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GETTING STARTED

VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 8

  • pg 1
									Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
GETTING STARTED 2.1 Finding A Job • All Australian states have organisations that represent pastoralists and most have links with agencies that recruit people to work in the pastoral industry. By contacting the relevant organisation in your state you should be able to obtain information on job opportunities available. Newspapers and rural publications also have sections where jobs are advertised. Before entering into any employment agreement it is strongly recommended that you visit the station to meet the `boss' and get a clear understanding of the living and working conditions. Both the employer and the employee are then in a much better position to assess whether a working relationship is likely to succeed. Because of the distances and costs likely to be involved a visit is not always possible. In this case locate the station on a map and find out as much as you can about the area. Then write down a list of questions you would like answered, ring the station, and discuss these on the telephone. To get a job it is almost essential that you have a driver's licence and that you are able to ride a motor cycle and/or a horse. Mechanical skills would be very handy and some experience looking after farm animals would be an advantage.

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2.2

Working Conditions • The working conditions of stationhands are broadly defined in the Federal Pastoral Industry Award 1986 which prescribes certain minimum standards which must be observed. The working conditions (e.g. wage rate, hours, holidays, board) should be clearly understood by both the employee and the employer before starting work. Station work is definitely not a 9 - 5 job and staff must be prepared to tackle any reasonable task at any time. Some jobs come up and must be attended to immediately no matter what day or time it is. Staff are expected to undertake a wide range of duties including maintenance of homestead facilities and services. On some of the larger stations some staff are appointed for particular jobs such as stock work. The first few weeks on the job can be a very difficult time. The new employee with no previous experience in the pastoral industry must adjust to very different conditions, has few skills to offer the employer and is likely to cause a number of problems. The employer is faced with spending a lot of time and effort training the new employee as well as being responsible for their general welfare and in some instances acting as a defacto parent.

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Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.

2.3

Settling In • • You can minimise the problems at the start by settling in to the routines of station life and developing useful skills as soon as possible. In the first few months "home sickness" can be a real problem particularly if you are on your own a lot. Many people experience this when placed in an unfamiliar environment. It is quite a normal reaction and you need to be prepared. Some suggestions which may help are: Take some familiar things with you such as tapes of your favourite music, posters, etc. Make your room comfortable and somewhere you can relax and feel "at home".

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Make an effort to establish friendships so that you can share experiences and discuss problems. Maintain your interests and hobbies. Read the papers when they come and subscribe to a magazine. Keeping a diary is a useful habit to develop and can be very interesting to look back on.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
Draw up a list of things you want to achieve each week, e.g. do laundry, write letter home, etc. Check your list at the end of the week and draw up a list for the next week. Write letters home and to your friends. If you are not good at writing letters try sending cassette tapes. These can be good fun once you overcome the embarrassment of talking to a tape recorder. Phone home or your friends on a regular basis and not just when you're feeling low. Make sure you pay for your calls. Take some treats with you and ration these for yourself as a reward after a hard day.

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2.4

Living Conditions • Pastoral stations are generally located in the more remote arid regions of Australia. The living conditions are quite different to the cities and most people take some time to adjust to the isolation and the climate. Most stationhands live on the property where they work and may be involved in homestead duties as well as other domestic arrangements. This comp-licates the employment process and can cause a number of problems. During the mustering season stationhands may be required to live away from the homestead in stock camps. Stock camps have basic facilities and staff sleep on the ground in swags.

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To reduce the chances of conflict occurring it is important that new stationhands clearly understand what the established practices are and what is expected of them with regard to their living conditions. Maintain reasonable standards of personal hygiene. Shower daily if possible and always wash your face and hands before meals. Be careful about dress and behaviour standards in different situations particularly around the homestead and especially at meal times. Observe the rules with regard to alcohol consumption and smoking. Some stations do not allow alcohol on the property.

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Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
Keep your quarters clean and tidy and report any damage. Ask before you use any facilities such as telephone, television, laundry, coolroom, etc., and abide by any rules regarding their use. Most stations have access to radio, television and telephones. Water is usually in short supply and should not be wasted. Find out and abide by the rules for the use of vehicles, firearms and other equipment. Check first to see whether you can bring your own dog or horse onto the property. Be prepared to help at all times and make sure you do your share of the chores, e.g. setting the table, washing dishes, emptying rubbish, etc. Always let somebody know where you are going and when to expect you back so that if you get lost or have an accident someone knows where to start looking.

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Remember you are living in someone else's home so respect their rules and their rights. You must expect that there will be some areas and situations which are private and your presence will not be welcome.

2.5

Personal Equipment and Supplies • Before accepting employment on a pastoral property you should find out from the employer what special items of personal equipment you require. What bedding is provided? Do you need a swag? If so, what type and where can you get it? If you are working with horses and/or motor bikes, what do you need to provide?

