WITH her Australian accent, it is hard to believe Pacific Seeds production agronomist Annie Christinat recently swapped life in the Swiss mountains for the Australian outback to pursue her dream of living on the land.
Ms Christinat currently works on a 900-hectare property in Western Australia, overseeing Pacific Seeds’ planting and harvesting operation by providing expertise on the principles and practice of soil management and field crop production.
It is a long way from home in Switzerland, where she spent her childhood skiing down the mountains with her two brothers and travelling to Italy, France and Greece ‘chasing the sun.’
A fascination with detective books in her early teens where the main character rode horses inspired her to come to Australia to muster cattle on horseback.
“Before I arrived in Australia, I was told by the cattle station owners in Cloncurry not to come before March as it was too hot, so I arrived on the 28th February because I just couldn’t wait!”
After six months of mustering in the outback, Ms Christinat returned to Switzerland to study agricultural science. But the pull of Australia was never far away, and before long she was back, this time for good.
“I managed to get a second working visa for Australia and ended up in Mackay working in the sugar cane industry where I supported growers with their decisions, varieties and pest management.”
She eventually made the move to Pacific Seeds in Griffith, New South Wales, where she spent her time planning and checking crops, liaising with growers and overseeing casual labour.
“It’s exciting to see a crop go from planting to harvest and be involved in that process. I also love being outdoors so this job suits me perfectly.”
Ms Christinat is now based in Kununurra for the next three months where she continues to hone her skills in the technical and seed production and management of crops.
“Australia definitely feels like home to me. I love the space, sunshine and lifestyle. The people are so friendly here. I’m so grateful for this opportunity with Pacific Seeds to do what I love and develop new skills.”
Ms Christinat is preparing to move permanently to Kununurra with Pacific Seeds in the new year.
Source: Pacific Seeds