At RIAC we never know what the next phone call or press of the doorbell will bring. Not long ago two young overseas backpackers were referred to RIAC by Centerlink social workers and they approached RIAC requesting Advocacy assistance.

Turns out that both had seasonal work permits and had successfully applied for fruit picking via a local contractor with contact via the internet and mobile telephone. On the second day of work a ladder collapsed resulting in a broken arm for one of the workers.

The workers made enquiries to the Contractor regarding insurance (Workcover,) who denied the worker was eligible  leaving the backpacker seriously out of pocket and with a poor impression of Australia.

One of RIAC’s Advocates met with the backpackers gathering all the relevant information and researching appropriate legislature before making contact with the contractor and requesting an appointment. The contractor met with the Advocate, discussed the situation with the outcome of the meeting being that a successful Workcover claim was lodged on behalf of the injured party.

A vulnerable person due to language barrier and in a foreign country has left Shepparton feeling that the working holiday was not so bad after all.

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