My name is Svea. I am 19 years old and I come from Berlin. I came to Australia just over four months ago and I am very happy to have made my Work & Travel adventure with Highschool Australia. Everything was taken care of following my arrival; travel, accommodation, all the paperwork (TFN, account opening etc.) was done and I had no problems finding a great job.
The week on the training farm was a lot of fun and I met a super nice girl from Scotland. We met again and worked together for a while.
Since I was 12 years old, I wanted to come to Australia and work on a cattle farm. This was my dream, but I also knew that I would have to be open for any job I get, at the beginning. But I was lucky and an employer called Jane from the Charlevue Cattle Company in Dingo, Queensland, offered me a job so I actually landed a job on a cattle farm. I lived and worked with a wonderful family, which could not have taken better care of me. I was part of all the family activities and after three and a half months on Charlevue, it was not easy to say goodbye.
I experienced and learned a lot in my time there. I have done an internship on a large cattle clinic and had worked on a farm and with cattle in Montana, USA. Nevertheless, it was quite different in Australia.
One of my tasks on the 45,000 acre farm consisted of feeding the animals, morning and evening. There were about 20 calves, show cattle, a herd of young bulls, horses, dogs, all to be fed. I also took care of the household, checked and repaired fences, regularly checked the water tanks and did a fair bit of weed spraying.
Mustering on my mare “Naira”
The best time was mustering. These were long days, but I had a lot of fun. On my first large muster I was in the saddle for 13 1/2 hours, followed by two 12 hour days in the yards; vaccinating the cows, treating parasites, branding and “dehorning“ the calves etc etc. This cattle work in the yards can be a bit full on for people with a rather tender heart, but I got used to it.
After about four or six weeks I started to feel a bit lonely. I never left the farm, and my mobile data was not working, then my cell phone broke. That meant I couldn’t even write to my friends or family for a time … The loneliness, however, ended quickly when a friend from Germany came to visit me on the farm over Christmas! Together, we even ran the farm for four days alone when Jane & Jamie left with the children for a few days. Then I got a few days off and my girlfriend & I took a trip to Fraser Island and Brisbane over the new year.
During my last six weeks on Charlevue, I also had the company of the Scottish girl I had met at the training farm. Jane had hired her (through me) as my “successor”. The six weeks together were great and the time just flew.
Overall, I must say that I have enjoyed the time on Charlevue and also the work very much. I’m just not a warm-weather person, so the 40 + ℃ was a bit of a shock. If I was to come back, I would definitely come in the autumn / winter (between May and September as the temperatures are a lot milder then).