Caboolture’s Suzanne Gall moved to harvest work after a long career in hospitality – and was surprised how much she loved it.

Suzanne, a Caboolture local, worked in hospitality for 33 years but when she started experiencing health issues, she went looking for something different. A ‘friend of a friend’ had started harvest work and encouraged Suzanne to give it a try. While she was initially hesitant, she now says “I never thought I would like it as much as I do.”

A fruitful experience

Suzanne has worked picking, packing and planting. Her first position was picking lychees. Having enjoyed the experience, she stayed in the sector and moved on to planting strawberries. She’s currently working as a packer on a custard apple farm. Suzanne says she’s up early, with her days starting in the “freezing cold” but it’s all part of the experience. Suzanne says she enjoys being outside in nature and getting to know other people working on the farms.

Plenty of work

Suzanne went straight to MADEC Harvest Trail Services (HTS) when she was curious about harvest work. She “didn’t have any challenges finding employment,” with MADEC HTS placing her on the lychee farm immediately. When lychee season wrapped, MADEC HTS found her another role doing strawberry planting.

“The MADEC team are always happy and upbeat! I enjoy coming in for a chat and a cup of tea. Have had a great experience. They have always found something for me and let me know when something new becomes available.”

“I like the staff, they are always friendly. What MADEC do is very helpful for people like me.”

MADEC provided Suzanne with induction training, which, as someone brand-new to harvest work, she says was very helpful. “They are informative and keep in touch. It’s a very nice and supportive relationship.”

Suzanne says she is always given enough hours, and they suit her schedule. Plus, working outside is a welcome change from her time spent in hospitality. Suzanne says she recommends MADEC HTS for both growers and other workers like herself. “I love horticulture work. Being outside is lovely. It’s a great way to see Australia. Once you pick up some skills, you can travel the country with them.”