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Leendert Wijngaarden

Leendert Wijngaarden

Technical Product Support Manager — Melbourne

Where do you come from? 
I come from small country town in the North of Holland (The Netherlands).

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I grew up on a dairy farm in one of the main spud growing areas of Holland. After 4 years of Ag College and 2 years of Ag University I ended up at a machinery dealership in the neighbourhood who generously paid for me to become an agricultural engineer. After 7 years at this dealership I wanted something more and because the family farm was too small and my dad was far too young to retire, I had to broaden my search. Then one day, out of the blue, I came across a GRIMME advert looking for a Sales Representative for Australia and I went for it and now here I am!

When did you start working at Landpower? 
I started working at Landpower in 2005 - initially what was only meant to be 3 or 4 years has turned into more than 12! I started in the workshop as a Field Service Technician and after a year I became the Workshop Manager, managing the workshop for 4 years before moving into my current role.

What's your role at Landpower? 
Technical Product Support Manager for GRIMME and SPUDNIK in Australia and New Zealand

What does a typical day involve? 
My day begins by planning out the GRIMME service team’s weekly and daily workloads. Followed by talking to the farmers and operators of our GRIMME machines about any problems. Diagnosing breakdowns over the phone and talking a customer through how they can fix the problem. Liaising with the GRIMME Manufacturer about any machine issues and ensuring we come up with the right solution. Make up quotes for retail work and give ongoing training from customers and service team on the GRIMME and SPUDNIK product.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
Every day is different I don’t know what is going to happen in the next 5 minutes. Every day I have some new challenges and I learn more things.

How did you find the immigration process? How long did it take? 
The immigration process was a painful and expensive exercise for me. I have dyslexia and I failed the Ielts (language) test 3 times. I have since married a beautiful local girl so it helped the streamline the process eventually. Normally the process isn’t that difficult and can be completed within 18 months.

What do you like about living in Australia? 
What I love about Australia is the pace of life and big open spaces.

What thing has taken longest to get used to? 
The weather in Melbourne goes from extremely hot to extremely cold in matter of minutes. There's plenty of colourful language used and getting used to the heat took some time to get used to.

What advice do you have for others contemplating moving to Australia? 
What are you waiting for? Even if you do it for a couple of years it looks really good on you CV and you will learn so much!

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