Farmwork

Nobody wants to do it. Nobody. Why would anyone want to spend 7 days a week for 3 months picking/ packing fruit or shovelling up sheep shit. Oh yes that’s right, because we fucking have to. Other wise it’s goodbye Australia and hello England come December.

That just simply isn’t an option.

As I’ve mentioned we made the stupid mistake of coming to Darwin in search for our regional work. Unfortunately there isn’t any here, unless you’re a guy. There’s plenty of construction, pearling and fishing jobs up here but fuck that for a game of soldiers. Besides, even if I wanted to, they don’t employ many females in those industries. I’d probably give pearling a go, as in working in the packing side of the business (literally pack pearls into a box for 8 hours a day) but there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of vacancies in any case.

So what the hell am I going to do. Fly to Queensland? Pack bananas? (Which I’ve been told is hellish.) Pay $880 for a Traffic Control course still with no guarantee of work? (traffic control also counts towards a second year visa.) Fly down south where the weather is as miserable as back in the UK but farm work a plenty? Or there is the green card alternative, I could just marry an Aussie.

The most frustrating part of finding your regional work as a backpacker is that the guidelines are incredibly blurred. It’s very confusing. For instance working in the mines counts, but not if you’re a cleaner.

Come on, give us a bit of leeway!

You will also meet lots of backpackers who have managed to fiddle their second year visa, basically by lying to the government about what type of work they were doing, this is great if you get away with it. If you don’t, you’re fucked.

Click here for Australian Visa Information.

Australia is changing the way they accept second year visas shortly too.

Initially the 462 Visa (US, China, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.) could only ever have a maximum of a 1 year visa. Extending to a second year visa like the 417 visa can (UK, France, Germany etc.) was never an option. They are now considering allowing all 462 visa holders to obtain a second year visa as long as they complete their regional work within Northern Territory. This includes in hospitality and tourism (usually hospo and tourism doesn’t count).

So guess who’s working in a hotel in the NT with a 417 working holiday visa? Yes me. So not only does my current job not count toward a second year visa but shortly, some 462 visa holder is going to swan in, do 3 months and then sail through to their second year without having to even look at a piece of fruit.

How is that even fair?! The UK is a part of the Commonwealth for crying out loud!

Here’s a link to find out more about the upcoming changes to the Australian Visas to help support Northern Territory.

To say searching for farm work is problematic would be an understatement of the year.

It’s stressful, time consuming and damn right soul destroying. I never imagined that I’d be applying for a fruit picking job whilst walking across Leeds Metropolitan University stage to collect my graduation certificate, that’s for sure.

Not only is it all of the above, you can almost guarantee a few replies from dodgy gumtree users asking if you would be interested in dishing out massages for $50 an hour. I mean it’s tempting, but the thought of massaging old creepy men A. Turns my stomache (not to mention the happy ending they would inevitably ask for.) and B. It won’t get me a second year visa.

Australia is expensive, but not enough to make me prostitute myself.

It’s easy enough to just say ‘fuck it, I’m not doing it’ and be glad of the year I will have spent working and living here. But I know that is something I will regret for a life time if I was to sack off a second year all just because I don’t want to pick some fruit.

Besides, if the degenerates of the UK vote for Brexit tomorrow in the referendum you’ll find me desperately searching for a sponsorship and applying for citizenship here in Australia.

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