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Outback Helpers Scheme
The Outback Helpers Scheme started from a real need in the community for help. It could be a perfect opportunity for travellers to really experience life on outback properties by giving a little of their time to help where needed. This is an extract from their website:
“In the Feb/Mar 2002 issue Jenny Watters in WA wrote a letter to the OUTBACK Magazine ‘Feedback’ in response to an Outback Helper’s letter in the previous magazine.
April/May issue received two responses to her letter, and various emails. As a result, another couple, Adam and Margit, and Jenny and Greg, decided to set up a scheme called ‘Outback Helpers’, whereby people wishing to be ‘outback helpers’ could make contact with host stations and farms in their chosen area or state – Australia wide.
Jenny and Greg who started the scheme have a large Property in WA., Ted and Jean in SA began “helping” in 2002 and now help Co-ordinate as well. More recently in 2013 Rosie Bryant from a property in Qld and also Ron and Janis Smith now help run the Queensland areas.. But no matter what., we are all trying to assist properties gain valuable volunteer helpers throughout the Country..
Quite often Stations have many jobs that need doing, (EG. painting, some carpentry work, a major spring clean in the house, a major garden overhaul, mustering, or just time to do something other than housework and cooking) and it is not worth employing staff to do that when we only need someone for a few days, a week or a month. As you may know getting professionals out to the ‘bush’ is extremely costly and many travelers (both young and the not-so-young) who have a wealth of experience (EG. Carpentry, mechanical, dressmaking, cooking, painting, gardening, breaking in horses, Various Trades ., just general handyman tasks, etc) would love the opportunity to stop off for a little time and help out. One person said ‘that the thought of subsiding into slothful inactivity held little appeal’. (I hope she doesn’t mind being quoted, I love that statement!)
People, who wish to visit, will be expected to pitch in and help, as it is not a ‘free holiday stay’ scheme. Remember, though, this is your holiday, so leave yourselves time for recreation, sightseeing, reading a book, whatever. Keep in mind that you are a helper, not an employee … albeit a willing helper.
It has been very beneficial to both sides … a chance for the volunteers/helpers to experience something new and exciting, and perhaps a chance to supplement their income/pension; and for the Hosts to enjoy the company of people who are travelling around, and also enjoy a little respite from trying to do everything, with not enough time to do it in!!
We do our best to place Helpers and Hosts together at a time that suits both, but, of course, this may not always happen. It is up to the ‘helper’ and ‘host station/farm’ to negotiate between themselves, suitability and the final arrangements before you visit.
We believe that this has been a ‘much needed’ opportunity for many. We have many people on stations who are desperately seeking carpenters, painters, mechanics, handypersons, gardeners, cooks, child minders, surrogate grandmothers/fathers etc etc … now. If you are interested, please call or email either Jenny, Jean, Rosie or Ron on the numbers below – we look forward to hearing from you.”
Read more on the Outback Helpers Scheme website…