MWO Australia: Migrant Workers Office Canberra

The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Australia, is a vital institution dedicated to providing comprehensive services and support to Filipino workers residing in Australia. Formerly known as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), the MWO has become a beacon of hope for Filipino migrants who are looking for better employment opportunities and assistance with their legal rights and obligations.

The office provides various services such as assistance on visa requirements; counseling on labor laws; liaising with government agencies; and providing information about work-related matters. This article delves into the various elements of assistance offered by the MWO and its significance in the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Australia.

mwo office canberra australia

Filipinos in Australia

There are over 400,000 Filipinos residing in Australia. Most of them are employed in different industries such as IT, construction, hospitality, nursing, and healthcare. The presence of Filipinos in Australia is not only due to their hardworking nature and excellent skills but also because of the Australian government’s assistance programs for skilled migrant workers.

MWO’s Role in Supporting Filipino Workers

The MWO, located within the premises of the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, serves as a refuge for Filipino workers facing challenges and difficulties in a foreign land. From providing legal assistance to repatriation support, the MWO stands as a strong pillar of support for Filipinos in Australia.

Aside from addressing their legal issues, the MWO also provides essential information and assistance to Filipino migrants. This includes advice on job opportunities in Australia, tips for getting a good job from recruitment agencies, and important information about labor laws. The MWO is also responsible for performing regular promotional activities such as seminars and workshops designed to educate OFWs about their rights and responsibilities as workers in Australia.

The MWO also coordinates with the Philippine government to ensure that their rights are protected and that they are provided with various assistance programs. This includes helping OFWs access benefits such as remittances, health insurance for themselves and their families, and assistance in repatriation if needed.

ph embassy canberra australia

Services Offered

Here’s a list of the services offered:

Legal Assistance

One of the prime services rendered by the MWO is legal assistance. They provide advice and guidance to Filipino workers facing legal issues related to their employment. The MWO collaborates with Australian legal bodies to ensure that the rights of Filipino workers are upheld and protected.

Repatriation Support

In distressing situations where Filipino workers need to be sent back home, the MWO extends its repatriation support. They coordinate with relevant agencies to ensure a smooth and hassle-free return journey for the workers.

Pre-departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS)

Knowledge is power, especially for those venturing into a foreign land for employment. The MWO conducts pre-departure orientation seminars to equip Filipino workers with essential information about living and working in Australia.

OWWA Membership

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a welfare and development program for Filipino workers abroad. The MWO facilitates the enrollment of eligible workers into the OWWA membership program.

OEC Certificate Issuance

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a requirement for Filipinos who are going abroad for work. The MWO assists in the processing of OECs and provides relevant information to workers about their rights and obligations as overseas Filipino workers.

Contract Verification

The MWO also provides contract verification services to ensure that the employment agreement meets the standards set by the Department of Labor and Employment Philippines.

Labor Inspections

To uphold the rights of Filipino workers and ensure they are working under fair conditions, the MWO carries out labor inspections. These inspections help identify any instances of exploitation, allowing the MWO to take swift action against erring employers.

Psychological Counseling and Protection

Living away from home can be emotionally challenging. Recognizing this, the MWO offers psychological counseling services to Filipino workers. They also extend protection services for workers facing abuse or exploitation.

Strengthening Bonds and Upholding Rights

The MWO does not limit itself to providing immediate aid to Filipino workers. It continually engages in dialogue with relevant Australian government bodies to enforce work conditions and address workers’ grievances. This proactive engagement ensures the rights of Filipino workers are always at the forefront.

Comprehensive Assistance and Support Services

In addition to the services mentioned above, the MWO provides a range of other support services. These include dispute resolution assistance, financial aid during emergencies, and even medical support in collaboration with healthcare institutions.

Filipino workers can avail themselves of MWO services by visiting the office in the premises of the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, registering online through the embassy’s website, or calling the MWO hotline. The MWO team is always ready to listen and extend their assistance.

Video: PH Embassy and POLO Office in Australia Consultations for OFWs

Here’s a video report that features the Migrant Workers Office in action, helping OFW’s understand their rights and receive proper assistance.


The MWO in Canberra plays a pivotal role in ensuring the welfare of Filipinos in Australia. It is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to safeguarding its citizens, wherever they may be. By providing legal, medical, financial, and moral support, as well as acting as a liaison with Australian authorities, the MWO strengthens the bond between the two nations and helps Filipinos achieve success on Australian soil.

The Philippine Embassy in Canberra, through the MWO, continues to serve as a beacon of hope and a source of unwavering support for Filipinos in Australia. It stands as a testament to the undying spirit of ‘Bayanihan’, the Filipino ethos of communal unity, work, and cooperation, even miles away from home.

Contact Information

MWO Canberra, Australia
Address: PH Embassy Canberra, 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT, Australia, Australian Capital Territory
Telephone Number: +61 2 6273 2535
Facebook Page:

Google Map Location

Please check out the map guide to the location the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, where you can also inquire about Migrant Workers office services:

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