Post Updated: 22 March 2021
On 19th March 2021, the ABC reported that Mayla Patterson was back in a Queensland court room. She was convicted and fined $65,000 for her latest breaches of safety issues at her hostels in Gatton and Atkinsons Dam. Patterson has a history of poor hostel management and illegal operations. We first mentioned Mayla’s activity on this Facebook post back in April 2016. Take a read of the Facebook post, the original article below and some of the comments from backpackers who were unfortunate enough to meet with Mayla.
The ABC article reports: “Mayla Patterson was sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday for nine offences, including failing to install smoke alarms, emergency lighting and evacuation signage at properties at Gatton and Atkinsons Dam, in the Lockyer Valley.”
“Patterson was previously fined a total of $75,000 for similar offences in 2013, 2015 and 2017.”
It’s not clear if her working hostels are still open for business. If you have any information on Mayla that you would like to share, please contact us and we will update this article.
Original Article from April 2016
We have received a number of complaints about farm work vacancies in Gatton, Lockyer Valley. The employer is known as Elite Harvesting or a person called Grace or Mayla Patterson or Ken or Jayce. We encourage backpackers to express caution with this employer.
This employer has also recently been reported as posted vacancies under the name Jay Briggs of Grantham and Justine k Harrison of Harrison Farming QLD.
We have also had reports that Elite Harvesting is now operating under the name Harvest Solutions (hvstsolutions.com).
Other names this employer is hiding under:
- Martha Hodges
- Mayla Patterson
- Ken or Jayce
- Elite Harvesting
- Harvest Solutions
- Hussein Global Harvesting
- Ozzie Veg Pickers
Some of feedback can be seen below. If you would like to add to this feedback (good or bad), please complete this form. Alternatively, we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
Elite Harvesting are welcome to add their comments to this page. If you are a representative of Elite Harvesting, please contact us to add your comments.
Please note the comments below are those of our website users and not those of the Backpacker Job Board or the management team. We remind all backpackers to take note of our safety guidelines.
Feedback found online
- Our Facebook post on the subject
- Fruit-picking backpackers endure housing horror, Courier Mail
- Gatton woman fined for unsafe budget accommodation, Gatton Star
- Do not work here by thebyte.com.au
- Services by Mayla & Ken in Gatton
Feedback from backpackers
We had 2 guys and 1 girl staying with us on our property for some woofing in exchange for accommodation . They are absolutely lovely and trustworthy young people !
They left to Locheyer Valley to a job advertised on backpackersjobboard , as they where promised to earn $21.60 ph and they where able to sign off 2ndWHVisa for them .
On arrival they had to hand in their car keys and passports and pay 2 weeks up front plus bond for the room ( $1050 in total for 3 people)
On Monday work commenced , they where picked up at 5am and worked all day , to be back at home again at 5pm.
That is when they found out their earnings for that day…$50 pp for working 10 hours and 2 hours of traveling !!
they panicked last night and called us for help..
This morning they went to confront her and ask back their money and passports ..she refused . So they went to the police but there wasnt much they where going to do for them either…
cut a long story short they got the money and their passports back now , but only after really getting angry with her …
This company is not owned by a jayce. Its owned by mayla in gatton. Just a quick goolgle search for mayla gatton will tell you what this is. Its basicly a scam. We worked there for two weeks and earned 350 dollar. And we had to pay 300 dollar rent. We saw at least 5 New People every day and the same amount leaving. Nearly everybody that Goes there looses money. The names she uses: jayce(on this site) grace (text msgs), Evelyn(voicemail) mayla( once hou are there, probally her real name
The initial contact appeared to be clear, as they explained a lot of what was going on, in a mail that was send (send by Jayce Stone, [email protected]).
However, upon arrival, it started to sound dodgy. We had to call a number that was given through us by mail. When we called the number, we had make our way to one of the houses our contact (her name is Mila and apparently she positions herself as a ‘middle man’) owned.
This on itself probably doesn’t sound too dodgy. However, we didn’t have the $500 on us that we apparently needed to have, so we had to go to an ATM and had to go to a different house to drop the money off. All going well until here I guess.
