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Written by on May 27, 2024

Ben Atalifo, Emosi Ratuwase, Evelyn Tamanisau, Tavite Ramasi, Solomone Namoce and Iosefo Naibosa at Hands and Feet’s kitchen in Manly West.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)








“Eda sa qaqa”, the harmonies of five Fijian PALM workers filled the air of a warm and spice-scented kitchen. A tune well known to those  back home and means “We have overcome”.

The Fijian PALM workers sing hymns and listen to the rugby while they cook for people who can’t afford food.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)









While others spent Saturdays making the most of Australia through recreational activities, they choose to cook curry and stir fry in Brisbane’s  eastern suburbs to feed Australians unable to afford meals.

A meat processing workers who is on the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, Tavite Ramasi, said he’s happy spending his Saturdays cooking meals.

He spoke about the high cost of living back home and how it  has heaped more pressure on families.

“Some of us come from villages and have to do farming. Now we have a job opportunity in Australia, we should do our best.”

Although they are there to earn and support their families, they also want to help people struggling with high costs in Australia.

Tavite Ramasi has been in Australia for about six months.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)








“I feel so sad … when I [see] people looking for food and shelter,” Mr Ramasi said.

Some workers under the PALM program have found it difficult to save due to the cost of living in Australia and have had to budget carefully.

PALM worker Emosi Ratuwase said he’s trying to spend less on food.

Emosi Ratuwase joins other Fijian PALM workers in cooking meals on Saturdays.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)









“My experience is that the cost of living is very high,” he said.

“My aim is … to use things wisely, and to save a lot of money.”

Hands and Feet, community service in Maly West, the PALM workers chop chop vegetables, chicken and pork, and cheer on the Fijian Drua in rugby matches playing on a phone.

The workers hand out about 200 meals on Saturday nights.(ABC News: Doug Dingwall)








And of course, they occasionally break into song.

“It is part of our life to cook food and bring people together in a community,” Mr Ramasi said.

“So we can share it amongst people, that’s our Fijian culture.”


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