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Looking for a win/win situation with your next placement? Like to experience real Aussie hospitality, laughter and be part of a positive family?
We are looking for helpers who will be enriched by our lifestyle and those who are genuinely interested in lending a hand across a huge variety of rural based tasks. It can be dirty, cold or hot; but we try to make sure its always fun at the end. We want to do our best to show off our part of paradise, take you ( or advise you) on places to visit in the district and make your placement what we hope will be one of the BEST you've had in Australia in exchange for your help with a variety of small projects and ongoing tasks.
ONLY applications which mention our keyword will be considered. To get the keyword, you must read all of this profile. We do this because we have had alot of spam message and want to ensure you are a 'human' applicant. Please note that we are ONLY offering volunteer exchange and no paid work is ever offered nor implied. Please read our entire listing AND OUR AVAILABILITY DATES. No timewasters. Please, if you commit to a date with us, have the integrity to keep in contact with us and confirm your arrival. Its not only disappointing and inconvenient, but it's unprofessional and rude not to let us know or not to turn up.
Who are we?
An extended family living in two separate homes but who work together as a team. Annie and kids have travelled the world extensively and worked in a number of placements with as a helper both in Europe and in Australia. Annie is a special needs teacher and has worked as an ESL ( English as a Second Language) teacher - so is more than happy to help you out with some English ( and Aussie lingo) Del and Jim are true Aussie 'Salt of the Earth' farmers whose dry wit will catch you unawares but have you smiling all day.
Where are we?
Our mixed practice farm is on the Granite Belt, in southern Queensland. We have mainly fine wool sheep, but also have a herd of 70 or so cattle, a few very spoilt milking cows and their calves, three horses, a spoilt labrador and two crazy chooks . Mustering is done on quad bikes. Currently, we run 600 high quality breeding ewes, with other mobs of prime lambs, wethers and rams.
EDIT: We are have been unfortunately in bushfires and also in the middle of a terrible drought, so the land is very dry and our animal numbers have had to be cut severely until it rains. Although this impacts the beauty of our properties ( no dams with water, lots of dead animals and plants) there is still alot of tasks to be done to ready ourselves when it DOES rain.
When do we need you?
Our needs for helpers are mainly during the winter and cooler months - so from late Feb through till around early October / mid November. There are possibilities for assistance required outside of those time, but check with us first.
Yearly Dates - availability is normally from the start of Feb till late November.
We fill our diary FAST!! Please choose a two to three week time slot in our listed available dates.
We have committed helpers now till late May 2020!
2020 Dates - 13th March to 2 April, 25th May - 26 June, 18 July - 11 Sept, 7th Oct - 3 Dec.
2021 Dates - 25 January - 27th March, 20 April - 13 June, 20 July - 16 Sept, 10 Oct - 3 Dec.
Note - this changes quickly - so please contact us about your specific dates as we have enquiries all the time and we will try our best to slot you in to suit your travel plans!
Again, these dates will alter as helpers 'book in their dates with us', so please check your own travel dates and we can work something out that will suit everyone. Please, if you have committed to some dates, honour these or let us know if you are unable to come.
Whats the tasks needed to be done?
Every day on your placement will be different and take you to a different spot on the property for various jobs. Roles are seasonal and task dependant and dependant on the skills of the helper. You might be mustering, helping with fences and repairs, shifting rocks for fences, tracks or roadways, digging holes for shade trees or fences, gardening back at the homestead, cleaning out the kitchen or sheds, assisting with a birth of a calf or lamb or helping with weed control in the pastures. Specific projects at the moment include building a horse stable and pulling down and carting away a broken down disused greenhouse. Our paddocks and homestead yard needs to have manure picked up and composted every day. We have two horses at the house which, while the drought is on, need to be hand fed and tended to. If you have actual real experience handling and riding horses, please let us know. There may be an opportunity to go riding and handling horses for experienced and confident horse folk.
Who are you?
You are enthusiastic and genuinely interested in experiencing a different side of Australia away from glittering lights and beaches. ( which, don't get me wrong - is beautiful!!)
You are looking for a 2 or 3 week long placement. ( Please don't ask for a few days or one single weeks placement - it really just mucks both of us around. We like to put time and training into our helpers to ensure they have a positive experience - and a week with us simply does not do anyone any justice. ) We like to keep everyone's options open with placements and don't like to promise longer than 3 weeks . 2 weeks is generally what most people like to commit to . We normally do a catch up after a week to ensure everyone is happy with the arrangements, workload, tasks etc. ...In saying all of this - that we have helpers here for months very often.
Please, if you commit to a date with us, have the integrity to keep in contact with us and confirm your arrival. Its not only disappointing and inconvenient, but its unprofessional and rude not to let us know or not to turn up.