At this house, the people we had to pay were not around. But we got talking to a few other backpackers. All of them, and I mean all of them, told us to basically run away while still possible (as we had not paid yet). Reasons being: only working for 2 hours a day (however, clearly stated in the mail it says that we would be able to work at least 6 to 12 hours a day); waiting to be picked up for 6 hours as the person (Mila) didn’t want her vans to drive too often; only working for 2 or 3 days a week (clearly stated in the mail I just referred to: you have to be willing to work 5 or 6 days a week).
So basically we would probably work 3 days a week for 4 hours tops but would still have to pay $150 rent a week.
However, we couldn’t really rely on these stories, so we went back to the house where we were supposed to drop the money off. When we got there, there was this couple sitting in a van out the front, so I asked them if they’d already signed a contract. They did. Yesterday. And today they had been sitting in that same van for the last 5 hours as they had to make their way to one of the houses but had not been able to, for reasons unknown. But it all gets better from here. Cause when we got there, the actually ‘Mila’ was there so I just confronted her with the stories I just heard. And she immediately just started acting as a downright bi***. When asked about the stuff in the mail, she basically denied it all, saying that she did not give a garuantee that we could work 5 days a week nor did she guarantee us we would be able to work 8 hours a day. She basically denied it all. And gave us the good ‘ol: ‘if you don’t want this job, you don’t have to’. So I told her we would leave.
So to cut a long story short: somebody’s getting quite rich by getting a lot of rent from backpackers (in the two houses we went to were at least a total of 15 backpackers living, making them pay $500 upfront ($300 rent for the first two weeks and $200 bond – you would not get the bond back if you were to leave in the first two weeks) and not providing the service that is being disclosed in the mail. And this is just talking about the two houses that we went to as she had a lot more houses – and therefore backpackers – hidden away in cabins.
Look, in all fairness: I am not sure if you are able to do something about it, but this is just to let you know what is going down in Gatton. And it is not pretty.
I would like to hear back from you as this cannot be the only complaint you’ve received about her. Reason being that we just got in touch with this guy in Innisfail (1500k up the road) who had heard of her and heard nothing but s**t about her.
I am from the area this lady is well known. Puts lots of backpackers in one area. Charges them weekly for finding work and for transport even if transport is not used. Just contract Fairworks she is well known her surname is Patterson. Example 6 people in one dismantle paying $150 to $200 pwpp. To rent the place is $250pw. Out of that $150_200 is $50 for fuel $50 for job and then rent and profit for her.. If you do checks on internet you will find her. Hope this helps
I’m pretty sure it is the woman you have posted a warning about previously who seems to be using different names to scam people. (Gatton, Lockyer Valley, Grace/Mayla etc.) I’ll paste the email below (It matches word for word what people replying to your warning post have also received)
Head Of Recruitment
Thanks for your inquiry about the job. We are looking for people ASAP pumpkin, melon and corn season is currently underway. Please see the information below regarding the job/housing. If interested please send a reply back! We have heaps of work and need many workers!
About the work
Our employees work on average between 6 to 12 hours a day. ALL DAYS WORKED go towards your SECOND YEAR VISA (Including the training period). We try to guarantee at least 5 days a week worth of work (weather permitted) but you can often work 6 or 7 days if the work is available. When you come, the first three weeks are a training period to build up your skills, to show us your reliability, work habits, and capabilities. Note that this training period can be bypassed if we feel as though your work ethic is good enough.
The first three weeks consist of contract work. You are paid based on your performance. For example, you will earn $9 per bucket of cherry tomatoes, $7 per box of spring onions and $25 per bin of broccoli. After you have proven to be a competent and reliable worker with a positive attitude, you will get hourly paid work at $22.13 per hour. Corn, pumpkin and melons are predominantly all hourly jobs. Final earnings over the course of your stay will be dictated by; how much you are willing to work, your ability to budget and the job you receive. Some individuals manage to save over 7000 dollars within their stay.
Essentially our business provides you with; accommodation, transportation to and from work, and the work itself. We have connections with numerous contractors all over the Lockyer Valley region. There are heaps of farm jobs available in this region from vegetable picking, tractor driving, de-seeding, packing, cold room jobs, and irrigation work. Furthermore, If you have come to complete your 88 days quickly, and earn some money on the side for your travels look no further.
