Six Ni-Vanuatu workers under the Vanuatu Pathways Agency in the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) left the country yesterday afternoon to work in a crocodile farm in Darwin, Northern Territory in Australia.
Agent Tom Nangam, a renowned horse handler for the past 30 years in Vanuatu said it was the first time for workers from Vanuatu to work in an animal farm.
“I am a new licensed agent for the past five months but prior to getting my license i have spoken and made negotiation with my farmer friends in Australia and they trust me with my animal skills to recruit people who will be fit to work in their farms,” he said.
“I have secured work at a crocodile farm and a chicken farm so this is the first six men that i am sending to work in the crocodile farm to work for six months, it is the first time for ni-Vans to do such work as we are not familiar with this type of animal so if they do well we have another batch of six men ready to go after they return.”
Mr Nangam said that prior to departure of the SWP workers, they received information and DVD on crocodile handling so the men were able to see and learn about what they are expected to do at the crocodile farm.
“These six men are expected to do work such as relocating crocodiles from one pool to another to enable cleaning of the pools, feeding and collecting crocodile eggs and indoor and outdoor works at the farm,” he said.
“I have trained them well as the farmer wished to recruit strong and well built men, so i am happy with the selection i made and if anything were to happen, they are covered, all the paperwork has been done prior to their departure.”
Mr Jerry Iata, who is the team leader of the group of six reiterated that though they are not familiar and have never interacted with a crocodile before they were excited to go and work at Darwin Crocodile Farm.
“It was scary at the beginning when we were told about working in a crocodile farm but after viewing techniques of handling these creatures and knowing that two to three people will carry one crocodile to move from one pool to another, we felt confident and determined to carry out is expected of us,” he said.
“My team has gone through many briefings and awareness with our agent about the dos and don’ts and we have agreed to uphold our agent’s reputation, our integrity and the name of Vanuatu by doing what is expected of us by the farmers, our agent and our families back home till we return.”
Mr Nangam’s agency is called Vanuatu Pathways and they can also communicate with people who like their page ‘Vanuatu Pathways’ on Facebook.