Willing, flexible workers need only apply. A good grasp of English is required. Ensure you have your own sturdy boots, a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and long sleeved shirts for work. Helpers will be carefully selected after considering their application letter, references from past host placements and good communication through either email or if possible, skype chats. You MUST have your own medical insurance ( most travel insurance covers hospital or medical visits - but please check)
If you are the sort of helper who will lock themselves in their room and only appear for meal times, never bother to do the dishes or lift even their own plate up and to undertake exactly 4 hours of work on work days - STOP READING NOW. Please go to the next host listing and don't bother applying here. We are looking for people who want to be PART of the family, not a guest. We are looking for a cultural exchange where we can chat, find out about each others backgrounds, foods, interests etc. We want to involve you with our family outings and activities. As part of the family, you will be expected to help with meal time chores such as setting the table or washing up afterwards, basic personal cleaning such as cleaning your bathroom, chores which help all the family such as lighting the wood heater if the rest of the family is running late or bringing in the washing from the line. These things would not be considered part of your work hours - its called being part of a family setting; to do otherwise is being a privileged guest - which is not what this exchange is about.
Placements available for either a single person, two single people/ friends or a couple. Accomodation is generally at Annies ( as she has the wifi!)
We also prefer to host helpers who have references - if not within workaway, then independent references. When you contact us, give a short brief on yourself and your area of skills ( even if its that you are keen, fit, strong and willing to learn!).
Please also note, you must have an Australian mobile phone number. We keep in contact around the property with our mobiles - its for safety as well. You can easily ( and cheaply) purchase a sim card from most supermarkets or petrol stations and load up credit. As soon as you get your aussie number, please sms me with it.
From our description, you can see that you will need to be fit and healthy. You will need to have a level of endurance and strength. As much as we enjoy showing people our lifestyle and property, I need to stress that this is not a holiday camp and you will need to work for your keep. Helpers need to understand that this is a working farm with real life jobs and real tasks that must be done. In light of previous helpers experiences, and so that you can have the best experience, please, only apply if you:
are willing to get up in the mornings ( early starts occasionally)
have a good level of endurance and fitness
have some practical skills (you have actually weeded a garden, or used a hammer and nails, can wash up, knowing you use hot water and detergent, can fold washing, know how to use a broom or a shovel)
most importantly - have initiative!
Smokers are welcome to apply, but note that we are not smokers and when you do have a cigarette, it must be taken well away from the house and your butts disposed of properly.
Whats on offer?
All meals and accommodation with good wifi in exchange for 24 hours a week. This is normally spread across 6 days. (Don't freak out - its not a slave farm - plus - see the above section on other options for other hours) There is a fair bit of travel time included in this 24 hours as tasks can range all over the property - so its not like you will be working 'hard yakka' for 24 hours straight but rather you may be sitting in the ute getting to the next spot for up to 2 hours a day! Your hours may be done over the week ( 4 hours a day normally) - or even less days if you "bank hours" as work can go longer on some days. (dependant on tasks.) Work is defiantly not backbreaking or hard and we ensure we take breaks and have fun along the way.
Did I mention the food? Annie has worked in hospitality and can whip up a range of tasty, nutritious meals along with her famous morning teas full of home baked cakes, biscuits and slices. Our only complaint has been that helpers put on too much weight when they come here! Meals are family orientated and shared, with meat mainly sourced from our own herds. We are meat eaters, so although supportive of various food and lifestyle choices, specific individual food requirements cannot be catered for. If cooking is your passion, we'd love you to take that on and although this is not normally counted as part of your worked hours, we are happy to negotiate.
How do you apply?
Read all of the profile. Is it what you are looking for? Can you commit to 2 - 3 weeks with us? HAve you checked the actual DATES we have available ( not just the colour coded calendar) Look on a map and see where we are - its Dalveen - near Stanthorpe. Can you comfortably get to us? ( I can send you info on buses)
Use the key word as your first word in your application ( its at the bottom of the profile)
Tell me what dates you are looking at ( 2 - 3 week span within the dates we have availability)
Tell me what you hope to experience with us or can bring to our family as an experience?
What are your passions?
If you have an aussie phone number - include that.
I'll get back to you within at least 1 - 2 days to chat further.
What other things could be of interest to us?
If you are a native speaker of Italian and would like to assist my children learn some basics, let me know! They are studying Italian at school and I'd love some more assistance with accent and correct terminology. (half an hour every few days is heaps!)
Being part of the family - the Cultural exchange.
As stated above - you will be part of our family when you stay, you will be expected to 'pull' your weight with daily household chores, such as washing up, hanging washing out and cleaning the table or floors after meal time. We are also happy if you want to cook for everyone as well. These sorts of things don't count as your 'worked hours'.