About the housing
You will be placed in a cabin at $150 per week with a small number of new workers. Cabins do not have wifi and are 20 minutes outside of town. There are washing machines in the cabin park. Each cabin has a stove and cooking equipment as well. Shopping is usually done almost everyday after work as the people from the cabins will go to the coles in town. 5 people per cabin (2 bunk beds and a single bed).
Share houses may also be available after your 3 week training period. Just inquire and show interest towards them and we may be able to place you in one.
Share houses include free wi-fi, your own room with 1-2 others, washing machine, full kitchen and is located within Gatton. The price for this luxary is $200 per week.
The BOND for the housing is $200. This is a deposit which is refundable to you upon seven days notice when you are ready to leave. We provide you a pillow, blanket, sheet and key which we collect back before we return the bond to you.
We collect two weeks worth of rent upfront and is non-refundable.
We require a copy of your passport for identification purposes to complete our records, and we also require your tax file number and visa grant number.
We would like to point out that we are not on a farm, but we organize work through many contractors. Work is organized on a daily basis and it is up to you to let us know whether you willing to do the work when there is work available. If you wish to work with us, staying at our accommodation is a requirement.
You may arrive at your earliest convenience. The sooner the better for us but we leave it to you to decide when you wish to come. If you are arriving at a later date just remember to text the number closer to the date of your arrival.
If you do not have your own means of transportation you can get the Greyhound bus to Plainland from Brisbane and we will pick you up and take you to our office and our accommodation once you arrive. You MUST arrive Monday to Sunday between the hours of 12pm and 4pm.
Please text 0499 978 565 your arrival time and the names of everyone showing up to the job. For example “Hi our names are Greg and Sally, we will be arriving on 29/03/16 in Gatton at 2pm. Additionally, state that you are hired by Jasmin. Once you arrive in Plainland call the same number you texted your arrival time to (0499 978 565). This number is NOT my personal number but instead an assistant of the company who will pick you up and drive you to our office.
Please note that a $200 bond and a $300 rent payment for the first two weeks is required up front in cash ($500 in total). We are looking for dedicated workers willing to work hard. Please do not waste our time if you are not at least willing to work for 3 weeks. Remember this is not easy work! You must be willing and able to brave the elements!
If you have received this email in your inbox it means that this job is available to you at your earliest convenience. Your next step is to book your transport into Plainland QLD. To repeat again, once everything is booked message the number (0499 978 565) your arrival time, name and who hired you (Jasmin). Arrive in Plainland QLD on the date and time specified and we will go over all paperwork with you!
Warning! Farm work is not easy! Make sure you are motivated and driven to stay in Australia for another year!
Thanks for your interest so far. If you have any further questions please reply to this email!
We were lucky to find your warning post otherwise we may have fallen for it. Others seem to have had a horrific time with this woman.
Wouldn’t a little bit or farm work be nice as me and my partner thought. As we looked online we found a job being advertise for fruit pickers $22.25 AN hour. What a great opportunity that we can’t pass up however little do we know we were getting ourselves into a scam. Mayler Patterson is the owner of Elite Harvesters however by the time your reading this the name may have already changed as they often do in order to avoid bad reviews being researched by backpackers. For a shared house me and my partner had to pay $400 for 2 weeks rent upfront and $200 bond for the house. However she never mentioned that the house we would be staying in would be well below health and safety standards with bed bugs in the rooms and cockroaches everywhere. She also never mentioned that many of the facilities were broken and basic utensils such as a can opener will not be supplied. There were also no fire alarms which is a breach of safety according to the Queensland fire and rescue. We only stayed one day before we did research where we found she was fined for having no fire alarms in 2013 for $10,000. Well anyway so we did no longer want to stay in the house and with her biisness anyone after finding we have been mislead. We asked for our rent back as although we signed the contract stating that we would not be able to get a refund as the contract also said we would get a house key each which we never did the contract was signed in a understanding that we would be getting keys. This means it was a breach of contract however Mayler would still not give back our rent. We were unable to find legal advice as we would need a lawyer for a court order which would furthermore cost us more money for more accommodation and food and also a lawyer fee if we werent given one for free. I assume that Mayler knows this and is why she doesn’t care that we went to seek legal advice meaning that there is nothing we can do. She is rude and is not professional. The work is also not guarantee and is usually contract work. I hope that someone would do investigations into this organisation. Made my travelling experience such a horrible time. We are now broke and upset that we have not got our money back even though legally we are untitled to it. Please everyone check who your working for before you sign anything and don’t be scared to ask questions. I do not want anyone else to go through the same thing.
