THERE ARE WORSE JOBS: Fa Mafaufau believes there are worse jobs than hand picking onions. The newly arrived New Zealander was in the paddock to make money so she can fulfil her dream of owning her own home.
THERE ARE WORSE JOBS: Fa Mafaufau believes there are worse jobs than hand picking onions. The newly arrived New Zealander was in the paddock to make money so she can fulfil her dream of owning her own home. Toni Somes

Family happy to be working, even in the heat

FA Mafaufau is not the sort of woman to complain about work, even if it's 35 degrees and she is sitting in the sun hand picking onions.

Her approach is straightforward: You do what you have to do.

At the moment that means picking onions with her husband, Nab, and their 16-year-old daughter May.

The family arrived from New Zealand recently and until Nab, who is a qualified mechanic, and Fa land permanent positions they will do what they have to survive financially.

"It's certainly not the worst job," she said of the hand picking role, which starts at 4.30 each morning.

"We need to buy a new car and want our own home so we'll work where we have too."

Their teenager daughter has joined them in the paddock too but she is already enrolled for school from January so the work is a temporary change.

The family has based itself at Ipswich, close to friends, and are optimistic Australia will offer them opportunities if they are prepared for hard work.

"You have to find the best in your situation," Fa said.

"I like being in the sunshine so this is not the worst job.

"And it is better to have a job than not."

Her advice - after a few weeks of first hand experience - for those contemplating a harvesting job in horticulture is to come prepared.

"Water, a hat and gloves and you have to be prepared to keep at it. That is important."



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