“If you can drive a car, you can drive a tractor”. School leavers urged to take up farm work in rural NSW.
By TAYLOR RYAN
Lower north shore teens who’ve just finished their HSC are being urged to consider farm work in rural NSW – and you don’t need any prior experience!
Seasonal Work Australia is helping local kids move to the bush this summer and Founder Heidi Morris says it’s as quick as shooting her a short message via Instagram.
“We can connect lower north shore school leavers to jobs in the agricultural industry. It is mostly machinery work, and you don’t need any prior experience,” Heidi said.
“If you can drive a car, you can drive a tractor.”
With harvest underway along the NSW/Queensland border, urgent help is needed to help farmers struggling with a labour shortage.
“If local school leavers are keen to work in the country, they just need to send me a message on Instagram,” Heidi said, “it’s as simple as that.”
“All you need is a willingness to work hard and embrace an Aussie summer in the bush.
“It’s a great life experience, and you’ll learn valuable skills. You can even work alongside your mates.”
If machinery work isn’t up your alley, there is a range of on-the-ground opportunities.
“You can get a job testing grain, irrigating cotton, or getting your hands dirty with some mechanic work,” Heidi said.
“We also have office jobs and positions for cooks, baristas, and Nanny’s.”
Heidi started Seasonal Work Australia when she saw the great need for workers in rural NSW. She can vouch for the seasonal work experience as she has been driving tractors for pocket money since she was a young girl.
“I was born and bred in Broome,” she said. “I grew up on a little hobby farm with my family about an hour’s North of Moree.”
“We grew up driving tractors on school holidays working on a cotton farm, so we weren’t strangers to seasonal work and making our pocket money that way,” she told Mosman Collective.
“When I finished school, I travelled for eight years. I would jump on a harvester every year for three months in places like Canada, WA, and the Eastern side of Australia. I was a backpacker in my own country, working alongside other backpackers.
“I would have friends that would say they would love to do what I do with the money I make in a short time, and I’d say you can!”
Seasonal Work Australia connects young people directly with their network of farmers. An average working week will be 12 hours a day, six days a week, earning roughly $25 to $30 an hour, depending on your experience. Heidi is eager to get anyone 18 and over on board if they are interested in agricultural work or purely seasonal work for a few months.
“When I find workers, I ask whether they would be interested in driving a tractor in Moree for two, three, six or twelve months. If they say yes, I will get a farmer to call them directly,” Heidi explained.
“The money you earn goes straight to your pocket as you don’t have any expenses. Accommodation is included, and at harvest time, food is covered as well.”
Young people that have taken on this experience have chosen to extend their time in rural NSW and QLD because they love the work too much to leave. Many have enjoyed getting involved in small communities and have made lifelong friends.
“I had a couple of girls that came out over 18 months ago. They were only supposed to come for three months. They had no experience as they’re both from the coast, surfer girls,” she said.
“A highlight of my time running Seasonal Work Australia was getting these two girls out. It is such a male-dominated industry, and it does have its challenges. I love when young girls have the confidence to give it a crack and love it.
“They both made such good friends and joined little committees in Moree. We have plenty of young people out here and would love to have more.”
To find out more about job opportunities with Seasonal Work Australia, contact Heidi on Instagram @seasonalwork_aus.
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