• Most stations have a store where limited quantities of goods are stocked. Make sure you have adequate supplies of personal requirements and that you find out how to obtain further supplies. This is particularly important if you require regular supplies of medication. •

Some general advice on personal equipment: Clothing should be easy care, hard wearing and machine washable. Heavy duty boots and long trousers are essential for many activities. Protection from the sun is important and a suitable hat is essential. Long sleeve shirts, sunglasses and sun screens are recommended. Jumpers and a waterproof jacket are required. In wetter regions full length waterproof gear may be required. A personal first aid kit is recommended and you should include insect repellent. Writing paper, envelopes, stamps, pens and a supply of pocket notebooks should be included.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
Other important items include a watch, torch, alarm clock, pocket knife, water container and a radio/cassette player.

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Health and Safety Health and safety should be major considerations in all your activities and particularly so in remote regions where access to medical services is difficult and relief hands are hard to find. Take care to prevent injury to yourself and your workmates. Be particularly careful on stations where young children live and play around the homestead buildings. If you have a medical condition make sure that your employer and the people you work with are aware of this and what to do in case of an emergency e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, allergies, etc. Some diseases can be caught from animals so always wash after handling animals. Treat cuts, sores and skin disorders early before they develop into major problems. Driving and Safety • Country driving is different to driving in the City and has its own particular hazards. Many accidents in the country are single vehicle accidents and the major factors are speed, alcohol and driver fatigue. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. Long distances shouldn't mean driving continuously for long periods. breaks where you stop and get out of the vehicle. Take regular

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Different road surfaces require different driving techniques. Take time to learn the right techniques for driving on gravel and dirt roads.

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Animals on the road are a major hazard in country areas. Cattle, sheep, horses, kangaroos, emus, camels etc. have little or no road sense. If you see animals near the road, slow down. Accidents can occur at any time but dawn, dusk and night are the worst periods for driving.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
• Gates and grids can also cause problems particularly if there are no warning signs. Always slow down approaching gates and grids and, as a general rule, leave gates they way you find them. Grids can have a deep rut formed between the road and the grid; this can damage tyres and suspension. Starting Work • The sooner you can adapt to life on the station and develop useful skills the quicker you will be accepted as a productive member of the team and be able to participate in a range of activities which will make the job more interesting and enjoyable. Establish your bearings quickly to reduce the chances of getting lost. Know the location and use of all the buildings around the homestead area. Study a map to help you get to know all about the property. Find out what you should do if you do get lost.

2.8

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Listen carefully to instructions and make sure you understand what you are expected to do. Ask for help if you don't think you can do the job. Plan ahead so that you have the right dress and tools for the job. Report back on the progress of the job. Return all tools and equipment to where they belong. Property gates should be left the way you find them (unless you are aware or told that it should be different). If you open or close a gate make sure that it is secured so that it stays the way you left it. If you damage a gate make temporary repairs and report the damage. Note: The gates on animal proof fences erected by the Government should always be left closed.

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Use a pocket notebook to write down things that you are told or observe. You will find this a useful habit to develop, particularly when you need to recall details such as dates, stock numbers, etc.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
• Consider the needs and welfare of other people around you. In a small isolated community it is much better if you can maintain friendly relations with the people you work and live with. Always do your share and make certain that other people are not inconvenienced by your lack of thought or carelessness. If you are going to town, pick up the mail and the papers and check to see if anything else needs to be picked up. • Consider the needs and welfare of animals in your charge. Make sure animals are properly cared for and have access to supplies of fresh water and food. This applies particularly to dogs and horses but also to other stock. Find out what the rules are for dogs in vehicles and around the homestead. • Find out how to operate vehicles and equipment and what routine care and maintenance is required before you use them. Always operate machines safely and report any problems. Station roads are hazardous so take care to prevent damage to yourself and the vehicles. Vehicles should always be checked and refuelled before being put away. Make sure you use the correct fuel type. • Your progress will largely depend on your attitude and your energy. Most stations are prepared to spend time teaching their new employees the necessary skills provided they are willing to learn.

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You can demonstrate that you are willing to learn by being: Interested - pay attention to what you are being told or shown, and ask questions if you don't understand. Prepared - this means being at the right place, at the right time and equipped for the job. Observant - take notice of things around you and learn from what you see. Try to improve your ability to notice details as you travel around the property. Energetic - always hop in and lend a hand. If you show you are willing to help, other people will take the time to help you. Reliable - if you are part of a team, other people must be able to depend on you. If you have a task to do make sure you do it or else let somebody know if you can't. Honest - be open about your lack of knowledge or skills and admit to your mistakes. You will make mistakes: learn from them and don't repeat them.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council

Please note this is an example. In producing your own guide for new recruits you would need to ensure that all information meets the requirements of relevant State and Federal awards. Your State Farmers Organisation can advise you.
• Finally a list of don'ts to remember: Don't go away from the homestead unless someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back. Don't light any fires unless you know that it is safe. Take care with cigarettes and vehicles in dry grass. Don't use firearms on the property unless you have the approval of the boss and it is safe to do so. Don't drive any vehicle on to a public road unless you and the vehicle have a current licence.

Extract from ‘A Guide for Station Hands in Pastoral Industries’ by Rural Skills Australia and the Western Australian Primary Industries Training Council


								
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