Among the Malaysian international student community here there is widespread perception that Asian employers, including Malaysians, will generally underpay their workers, and the working conditions will not be as hospitable as would be expected in businesses run by Australians. However, for many students they have little choice but to endure those conditions because 1) they need the money; 2) many restaurants in the Melbourne CBD are run by Asian employers; 3) the students are not able to meet the language expectations of Australian proprietors.
I was fortunate enough to work for an Australian food business during my student days that paid above the minimum rate and provided excellent working conditions for its staff. My experience should not be the exception, rather the standard for the food service industry in a country as prosperous as Australia. Hopefully this court outcome will serve as a reminder to other businesses to treat their employees with the respect they deserve.