Mick and Sue Cavellaro lost their Bunbury party-hire business due to covid-19, and are now picking cherries in Donnybrook.

Bunbury couple who lost party-hire business in pandemic now helping local farmers picking fruit

Main Image: Mick and Sue Cavellaro lost their Bunbury party-hire business due to covid-19, and are now picking cherries in Donnybrook. Credit: Picture: Shannon Verhagen

Shannon VerhagenCountryman

For the past decade, Mick and Sue Cavellaro have been in the business of bringing people together.

But after losing their party hire business when the State went into lockdown, they swapped parties for picking, providing some much-needed hands for the cherry harvest.

They are some of a number of West Aussies working on farms this summer, after the industry’s backpacking workforce was depleted, leaving 7000 seasonal jobs going begging, sparking fears fruit would be left to rot on the trees.

We know what it’s like to struggle, so it’s nice to help.

Sue Cavellaro

For 111/2 years, the couple ran Oasis Party Central in the heart of Bunbury, supplying all sorts of equipment, from balloons and lighting to karaoke machines and photo booths, to help people mark the special occasions in their lives.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country entered lockdown, everything changed overnight.

Parties were cancelled left, right and centre as restrictions on gatherings were handed down, eventually forcing them to close permanentlyat the end of April.

“We've exhausted all avenues and tried hanging in there by trying to sell equipment and sales in store, but due to COVID-19 and cancellation and refunds of all parties we have had to close our doors as of Friday 24th,” an announcement on their Facebook page read.

“A huge thank you to all our beautiful customers that supported us.”

Now, after spending 15 weeks on the road clearing their heads and taking in the sights of the Kimberley, the full-time caravanners are picking cherries at Licciardello & Son Orchards over summer.

“I love it,” Mrs Cavellaro said.

“We’re getting exercise, getting sunshine and loving it.”