Faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining people to live and work in outback Queensland, a husband and wife team have implemented changes to ensure new staff felt welcomed not only into their business, but the whole community.
Cunnamulla Bakery owners Nick and Kate Land have gone to great lengths to fill their team, helping willing workers with visas, buying and furnishing accommodation, ordering in traditional and cultural foods, and facilitating social connections to ensure migrants felt at home in the town.
"Recruiting staff has been our biggest program, that's why we've gone the way of helping people with visas and immigration," Mr Land said.
Their current baker Fida is from Malaysia and is a huge asset to their business, Mr Land says, as well as her husband Eddie, who jumps in to help.
"Different nationalities bring different ideas, different types of food. We enjoy having a multicultural team, we can sit down and talk about what products we're going to make and what we can do to improve variety."
However, Mr Land said more help was still needed to boost the area.
"What we need now is more support and incentive from a state and federal government level for businesses wanting to recruit migrant workers, such as more flexible visa options for rural areas to encourage people to come out just that bit further.
"There are plenty of jobs available and businesses waiting to welcome them with open arms."
The Lands' hard work has paid off, winning them the Individual Award in the inaugural Welcoming Cities Awards for Change.
The awards are held in Canberra and celebrate leading practice and innovation in advancing welcoming and inclusive communities.
Paroo Shire Council CEO Cassie White said the couple deserved the recognition.
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