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Adopting a mixed method approach, this research examines disruptions to Tongan households that participate in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP). The objective of this study is to analyse changes to care arrangements of migrant workers and families and to evaluate the implications of family separation. Although recorded in other international migration spaces, there is little consideration given in academic literature on the SWP to the disruptions of care arrangements for absent migrant workers, families, and communities.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has created longer separations for participants and altered the methodology of this research. Restrictions associated with COVID-19 interrupted initial plans and adjustments were made to accommodate this. Preliminary interviews with participants have revealed stressors due to long-term separation from family members and the impacts of this separation on existing and new care arrangements. This mid-term thesis review highlights these issues, which will contribute to current academic migration literature.