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Nonna Sadchykova

Flower Grower

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Nonna Sadchykova got her job for an unusual reason – because she was taller than her mother. 

"Mum wanted a job with an orchid grower, but she wasn't high enough to reach the hooks the way they are set up here. You’ve got to be over 1.72 metres so you can reach the hooks for tying the flowers onto. And mum said, 'Well, I've got a daughter'. So I started working here in the weekends and after school."

Nonna was happy to have part-time work, though initially she wasn't so sure about the job itself. "I didn’t think I would like this job until I tried doing it, but it’s actually not that hard."

It was another part-time job, in a butchery, that made her realise flower growing could be a good career. "I really didn’t like being in the retail business. It didn’t interest me at all having to be out there with people with a smile on all the time, having to be nice and polite on days when you just want to be grumpy by yourself and do your own things. 

"I saw this place as just pretty awesome – if you don’t want to be around people you just go over somewhere and do your work around the place."

"I like making sure everything’s straight and looking nice, seeing the progress with the flowers growing up and being straight. Then putting it in a box and seeing it sent out – it makes me feel happy inside. I feel like, 'Wow, I've done that!'

"I do struggle sometimes with the mechanical side, the pumps and the physical things. Guys can carry two [flower] hangers – whereas for me just one hanger, but you do two rounds and it still gets the job done."

Nonna is surprised by what she's achieved. "I never thought of myself doing mechanical things, like driving a ute in and out of sheds, or being up high on the shed roof, installing new vents!"

Because Nonna works for an exporting orchid grower, she finds her work gives her a great lifestyle. "This work is actually really, really good. During winter you work long hours, but during summer you’ve got a lot of time you can spend with your friends, going to the beach and barbeques, having a really good summer holiday."

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