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Old 05-28-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
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So I came across this program arranged by STA travel where you head over Down Under and they hook you up with some training and some ranch work. It sounds like something fun to do next summer for me before I head to Europe for a semester abroad. Obviously, you have to pay them a nice little sum of cash (like 2000 bucks) for arranging it all, and for flights (another nice ittle sum). I'm going to have around three full months to work (May June July) and a month to travel (August) - not long enough to make any money by far (salary is 900ish USD per month), but that's really not the point for me - it's more for experience than anything else, and I *might* be able to talk my parents into paying for my flights since they always seem so eager to send me money that I don't want to take. :P

I was just wondering if anyone has done anything similar but by a different (read: cheaper) route and could hook me up with some contacts/things to check out.

Muchas gracias!! :D
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:59 PM   #2
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OMG. Heh. As someone who as done a LOT of ranch work and used to manage barns & boarding stables for years, I would have been positively delighted if someone actually wanted to PAY to come and work for me!! Heh. Be warned, though. The first two months will kill you. After that you'll be slinging 150-pound hay bales all day (every day, for hours and hours and hours) no sweat. You'll probably hate your sadistic boss and wonder what on earth you were thinking, but it should still be an awesome time. (I'm saying this because trust me, unless you have years of horse or livestock experience, you WILL be doing the grunt work. Even if you do have a fair bit of experience, you'll still most likely be a grunt. That's okay. Grunt work builds character. )

Your body, on the other hand, may not thank you so much for the damage. Specifically back, neck and knees.
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:02 PM   #3
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Hehe. Dang, I can't imagine slinging around hay bales that are substantially heavier than myself. The heavy shit that we lug around in my current theater job is enough for me. :P But heck, I'm willing to try anything that builds character and mad muscle, haha...but maybe they treat you nicer if you're on a program and paying to do that kind of thing.

Any pointers on where to get started, places to research, that kind of thing?
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by freespiritz@May 29 2006, 01:02 AM
Any pointers on where to get started, places to research, that kind of thing?
[snapback]123024[/snapback]
No, I'm really sorry! I know nothing about working in Australia. I would get in contact with the program people and try to get more specific information from them. I'm sure they have a list of places that they work with to send people as opposed to just throwing you out there willy-nilly to the ranch of your choice-- a somewhat frightening prospect for a lot of reasons...

Let me know what you find out (as far as what exact type of work you'll be doing and what kind of ranch you'd be working at) and I may be able to give you some pointers.

*edited to add: The first thing to consider is this: You will be shoveling poop. Lots and lots and lots of poop. Your life will revolve around poop. You will become immune to the smell and sight of (herbivore) animal poop. That includes whatever happens to land on your clothes or in your hair and least of all what's on your shoes. Trust me on this.
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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Sure, I'll keep you updated when I actually get around to figuring anything out.

Thanks for the heads up on the poop though! That's an incentive to pack light and minus anything I actually want to keep in poopless condition. :D
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:16 PM   #6
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Well as someone who has backpacked around OZ for a year I would not do this at all. $2000 for arranging what!? A job on a farm. Seriously every hostel I stayed at there were always notices on the bulletin board about doing ranch work. I think the $2000 grand is a really high price to pay. Seriously over in oz there are backpacker employment centres that find you these jobs for FREE...PM me if you have any ozzie questions. i'd be glad to answer them.
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips!

I figured there would be some other cheaper way, so it's good to know that there really are options open. I'll start thinking about this for real and probably bust out the barrage of questions once I'm (closer to being) done with the biggie travel phase of the next seven months.

Any other work suggestions for a three-month gig that would be fun?
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:21 PM   #8
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Have you looked at wwoof at all? Its the worldwide workers of organic farmers...

Quote:
WWOOF Australia : WWOOF, Buchan, Vic 3885, Australia.
Phone : 03-5155-0218
Fax : 03-5155-0342
Email : wwoof@wwoof.com.au
Web : www.wwoof.com.au
Run on a fix-it-yourself basis only. Not all listings are organic farms.
Currently listing over 1600 Hosts around Australia in our WWOOF Australia Book.
WWOOF Australia Book :
* Single Membership $55AUD purchased within Australia
* $60AUD with Overseas Postage
* Couple Membership $65AUD purchased within Australia
* $70AUD with Overseas Postage
WWOOF Australia World Independent Host List
* $27 within Australia
* $32 with Overseas Postage
Soooo.. Basically you'd pay $60AUD rather than $2000.... Sounds better.. I know an aussie chick who is coming over here wwoofing, and I know it goes the other way. Anyway something to check into at least.
Australia is lovely.
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link, I'll check it out!
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:31 PM   #10
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I love that - "wwoofing". What a great thing to be doing!
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:46 PM   #11
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Right, first off they aren't called ranches, they're called farms, properties, stations, studs, but not ranches. Secondly, don't pay $2000 to go and work for someone else, that's just crazy. What i would do if i was you would be go to Oz and simply go to the inland rural towns and ask for farm work, there's heaps of farm work about and i'm sure somebody would give you a run. If you take this approach you probably wouldn't need a work visa as most farm work is cash in hand. I met an Irish dude in a town 100kms from mine that had done exactly this, he just turned up in a country town and asked around for some farm work and he ended up getting something, can't remember what it was exactly, but he seemed pretty happy with it all.

Now, the type of work you will more than likely be doing would not be all that exciting - picking up sticks and rocks, fencing, digging holes, rounding up stock, possibly roustabouting in shearing sheds. Actually, i reckon roustabout work would be pretty cool, you travel to different shearing sheds around the country and stay in the shearers quarters for a week or two. These guys work hard and party hard, it would be a blast if you wanted to experience something a little different.
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:32 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice - and the fact that they're called anything but ranches, lol.

I wasn't really intending to pay 2000 bucks to do this (and all the comments are telling me it's definitely not necessary), it was more the "hey, this kinda thing could be cool to do!" factor and I'm toying with ideas in my little head...I have a zillion friends and relatives in Aussieland so I might just couch-surf my way down the coast instead if I make it Down Under.

Anyway...think it'll be a problem getting hired since I'm a little Asian girl and not some muscular hunkalicious dude?
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:40 PM   #13
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ummmmm, no i don't think you would have any problem getting work because of your size, if you're a hard worker anyone will hire you. Do you have any experience with farm type work??

I'm glad to hear you're not going to pay $2000 to do some farmer's work, you could actually make some ok money if you get some half decent work.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:51 PM   #14
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You're from the states? What citizenship(s) do you hold? Americans don't have a working holiday visa to Australia. You can go through BUNAC which is almost $600 for a special program visa. If you want to get paid (legally), you need a working visa...
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:57 PM   #15
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I have dual Malaysian and American citizenship. No farm experience, my current job is more construction and painting stuff.

The more I think about next year, the less likely I think it is that working in OZ will happen, but I'm just keeping my options open. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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