GIPPSDAIRY’s new Dairy Workforce Coordinator Leah Maslen knows first-hand how valuable her job can be.
During almost 20 years as a Westbury dairy farmer, Leah sometimes struggled to navigate her way through the farm employment maze.
In hindsight, having a specialist Dairy Workforce Coordinator would have made her farm employment processes far less time consuming and stressful.
“It would have been a Godsend really,” she said.
“You are often strapped for time in your business and it’s hard to put aside that space to look for all the relevant information.
“You are usually only employing one or two people, but there is so much information you need to find to ensure that you’re meeting all the requirements.”
Leah believes that her dairy experience, including share farming, leasing and hiring employees for a 400 cow farm, will help her assist farmers in developing up-to-date employment practices.
“It’s getting the message out there that there’s great information and tools available to get things started,” she said.
“It’s about letting farmers know that they have a single point of contact where they can give us a call, have a chat and we can steer them in the right direction.”
With labour becoming an ever-increasing issue for the dairy industry, Leah believes that farmers who are aware of their responsibilities and obligations as employers will reap the benefits in the longer term.
“It’s about doing the right thing by yourself and by employees and being seen as someone that people want to work for – that you are seen as an employer of choice,” she said.
GippsDairy Regional Manager Allan Cameron said having someone with Leah’s breadth of experience in the Dairy Workforce Coordinator role was great news for Gippsland.
He said Leah’s off-farm work in social welfare based programs and in delivering farmer health initiatives like the Pit Stop men’s preventative health program had given her a broad perspective of the industry and the people who work in it.
“You only need to talk to Leah for five minutes to understand that she not only understands the dairy industry, but has a genuine passion for it,” he said.
“She and her husband Gary have been through all the stages of farm management and ownership, so Leah will add a depth of knowledge to this role that I’m sure will be reflected in what she achieves.”
Allan believes the Dairy Workplace Coordinator role is crucial to the development of the industry in Gippsland.
“We all recognise that labour has been something of an Achilles heel for the industry over many years and is something that GippsDairy is committed to improving,” he said.
“Finding and keeping quality employees is vital for farmers who are looking to expand their businesses, run them more efficiently and develop a better work/life balance.
“Having someone of Leah’s background in this role is a huge win for the industry and I would encourage anyone with questions about farm employment to get in touch with her.”
Leah can be contacted at GippsDairy on 5624 3900.
Leah’s on the job for dairy