Pilliga Pottery becomes first DAMA sponsor business

12 December 2019

A Coonabarabran enterprise has made history by becoming the first NSW business to be endorsed by RDA Orana to pursue a migrant worker under the Orana DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement).

RDA Orana Director of Regional Development Megan Dixon was pleased to announce Pilliga Pottery as the inaugural company utilising the Orana DAMA.

"This agreement has been forged especially for the region to assist with workforce shortages," she said.

"To help a business like Pilliga Pottery is a wonderful milestone."

Pilliga Pottery is a family-owned operation that was established by the Rickerts some 35 years ago. It has grown and thrived in the Pilliga Forest to offer a unique experience to visitors which includes pottery making, bushwalking, home-style cafe and accommodation.

Under the DAMA, they have been able to employ a full-time cook in a permanent position.

Piliga Pottery's Eva Rickert said the family is incredibly grateful for the opportunity that RDA's endorsement has given them.

"To be the first business to be endorsed is an honour," she said.

"For a business like ours, in such a remote location, it is incredibly difficult to find staff. The DAMA endorsement gives us a chance to keep a longstanding employee in a role which we otherwise may not be able to fill and the effect of this on our business is enormous.

"We should be in a position in February next year to know whether our application to sponsor our employee is ultimately successful and we are hopeful that with RDA's endorsement, it will be."

Mrs Dixon was pleased with the outcome for a business which has ample potential for future growth and prosperity.

"This agreement means that a person who is integral to the business can now become a permanent employee. That is really important for small business in this economic climate."

For more information about how RDA Orana can assist with hiring a migrant employee, contact 6885 1488 or visit www.rdaorana.org.au/migration/dama