I applied for a job in Gatton Queensland and received an email back from a Katy Allen, in the email it stated that I would get up to 6 days work a week and accommodation with my own room and wifi and daily work with 22.17 an hour. None of the email turned out to be true, the woman in question has at least 5 different names, she provided no payslips and we would meet at 4am but would not start actually picking until at least 6am. The accommodation was a caravan park located 35 kilometers from Gatton itself and was extremely small and bug infested and 5 pickers were living there, there was barely any work and I have since found out that she is under investigation and there has been numerous complaints made against her in the past. All in all it cost me over 600 dollars to fly their and get a greyhound to Gatton and I didn’t even get any days signed off as I wanted to leave so quick, the same day I left at least 9 other pickers left also. She is a huge con artist and taking advantage of people in need of days towards their visa and I am writing this only to potentially warn any others from applying and travelling to her.
This working hostel is shit. Rent is way too expensive. Payments are all in cash so no paper trail. No receipts when you pay rent. Vans that are used for transport are dangerous. Houses have bedbugs. She made me move to another house on chrismas eve. Everything is very unorganized. Sometimes it takes 2,5 hour to get to work… or after driving around and switching from van to van to car several times there is no work for you. If she doesn’t like you she won’t give you a job. She keeps promising more work in the future but that’s never happening. Backpackers are used as assistants in exchange for visa days or rent discount but the rate of work she expects you to do is way out of proportion with what you get back for it.. if you get anything back at all. Almost all of the contractors that she works with are just as dodgy as she is. We had several visits from the fire department because they are investigating the (un)safety of the houses. I could go on for ever and ever…
Hello I would just like to try and warn people off this job its a woman called Mayla Patterson who is working out of Gatton, she already has many complaints and has been caught multiple times breaking the law, I work out of one of her share houses now and I am trying to find work elsewhere to get out of this situation.
The houses are unclean, unsafe and generally bad condition, some of the houses have bed bugs which became a battle for them to be changed as Mayla just brushed it off as not a problem. The work is given out to people she likes not people who work hard which I have witnessed her telling a contractor they couldn’t have who they asked for as she didn’t like that person also the transport and organisation is very unreliable.
She had admitted to me that the person who sends out the emails to potential workers is a man who signs his name off as different women names as they sound less intimidating and more friendly, she promises different things and doesn’t follow through on any of these promises.
I have seen several ads all by her around the Lockyer valley region first it was Gatton, then Towoomba then now this one.
Hopefully one day someone stops her exploiting workers as two girls where paid $7.50 for a 7 hour day, people are bullied into working under the threat of being kicked out to be paid terrible pay and a lot of people don’t even make enough money to pay the rent.
I would of just wanted someone to have warned me before I came here.
When I arrived on the Greyhound coach I was told to text the number so Eve would pick me up and take me to the office. Instead a young English backpacker working for the company arrived in an old dirty mini bus and took me along with another 4 people to a share house because Eve would be there to fill out the paperwork. This was an example of a share house and was actually liveable. I was asked to pay $200 bond plus $400 for two weeks rent upfront. This cost was apparently for the “luxury” of a share house in town. After she took my money and personal details including TFN, visa number and a coloured copy of my passport I was taken to another house. As we drove to the accommodation our bags fell out the boot of the vehicle on to the road which was a great start! The share house I was expected to live in can only be described as a slum, it was disgustingly dirty, not cleaned in months if not years when the rental contract said it would be inspected weekly upon collection of rent. There was a mouse trap on the kitchen worktop and cockroach/mouse droppings throughout the cupboards. The fridges and freezers were filthy. Dirty dishes piled up with old food in them, the other tenants did not care, nor did the owner even though the paperwork says I would be charged the cost of a cleaner if the property wasn’t clean enough. The smoke alarms had been removed from the lounge and hall and who knows if there were any in the other bedrooms or if they worked/complied with standards. There were no fire extinguishers in the property either, but a note on the fridge saying tenants would be fined $1000 if we removed them. There was no front door key initially and only 1 was produced between 5 people which would have to be left in a place outside the property but the other tenants were not willing to use it, again the owner did not care. The electrical appliances were unsafe too, the vacuum cleaner fell apart, the toaster was missing some of the plastic housing, the air con did not work (only 1 unit in the lounge room anyway), the floor standing fan was missing a button and had seen better days and the tv with satellite did not work. I apparently paid for the “luxury” of a share house in town and would have my own room with 1 or 2 other people which I understood as a 3 bed house with 3 people not 5! I was expected to share a room and bunk bed with the opposite sex. The mattress was old and dirty. The bath you would not clean your boots in let alone yourself. You wouldn’t be able to clean your clothes in the laundry either. There was rubbish strewn throughout the property.
