and I am currently expanding my business to focus on providing culturally competent counselling services to Fijians and other Pacific Islanders. I recognise the unique challenges that individuals from these communities face in Australia, including cultural dissonance, identity conflict, family dynamics, social integration, discrimination, educational and professional challenges, and mental health issues.

My commitment to these communities extends beyond my private practice. I am also a Work Rights Ambassador at the Migrant Workers Centre. For the past two years, I have voluntarily counselled Fijians living in Australia through the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. Many of these workers arrive with little knowledge of their work rights, making them vulnerable to exploitation. It has been my mission to educate them about their rights, empowering them to feel confident and secure in their workplaces. 

My work with the Migrant Workers Centre has been incredibly rewarding. The organisation provides essential services to migrants working in Australia, and it has been a privilege to contribute to their mission. Through my efforts, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of educating workers about their rights, which not only boosts their confidence but also empowers them to plan for their future.


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