Past helpers have taken days off to go camping ( Annie has some basic camping gear you can borrow) at Girraween National Park - a beautiful spot to visit, even for the afternoon. Annie loves to show our helpers around and loves to take them to the wineries and local sights.
Our family is also very community minded and volunteer at a number of events and organisations for charity. We are generally pretty busy with some activity or another every week and at nights - so helpers need to keep this in mind - they are welcome to join us ( events are sometimes BBQs, theatre nights, community fairs) to assist, or they can stay at home while we are undergoing these activities.
The "Real Aussie" rural experience
This may be the "Real Australian" farm placement you are looking for! There is plenty of opportunity to see kangaroos, wallabys and parrots, with chances of seeing other wildlife including koalas, bandicoots, echidnas, waterdragons, platypus, quolls and an abundance of birdlife in their natural habitat.
Along with all this beautiful nature comes the opportunity to experience our other "less appreciated" creatures. Please be aware that you may see snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies.
How do we get there?
Dalveen can be reached easily by bus from Brisbane on Crisps Bus Line. There is a daily public transport bus into the local town to do shopping, but little other public transport available. If you want to do alot of sightseeing in your time off, a car is necessary.
Photos on the profile here are of Del feeding cattle, Rusty the Kelpie, Jim and helper fixing cattle yards, a helpers bedroom, dawn from the verandah, Helpers relaxing at the local wineries and breweries, helpers assisting with mustering and sheep work. Our keyword is Rusty. Please use this in your title of your application.
Help in the house
We are a true Aussie family with strong ethics in fairness and 'having a go.' We believe in friendships and loyalty and helping others, regardless of their situation.
Annie enjoys cooking and showing helpers Aussie styles of food, the slang and our way of life.
Every day on your placement will be different and take you to a different spot on the property for various jobs. Roles are seasonal and task dependant and dependant on the skills of the helper. Outside and inside tasks including home maintenance and cleaning as well as farm work and gardening - all depends on the skills and talents of the helpers available.
Work within Spring and Summer can begin around 5 am dependant on the task.You MUST be prepared to get up early for these seasons. If you are not a morning person or find it really hard to get up and be bright in the morning, then perhaps this placement may not suit you. We are very flexible with work days and building up hours for days off as we want you to enjoy your time in the district as well. Your own transport to see these places is best.
All year round tasks involve herd and pasture maintenance - weed control and fence repair. Mowing, pruning trees and bushes and general gardening tasks is pretty constant as well.
Our horses need daily assistance with handfeeding, grooming and care.
Seasonal tasks will include lambing patrol ( early morning/ late evenings while ewes lamb) and shearing ( we have professional shearers, but there are plenty of tasks to do while its shearing time)
Specific current tasks involve deep clean of the house as its being overrun by spiderwebs, cleaning cupboards and floors, organisation of tool shed, pulling down old fences, carting rocks for fence repairs, weeding an overgrown garden, more weeding, replanting garden beds, building an extra chook yard and re - establishing a vegetable patch.
Some building projects are waiting for specific helpers with this skill. These include building a chookshed, compost heaps, mini putt putt course and if you've ever made a pizza oven or can lend a hand making a BBQ area - let us know!
Currently we have rooms at both Annies home and space at Dels house. Annie has a private bedroom with a bunk bed int it for a single person or for two friends. At Dels there is a room which has a single bed and a double bed in it. Please note that there is high speed wifi at Annies, but at Dels there is NO wifi. If wifi is an issue - you are better staying with Annie - however, if you are looking for more animal farm work, you are best placed at Dels as they live on the farm itself. There will be a mix of work at both Annie and Dels wherever you stay. ( so you need to work out what is important to you)
Wifi throughout the house and garden at Annies.
3 meals a day along with home-baked morning tea and snacks for afternoon tea.
Dependant on where you are accommodated there is a full sized pool table for friendly games of snooker or pool, a PS3 and PS4, Wii, games, a creek and a few dams with fish to catch and a BBQ area to relax in.
Dalveen is a tiny, but friendly village with a post office that sells snacks and newspapers. We have a community run "pub/ bar" on a Friday night which sells an excellent, inexpensive two course meal and has an alcohol licence till 10.30pm. Its a great way to meet the colourful locals.
The Granite Belt is 2 hours drive from Brisbane and is Queensland's Wine Country, with wonderful wineries, breweries, gourmet delis and cafes in area. Good bushwalking National Parks in area with plenty of natural beauty. The Gold Coast and Byron Bay area are an easy day trip and worth going to while you are here. You will be encouraged to go and do the touristy things and be given flexibility with time off around the work to do this. Annie is happy to help you plan your larger trip around Australia with some great tips.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4 hours a day, 5 days a week (Max. 24 hours/week)
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