Northern Territory: Mango harvest labor shortage creates opportunities for Congolese refugees

In Australia’s Northern Territory, the labor shortages on the mango orchards has given some Congolese refugees their first job opportunity.

Bachunge Furaha fled civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo five years ago and struggled to find a job in Australia, until now. This season, she worked in Nutrano Produce's mango packing shed in the NT town of Katherine, 300 kilometres south of Darwin.

"It is my first job in five years, and when I tried to apply many people asked me to prove my experience, but I didn't have any experience," Ms Furaha said. "Now I have a job and I am very happy and grateful."

Packing shed manager Kehran Collingwood says the refugee workers are welcome to return next season. Ms Furaha is part of a collaborative program to get refugees working on-farm. It was started this year by recruitment agency The Job Shop, the Darwin-based Melaleuca Refugee Centre, and the NT Farmers Association.


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