All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1620
Persons: 1 -3
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 39885
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Last Updated: October 16, 2017
We are after a win/win situation with our helpers. In the spirit of helpx, 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. In exchange for your help, we will 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 THE BEST you've had in Australia.
Generally looking for helpers from mid February through till early November. Other times by negotiation. 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.
2017 dates - availability is normally from the start of Feb till late November. Currently we have availability from the 5th of November to 8th of December but 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.
2018 dates - availability from the 20th January to 28th of March. 30th of April to 27th of June. 16th of July to 5th of Sept. 9th of Nov to 7th of Dec. Again, these dates will alter as helpers 'book in their dates with us', so please check your dates!
( This will be updated as we book helpers dates in.)
Placement is on a mixed practice farm on the Granite Belt. We have mainly fine wool sheep, but also have a herd of cattle, a few milking cows, an ancient Shetland pony, two working dogs, three geese, four chooks and one guinea pig. Mustering is done on quad bikes. Currently, we run 600 high quality breeding ewes, with other mobs of prime lambs, wethers and rams.
We are an extended family, with kids aged 12 and 14. Del and Jim live in a separate home 9 Km away from Annie, Morgan and Lilly.
Annie and kids have travelled the world extensively and worked in a number of placements with helpX as helpers. Please click on the website link to take you to more photos and info on the placement. http://mitchell-family-travels.blogspot.com.au/p/helpx.html 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)
Her HelpX helper link is here http://www.helpx.net/profile.asp?usercode=1541778GX
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.
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.
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 Annies home including cleaning/ tidying cupboards and floors, organisation of tool shed, repairs to poly tunnel, 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 and orchard.
Some building projects are waiting for specific helpers with this skill. These include building a BBQ area/ pergola and If you've ever made a pizza oven -let us know!
Every day on your placement will be different and take you to a different spot on the property for various jobs.
From our descriptions, 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, 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 tasks that must be done. In light of previous helpers experiences, so that you can have the best experience, only apply if you:
are willing to get up in the mornings ( very early starts in summertime)
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!
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.
Currently we have a room at Annies home and space at Dels house. Annie has a single bedroom for helpers and at Dels there is a room with a single bed and a double bed in it. Please note that there is wifi at Annies, but at Dels there is no wifi. If you are looking for more animal farm work, you are best placed at Dels as they live on the farm itself.
We are looking for placements of 2 weeks long only. However, longer placements can be negotiated after you have been here for at least a week and we both agree on terms, or if you have a specific skill which would assist us in a specific seasonal job we have to undertake.
What other options are available?
We will be as flexible as we can with your workload and commitment as we are after a win-win situation. If you are a family travelling, we can work out options where one parent works in exchange for perhaps just accommodation, or share food options - or other options we haven't thought of yet. If you wanted to take advantage of some part time paid work in the area, we can work out an arrangement where you worked less hours for us in exchange for just accommodation. We are very open to discussion.
Please DON'T apply to be helpers with us if you only have a few days or a week available in your itinerary. We also prefer to host helpers who have references - if not within helpX, 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!).
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.
All meals and accommodation with good wifi are in exchange for 25 actual contact hours a week. ( see the above section on other options as well) Time may be done over 5 or 6 days - or even less if you "bank hours" as work can go longer on some days. (dependant on tasks.) Work is not backbreaking or hard and we ensure we take breaks and have fun along the way. Please note that if you are a clock watcher you may see that sometimes overall you may be "out and about" on the farm for up to 30 hours a week. (Don't freak out - its not a slave camp) There is a fair bit of travel time included in this 30 hours as tasks can range all over the property - so its not like you will be working 'hard yakka' for 30 hours straight but rather you may be sitting in the ute getting to the next spot for up to 2 hours a day! We are NOT looking at forced slave work with this mention of 30 hours - but rather a realistic expectation of how long you will be 'out' at work ( but you won't be actually working 30 hours)
If you are a native speaker of Italian or Spanish and would like to assist my children learn some basics, let me know! They are studying Italian and Spanish at school and I'd love some more assistance with accent and correct terminology. (half an hour every few days is heaps!)
Work within Spring and Summer can begin around 4.30 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.
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.
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.
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 HelpX 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)
As 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. These sorts of things don't count as your 'worked hours'. Yes, food and board is provided as part of this exchange, but on the same token, you will not be waited upon and you are expected to wash up your own plates, clean and tidy up after yourself and do your own washing.
We have a full sized pool table for friendly games of snooker or pool, 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. A great way to meet the locals.
This may be the "Real Australian" farm placement you are looking for! 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.
Placements available for either a single person, a couple, a couple and a single or two singles - or more! ( we think the more the merrier - especially if you are travelling with friends.)
Please note that there is NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT here. If you are keen to sightsee, you will need a car as though Annie is willing to take helpers to tourist spots, she works and has a busy family life and cannot act as a taxi service.
Dates where NO PLACEMENTS available are 21 Dec 2017 - 6th Jan 2018. If you are looking at a placement around these time we can host you up till those dates, but you'll need to find alternate accommodation during those block out dates.
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 completely necessary.
Photos here are of Annie and the kids, Del feeding cattle, Rusty the Kelpie, Jim and helper fixing cattle yards, a helpers bedroom, dawn from the verandah at "Whispering Gums" Our keyword is Rusty. Please use this in your title of your application.