I feared for my personal safety as well as my belongings and to top it off the work was not guaranteed or fairly paid, I would have to text her number (this time she called herself Grace) each evening to see if there was work then personally negotiate pay and whether my visa would be signed off with a farmer. It was also my responsibility to go to the different contractors with my time sheet and collect pay.
The company was advertised as the contractor who would take care of things for you. Get you work 5+ days a week for 6 – 12 hours a day. On speaking to other tenants they were getting 3hrs work a day a few times a week and for a planting job I was offered after texting twice that night it was paid by plant and she was unable to tell me how much. I would not be able to survive on the pay and the conditions would not comply with Government visa sign off rules.
I then found out from the other tenants this company had changed names a few times and the owner went by different names too as she has already been fined for the unsafe overcrowding of houses and for breaching fire safety laws as well as employing people without work visas. The media articles are available online.
I have since received my $200 bond back but will not be getting my $400, Mayla told me to send my lawyers details! She never answers a call. In texts she implied I’m lazy and complaining and said I will have a problem adjusting to farm work.
I have lodged a complaint with Occupational Health & Safety and the Fair Work Ombudsman. I also contacted the Police, Queensland Fire Service, RTA, Immigration, Trading Standards, two Queensland MP’s and The Byte.
Harvest Solutions / Elite Harvesting – Mayla Paterson/Bailey, Eve, Grace, Evalina.
STAY AWAY! The initial job post promising $22 an hour, 6-12 hours a day, five – six days a week, all sounds very promising. The actual situation is quite different. Mayla and Ken, the owners of the company (if you can call it that) operate under different names. Almost everyone in the camp right now was emailed by an Erik… another alias of Mayla.
Before even talking to other workers or being shown around the accommodation you are asked to sign the contract. A contract which ties you in to two weeks rent ($150/week) and $200 bond. If you leave before this, and many do after the first couple of days, you effectively lose all of this. If you wish to get the bond then you have to stay a minimum of two or three weeks. It’s all somewhat of a scam and you get the impression they’ve been doing this a while.
The trailer park accommodation isn’t always so awful for backpacking standards, five to a cabin with it’s own bathroom and kitchen area. However I’ve heard stories of people’s facilities not working and cockroach infestations. It’s also significantly more expensive with share houses around Gatton at half the price of what they are charging for a cabin. The share houses Mayla offers aren’t even worth the extra $50 a week.
The work that is promised is not always there. Sure it can be weather dependent but she’s disliked around here and only gets so many contracts. The work is unorganised and terribly paid for the most part, even as a hard worker. $8/bucket of cherry tomatoes and so many people picking make it difficult to fill any significant amount of buckets.
Sometimes you are driving several hours to a farm or waiting around on others to assemble in various car parks. The days start unnecessarily early because of this and you find yourself waiting for sunlight before you can begin working.
There is hope for a share house and hourly pay after your training period, although there are only so many roles up for grabs. I’ve met many who have been working productively for almost two months and still on poor piece rates. Those that get hourly rates may only for a few days of the week.
This is certaibly not a place to make money and not a good place to get your 88 days. The other backpackers make up for a lot of it as they are very friendly people in the same situation. You get the sense though that those that stay longest are only doing so because they are stuck for financial reasons or constrained by time to get the 88 days. However, not many make it past the first two weeks. We try to stay positive but there’s a strong sense of gloom in the camp. Too many hellos and goodbyes!