Journal article

Recognising knowledge transfers in 'unskilled' and 'low-skilled' international migration: Insights from Pacific Island seasonal workers in rural Australia

Olivia Dun, Natascha Klocker, Lesley Head



This article explores knowledge transfers in international migration and development through insights from Pacific Island seasonal workers participating in Australia's Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP). We discuss actual and potential horticultural knowledge transfers that are enabled when circular migrants are engaged in agriculture in their place of migration origin and destination. Transfers identified by seasonal workers themselves include: technologies to improve horticultural production, exposure to different crop types, and techniques to improve crop yields. We argue that SWP migrants should be reframed as knowledge holders (not ‘unskilled’ or ‘low-skilled’ labourers), and reflect on ho..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Pacific Island seasonal workers and key informants who have given them their time and shared their stories. They are very grateful to Alf Fangaloka of Tree Minders, Robinvale, for facilitating access to Pacific Island seasonal workers. They also acknowledge the efficient and valuable research assistance provided by Ikerne Aguirre Bielschowsky and helpful comments provided by two anonymous reviewers. The maps in this article were produced by Chandra Jayasuriya. The research reported on in this article is funded by the Australian Research Council (DP140101165: 'Exploring culturally diverse perspectives on Australian environments and environmentalism') and The University of Melbourne.