CEDA member profile: Fragomen



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Alex Paterson, Co-Managing Partner, Australia and New Zealand, Fragomen 

Can you tell us a little about Fragomen and what you do?  

Founded in 1951, Fragomen is a leading single-focus provider of immigration guidance and support worldwide, providing premium services and optimal value. Through more than 45 offices, over 3600 immigration professionals and support staff worldwide and its exclusive network of Local Advisor partners, the firm provides immigration services in more than 170 countries. 

How long has Fragomen been a member of CEDA and why is Fragomen a member of CEDA?

Fragomen has been a member of CEDA since 2012 and we see real value in being actively engaged with CEDA as an organisation. We value the high-quality thought leadership and policy perspectives provided on an impressive range of economic and social issues affecting Australia.

The events always have excellent speakers and promote active and balanced critical perspectives on issues of the moment. I find the Trustee Events excellent in offering an opportunity to hear a short speaker presentation and discuss a topical issue in a less formal environment. We hosted one in WA recently on the opportunities and challenges in Northern Australia that was a lively and highly informative session.  
 
CEDA's research agenda is also robust and focused. As a well-recognised global law firm specialising in immigration matters, we find that CEDA ensures ongoing consideration of the role migration plays in Australia's success. This is really important to us in that we can contribute our views and experience of Australia's visa programs, leveraging our global experience and participating in thought leadership initiatives to ensure Australia truly competes effectively for the world's top talent.

Are there any particular challenges or changes facing your industry at the moment?

Where to start! There has been sweeping change to Australia's immigration programs over the last 15 months. With radical overhaul of the 457 work visa program and launch of the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, as well as major change to employer nominated Permanent Residence visa pathways, it has been a challenging period to navigate. Our job has very much been to support our clients in navigating the significant incremental changes and to find innovative solutions to ensure that businesses have access to overseas skills and talent when and where they need it.  
 

We have also ensured active and targeted consultation with key Government and other stakeholders over this period, voicing our strong view that our visa programs must be sufficiently agile and adapted to Australia's future needs, by complementing areas of growth and economic development through skilled workers, the introduction of new technologies, and building Australia’s capacity for innovation.

What do  you most enjoy about your role as a CEDA primary trustee?

I particularly enjoy meeting with CEDA's State Directors to discuss our respective focus areas. It’s great to gain insight on key items of focus for CEDA and to discuss how our firm can contribute and engage each year. The meetings nearly always run over as we get pretty animated in our discussions and the ideas keep on coming. I have also met so many interesting contacts from a wealth of industries and public sector organisations, many of whom I touch base with regularly to ensure we work to progress policy development initiatives in our respective areas of expertise.