Many months of work on both sides of the country has resulted in a group of 30 Tongan and 38 East Timorese workers receiving a rare opportunity to live and work in Western Australia's Margaret River region.
It's incredibly important to look after these people, they are here away from their families - in this case they are looking at being away for 18 months when they expected to be home in six.
Spearheaded by labour hire company Labour Solutions, the project aimed to help workers stranded in Tasmania after fruit picking season finished as COVID-19 hit.
"We were looking for workers for the pruning season, and we became aware of a group of workers stuck in Tasmania with no work prospects and no ability to leave for home," Labour Solutions spokeswoman Suzanne Lewin told the Augusta Margaret River Mail.
"The money they had earned on their annual picking season was going to be eaten up by accommodation costs while they were stuck, and farmers in that area didn't have work available.
"Meanwhile here in WA, many of the backpackers and workers here for harvest left quickly as borders closed."
Ms Lewin said the company conducted intensive labour market testing prior to launching the campaign to relocate the workers, to see whether adequate numbers of willing and available workers could be sourced from local and WA communities.
"Just 2 per cent of the responses were local, which is the case most years and the reason we look to those essential workers from outside the area to fill the roles needed to keep our wine industry thriving."
With the help of Vegetables WA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Ms Lewin set out to see if she could help.
Arrangements needed to be made for each worker, with strict classification requirements needing to be met before they could be classed as "essential" to be able to travel across State borders.
Support was gathered from wineries and industry leaders who agreed that the region's vines could suffer if enough workers could not be sourced in time for essential pruning and wrapping to take place.
"Even as the workers were making their way over we had some approved and others weren't, it was a very difficult and drawn out process and we had to take it to a State law level to get clarification," Ms Lewin said.
"Nothing was certain until they got here.
"We had to organise transfers on the most spacious buses we could get to maintain distancing, we put a 14 day isolation in place for all the workers after they arrived, and we provided all meals and conducted all their shopping and errands so that they were not in the community until we were certain they were all in great health."
Each person is temperature tested by Ms Lewin every day before work, and Labour Solutions staff spend time after work and on weekends carrying out shopping and cooking meals for the workers in isolation, often volunteering their time to do so.
Tongan-born team leader Kalisi Vanisi said he was pleased to be working in Margaret River for the first time after travelling to Tasmania each year since 2017.
"Before we were pruning, but it was raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. The pruning of vines is very different," he said, noting it took the teams about a week to learn the specific technique required.
The father of one said workers were relieved to have work available and thanked the local community for welcoming them.
"It's really good to be here, we feel safe and we are grateful for the chance to work here," Kalisi said.
"All we want to do is work hard and provide for our families, to pay for school and houses and to support our kids."
An ex-backpacker, and having worked in vineyards when she first arrived from Scotland, Ms Lewin said she took great care in providing a safe and prosperous environment for vine workers while ensuring the local community was also safe from the threat of COVID-19.
Past workers have even asked her to select names for their newborn babies, with one being branded 'Aussie' and another given the name 'Stella Bella' after the iconic Margaret River winery.
"It's incredibly important to look after these people, they are here away from their families - in this case they are looking at being away for 18 months when they expected to be home in six.
"We want to reassure locals in the community that we have taken steps over and above what is recommended by health authorities, the health and safety of residents as well as our workers is at the top of our priorities.
"We are so glad to have them here as part of our team and our community, and thank locals for welcoming them."