Five years’ ago Trixie-Lee Grey started working in Taylor Corp’s packhouse as a holiday job – and she’s still working there today.
“Initially the experience was crazy because I’d never worked full 60 hour weeks,” she says. “But it was fun and I loved the atmosphere. I fell in love with the work and for the first time in my life, I was working with interesting people, earning good money and doing something for myself. It was very rewarding.”
After her first season finished in the packhouse Trixie-Lee travelled on her own to Thailand for three months, teaching English. “It was my first big overseas trip and the people were amazing – they just took me in.”
Trixie-Lee returned home in time to start back at Taylor Corp for its next packhouse season and was soon promoted to supervisor. “They definitely saw potential in me, so when the previous supervisor left I filled that gap.”
Trixie-Lee says she has learned many new skills on the job, including computer technology and pest identification, and is now able to understand the signs of damage pests can cause to a crop. But mostly, her job is about managing people.
“I have to communicate effectively to make sure everyone is doing their job packing the premium quality fruit and sending it to the right markets. For half of our workers, English is their second language so my experience teaching English in Thailand has come in really handy.
“Everyone in the packhouse is a piece of the puzzle. If one person isn’t doing their job, it comes back on everyone. So it’s important we work as a team.”
Every year the packhouse employs people from overseas, which Trixie-Lee enjoys. “I learn about different cultures and their stories are so cool. I love the family atmosphere at work. In the off season we work in the same team, but outside in the orchard.
“It’s such a great industry to be a part of and my job is extremely rewarding. I’d say to anyone ‘give it a go’. With the right attitude, you’ll really enjoy it.”
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