Thank you for your enquiry regarding employment in our upcoming cherry harvest for 2020/2021.
We will be employing seasonal packers and pickers from early to mid November, ending early to mid- January. Hours are dependent on volumes of cherries to be picked and sorted. Starting dates and hours may be staggered due to crop maturity and will vary from day to day especially at the beginning of harvest. A roster system is designed for packing staff to ensure staff work up to 6 days a week wherever possible, however longer hours are usually required in the lead up to Christmas, and you must be available to work if rostered over this period. We prefer our employees to stay for the entire cherry season.
(Please note that these dates are subject to weather conditions and other factors).
The Koala Cherries packing shed is located in Yarck, a small rural town approx. 150km north-east of Melbourne. It is located 14km from the main township of Alexandra which has a supermarket, petrol stations, library, takeaway food, cafes, pubs and other various shops.
You must be able to provide your own transportation to your workplace, whether you wish to apply for a packing or picking role as there is no local public transport in Yarck. As a picker you may be required to move between orchards, which are a few kilometres apart.
If you are working in the Packhouse and travelling as part of a group, you must all have your own vehicle as we cannot guarantee that your group of friends will be rostered to work on the same days as each other.
Right to Work in Australia
All our employees must meet the requirements of the Department of Immigration and must obtain a valid working visa. You will be required to provide us with a copy of your Passport and visa when completing your employment information online. We will check that your Visa is valid with the Department of Immigration.
Time worked at Koala Cherries can go towards your application for the second or third WHM visa. We can complete Form 1263 once your employment has finished.
Pickers must be physically fit as duties may involve climbing ladders, bending, carrying lugs and standing for long periods at a time. You will be working outdoors where the weather can be cold and wet or extremely hot and dry. Pickers are paid by the amount they pick which varies from $8 to $15 per lug depending on the variety and other factors. Pickers usually start early in the morning, but this may vary due to the weather and crop load. Please note: Harvest supervisors, Pick Up Crew and machinery drivers are required to wear high-sided safety shoes (reinforced toe).
Packers work indoors and must be able to work in a fast-paced environment. Packers must be fast with their hands and able to sort through cherries at high speed with great attention to detail. Packing requires long hours of standing and the work can be repetitious and tiring at times. You must be able to communicate efficiently in English and be willing to work under instructions from your supervisors. Please note: All Packhouse staff are required to wear safety shoes (reinforced toe).
Packers are paid an hourly rate. Please note that the Packhouse uses facial recognition timeclocks to log on and off for each shift.
Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of all staff. We will be implementing Covid19 best practice processes to keep you safe and ensure that the business can continue to operate if someone contracts the virus whilst employed at Koala Cherries. For the forthcoming harvest staff:
- Will be required to wear a mask whilst working in the Packhouse. Masks will be provided for your use and we will be unable to offer any exceptions to this requirement. Wearing of masks or face coverings on farm will be a requirement as per current Government regulations.
- Must provide us with details of other staff members that they are living with and/or travelling to work with. Any changes to these arrangements must be advised to our office.
We are unable to provide lunchrooms or kitchen facilities for Packhouse staff this year because of social distancing requirements. A designated outdoor lunch area will be available for you (open marquee), depending on the team you are assigned to for the duration of your employment at Koala Cherries. You will need to consider bringing your lunch in a thermos/esky.
Carpooling is also discouraged due to the difficulties in complying with social distancing requirements. If this cannot be avoided all occupants must wear a face mask whilst in the vehicle. Occupants must always travel in the same vehicle with the same people to minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19.
In previous years staff have socially interacted outside of work hours. We ask that you comply with any Government directives regarding this, and that you consider the potential impact on fellow staff members and the business if you do not comply or apply common sense. We highly recommend all our employees download the COVIDSafe app https://www.australia.gov.au/app.
Wages are paid weekly into your nominated bank account and the applicable Tax is deducted, and Superannuation contributions paid.
If your application is successful, both pickers and packers are required to complete an online induction before commencing employment.
Koala Cherries does not provide any accommodation, so you will be required to find your own. We do have a list of local accommodation options that you can request to be emailed to you.
To apply for a position please click on the following link.
We look forward to receiving your application.
Amanda Futcher & Sharee Kuhlmann Staff Coordinators