September, 30 2012
Port Hedland
Annet van der Voort
Photography

Melchor

 

I’ve been here in the Pilbara at Port Haven for almost three months. I work as a chef in Compass ESS. I have a 457 visa which is valid for four years, and my contract with Compass ESS is two years. My duty begins at breakfast in the Larder. I am assigned to the Asian section, Wok section or Roast section. Chefs have their rotation every two weeks. Right now, my duty starts at 9.00am and ends at 9.00pm and I have a break before dinner. During this break time I take my snacks properly and check my emails. I have left my family in the Philippines and I need to know whether they are fine and in good condition.

I have two children, they are both boys, my eldest son is 13 years old and the younger one is only five years old. My wife works in the government as a public school teacher. I work here to give my family a better future, since the salary and working conditions here are good, I have to grab this opportunity. Every two weeks I have my rest and relaxation, during the off swing I go to Westminster in Perth where I rent a house together with other Filipinos; they are all chefs.

I usually spend my days off playing sports, every Thursday I play basketball together with other Filipino chefs in Mirrabooka. We share a lot of things about our family, dreams, failure and of course, our future plans. I enjoy being with them since we all have the same dream. I can say that this work is part of God’s plans for me and it is just perfect timing.

For 13 years I worked as a chef on a luxury ship, but since my children are growing I need to earn a lot so I work in an off shore project where they offered a big salary but it is too risky. On my last contract in Africa I witnessed a lot of pirates. Can you imagine when you work, that there is military beside you? There were pirates looking for ransom, so they were mainly looking for Canadians, British, Americans and Mexicans. I felt that this job was not a secure one; I felt that anytime pirates can hold me as a hostage. So I told my captain that I can no longer bear the situation.

At present, I feel the most secure, that is why I pray and go to church to thank God about this blessing for this wonderful job and great people that surround me and I pray for the future.

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