Maintenance hand Richard with Kate Rose, owner of Baupal Park Macadamia Farm.
Baupal Park in Gympie is an organic macadamia orchard, specialising in producing quality nuts using Korean Natural Farming practices. Ex-Army officer Kate Rose bought the forty acre farm last year and has recently completed the first full harvest.
With a big career and sea change, Kate realised she needed more hands on deck to keep the farm operational. Through word of mouth, Kate was able to get in contact with Piri, a consultant from MAX Employment Gympie.
“Someone in town noticed I was running around, tearing my hair out and asked if I needed some employees,” Kate said.
“Next thing I know, I’ve got Piri on the phone, CV’s in my inbox and I’m interviewing young people.”
Kate said MAX made the process of finding and hiring her new staff member a lot easier.
“The assistance made the process a lot smoother, and took a lot of stress off of me having to advertise.” Because of the nature of the work on the farm, Kate was looking for a few specific things in a new employee.
“It’s a physical job; I’m 52 and I struggle some days. I could give someone older the opportunity, but I could well be doing them a disservice if they end up hurting themselves.
“I wanted to give a young person the opportunity, because it can be so hard to get a foot on the ladder.”
After so many years in the defence force, Kate had a wealth of skills she wanted to pass on to her staff.
“Because of my background I felt confident I could take on a young person and train them,” she said.
24 year old Richard had been unemployed for over a year when he interviewed for the position at Bapual Park.
“I was working out west in Roma, earning good money. But when I got back I found it really hard to get work.”
The maintenance assistant position was a great fit for Richard who loves being outdoors and couldn’t see himself working an office job.
“I like outdoor work, I can’t work indoors in an office or on a computer,” he said. “That’s not me.”
Kate and Richard were to create a flexible schedule to account for Richard’s two young children.
“The good thing about this job is it works around me having my kids. I like looking after my kids so I didn’t really want to spend 5 days a week putting them into day care.
“I wanted a job where I could still spend time with my kids.”
Now close to six months employed, Richard and has been offered a permanent position on the farm, with the opportunity to undertake a horticulture course later on to further expand his career.
Kate said without Richard’s help, her first harvest wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.
“Richard has been phenomenal, I wouldn’t have gotten half of the harvest in without him; we would have been struggling. With Richard’s help the business is growing exponentially.”