Island life on demand
TOURISM and the familydominated agriculture industry have long been the major employment sectors on Kangaroo Island but employers are hoping the area’s unique atmosphere will attract more professionals.
Kangaroo Island Council is the latest employer to use the area’s serene views and natural environment to entice business professionals to relocate.
Council spokesman Darren Keenan – who moved to Kangaroo Island for work about a year ago – said they were trying to remind prospective workers of the lifestyle benefits of working on the island.
‘‘ Organisations like a council always need the most skilled and professional people they can get,’’ he said.
‘‘ I came here because I saw an opportunity for a pro- fessional challenge at council – there are a couple of issues that needed to be worked through – but I also saw it as a good place for bringing up a young family. You have the land and sea, the environment and opportunity.’’
Mr Keenan said Kangaroo Island offered a good place for aspiring workers to be noticed, regardless of whether they were working for the public or private sectors.
‘‘ I think Kangaroo Island is a good place where people who work hard tend to get awarded,’’ he said.
Agriculture on Kangaroo Island – where major towns include Kingscote, Penneshaw and Parndana – is considered the area’s biggest industry.
It is run mainly by families who have been on the island for generations, with about 12 per cent of the workforce involved in farming.
Many farmers are selfemployed and pass their farms down to their children, making it difficult for those wanting to buy into agriculture.
The island has a high rate of sons and daughters obtaining higher education qualifications off the island then returning to help with or take over the family business.
But there are opportunities for employment, with about half of all workers employed as casuals doing seasonal work as labourers, shearers, managers, egg collectors, bee keepers and maintenance staff.
The tourism industry is the island’s second biggest sector.
Health and aged care industries also have a constant demand for workers.
– Adam Hegarty
IDYLLIC: Tourism is a major source of employment opportunities for those looking for work on Kangaroo Island.