Teach in Australia – Lauren’s Farm Work Experience
Lauren migrated to Australia from Canada in 2018. As a working holidaymaker, she was required to complete 88 days of farmwork to extend her visa from 12-months to 2-years. Lauren shares her experience of working for a labour-hire company in the only state in Australia located off the mainland, Tasmania.
- How far into your visa did you complete your farm work and why?
I started my farm work right away because I had already planned on staying two years. I had read stories of people who had left it too late or struggled to find enough work on time, so I wanted to finish it first so I didn’t have to worry. I also didn’t want to settle into a life in a city and then have to leave and come back, I figured that would be really hard to do.
- What was the process of finding farm work like?
It was really stressful at first, I won’t lie. I couldn’t find anything the first 4-5 weeks I was there (it was when the fruit fly was in tassie and there was basically a halt on most work, and in between seasons). I basically called and applied to every farm I could find, and to a could job hire agencies. I finally got a call from a hire agency, and after that it was okay.
- What was your overall experience? Describe your general duties, lodgings and distance from the nearest town.
I was lucky and I was living with my partner who is from Tassie, so we had rented a small house together in Devonport. Other backpackers I met were either in hostels or in house shares, and the house shares were definitely a better setup than a hostel if you’ve got your own transport. I had a big mix of work, from apple/pear orchards, grape picking, working on a planting machine, working on different harvesters, and cutting/picking various vegetables in the fields (cabbages, pumpkins, cauliflower, potatoes). I won’t lie, it was really hard work, and very labour intensive, outside all day, varying hours, and some days were really rainy and cold, especially being in tassie in July. That being said, it was an incredibly humbling experience, and looking back on it I’m grateful I had the opportunity to do it!
- What advice would you give other Educators on WHVs who are planning to do the farm work?
I would do it right when you get to Australia, or leave yourself lots of time! I was never stressed about finishing my days because I knew I had plenty of time, and I had most of my first year left when I had completed my days. I didn’t do much research into what was in season where I was going before I went. I would suggest looking things up before you go and joining some Facebook groups to see what’s available. If you can find someone to do your farm work with, having someone toughing it out with you and to laugh with makes all the difference.
Get in contact with the team today for further advice on extending your working holiday visa in Australia and for further information on global teaching opportunities!