G'day, I'm Ben! I'm from Bundaberg in Qld, but have spent the past three years studying a Bachelor of Science (Natural Resource Management + Earth and Marine Science) at the Australian National University in Canberra. I was brought up in the bush and my parents raised me to have a deep appreciation and love for the natural environment, for farmi...
G'day, I'm Ben! I'm from Bundaberg in Qld, but have spent the past three years studying a Bachelor of Science (Natural Resource Management + Earth and Marine Science) at the Australian National University in Canberra. I was brought up in the bush and my parents raised me to have a deep appreciation and love for the natural environment, for farming, for gardening and caring for animals.
I've actually spent the past 8 months travelling and living with friends and family in Europe, something I'd been dreaming of for some years. I'll soon be home and finishing my last two courses at university, before then starting work, where ever that may take me.
While I went to a normal school, did sports and had normal friends, my upbringing was largely influenced by a lot of adults, and I think that made me grow up pretty quick to be honest. Spent a lot of evenings with my uncles and aunties, was always my Dad's right hand man when I was home. Some of my good friends and mentors have been from my local farming community, where we all meet for a BBQ once a month, and where I help a lot of my elderly neighbours. I also volunteer a lot and have involvement with different sports clubs, my school and Rotary.
In terms of house sitting experience, I've stayed in a lot of houses for extended periods, have had responsibilities and jobs, have been trusted to live there while owners go away. This has often been on farms where I also had the responsibility to feed the animals, check the troughs etc. I'm familiar with all the common things; security alarms, locking up, power boxes, simple plumbing, etc. And I value cleanliness. Oh and I don't smoke.
As a 21yr old, I do love going out for a dance with mates, I enjoy a couple beers or a glass of red. Rest assured, I'm not going to host a raging party at your house. I'm more of an 'invite several friends over to catch up over a nice dinner' sort of bloke.
I am looking towards a career in sustainable agriculture, environmental management, science communication (radio, film or writing), or something else related to the environment. Who knows!?!
I don't know where to start, I've been given the responsibility for a lot of things over the years, including farms and houses.
Working back, I met a British family in Malta the other day, we got along well and now that I'm in England I've stayed several nights with them, they're really generous. They soon showed me how to lock up the house, for when I leave after them. I also did up their garden on one of my spare days, and they were rapt, so that helped build trust.
In June I returned to a farm in Tuscana, Italy, where I erected 300m of trellising for some beans over the course of four days, while the owners went on a road trip to get away from the farm and their AirBnB. These people had a dog called Louie, plus some sheep, chooks, turkeys, geese, and three incubators. Found this opportunity through WorkAway.com
I lived on a big 30,000 acre grazing property in Western Qld for my gap year, while I was working at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum full time as a tour guide and fossil preparator. I minded that place when the owners went away and otherwise earned my keep every weekend mustering and fencing. I also became best of mates with the other caretaker, a 65yr old bloke called Reg, who had a town house. We spent a lot of time and his town house became my second home, and half the time he was based out on properties, so I was left with the cat! I learnt to cook at Reg's, and it's where I learnt never to take your eyes off a pan of frying chips... D: Nothing got damaged but there was some smoke! So rest assured I won't be setting light to your kitchen, I've already learnt that lesson! ;)
My parents often house swap/sit with friends in different places, so I've done a bit of that with them. Always good fun.
All these places I've stayed, I swear one day I'm going to build my own home and it'll have designs and features that were inspired by the accommodation of all my travels and hosts.
I have always been a gardener, I mainly propagate and grow Bromeliads and Heliconias, but have an orchard full of tropical fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a property of paddocks and native bushland which I have helped my parents to caretake over the years. I also love developing and maintaining hedges and gardens generally. I was brought up with cows, horses, dogs, chooks, ducks, guinea pigs, native Australian marsupials, birds and reptiles - I love animals, and miss my pets and my bit of bushland very much while I'm away. I've been employed in the flower growing industry, fish farming, sweet potatoes and alpacas. Also worked as a technician in several dinosaur museums (palaeontology is a passion of mine). Have years of experience in public speaking also, including on radio and as a tour guide.
I have a lot of hobbies and interests, but something I really enjoy is flying (see photo) and diving. I also like fossil hunting, music, climbing, running, cycling, skiing, rogaining, hiking, driving, soccer, tennis and athletics.
That's a fair description, so if you have any questions, just shoot me a message.