The Postie’s Run

Peter Blair (32) initially worked for Australia Post for a bit before taking off overseas for 2 ½ years to travel. This time away lead him to realise that Australia Post was such a good job, so he returned to be a postie and settle down in Sydney.

Each morning Peter sorts out his ‘beat’ with about 200 other people at the mail delivery centre. On each run he makes approximately 500 delivery points, carrying no more than 25 kg on a motorbike. It takes him about 3 ½ hours to complete a run.

Posties deliver mail on motorbikes, pushbikes or on foot, depending on the geography of the area to which they deliver. In the CBD and dense metro areas, for instance, posties often walk or ride a pushbike, whereas outer suburban areas often have greater distances to cover and need to use a motorbike.

Peter loves his job and says there are many career moves he can make - such as Team Leader of a whole suburb, or perhaps into admin at Australia Post. For now Peter loves riding his motorbike around the suburbs talking to all the friendly people who meet him at the gate and saying "Hi" to the kids on school holidays. (Pete obviously likes a mobile lifestyle because he has also made and starred in a documentary about backpacking around Australia!)

Getting to work casually outdoors is one of the appealing aspects of the job. Peter has lots of time to himself, to think and sometime sing along as he travels the footpaths on board his Honda CP110. Posties can only ride a 110CC powered bike at a speed of 10km an hour on the footpaths. Each motor postie has to attend a 2-day training course and ‘wannabe’ riders can gain their licence through an Australia Post training program. Being a postman is therefore a fun and adventurous career prospect for young people who like their motorbikes and the outdoors.

Posties can work anywhere in Australia through a transfer system of advertised jobs in the Australia Post magazine. The sought after positions are along the beautiful coastal towns like Byron Bay but those jobs usually go to the loyal posties who have served for ten years or more.

The hardest run would have to be in the hot, sandy desert regions and the cold, alpine areas of Victoria. And what about the dogs? Yes they do bark at you from behind fences and scare the hell of you but they are only protecting their homes and owners, says Pete. Usually the dogs are always enclosed in yards and tied up so they are not much of threat. Some wise posties carry around ‘schmackos’ to chuck over the fence!

So are you thinking of becoming the next Postman Pat, or Pete?! Here are some things to consider about the attributes needed for this job:

  • Enjoy the outdoors and early morning starts
  • Fit and active
  • Have a good memory especially for geography, postcodes and procedures
  • Customer-oriented, courteous and helpful
  • Enjoy teamwork and relate well to supervisors
  • A safe and experienced driver, holding a current motorbike licence (if applying for a motorbike position). Candidates with P-Plates and Learner Licences will be considered.
  • Respect mail security and property
  • Lift up to 16kg
  • Meet the safe riding weight limit for postie motorbikes and weigh less than 100kg when fully clothed (for motorbike posties only)

Generally full time shifts start at 6.30am however there are also part time delivery only positions which often fit nicely into school hours, like 9am to 2.30pm. The recruitment process involves an assessment on basic literacy, numeracy and your suitability against the requirements of the job, a pre-employment medical, a character check, interview and reference checks. For permanent and fixed term contract work you will need to provide proof of permanent residency or Australian Citizenship. Motorbike posties need to pass a practical riding skills assessment. There are also limited opportunities in some locations, where Australia Post will train potential employees and pay for them to obtain their motorbike licence.

Interested persons should apply, or seek further information, online at Australia Post website or call 131 318 and request for an application form to be posted to you.

VJ Matthew Jenkin